How to Lower Your Blood Sugar
Over the past decade and a half thousands of people with Type 2 diabetes have dramatically lowered their blood sugar using this very simple technique which was first published on the alt.support.diabetes newsgroup. Unlike most other strategies you may have encountered, this one does not tell you what to eat. Instead it teaches you how the meals you are currently eating affect your blood sugar and then guides you through the process of adapting those meals so that they will be more blood sugar friendly. Try it for a week and you'll see how well it works.
Step 1: Eat whatever you've been eating and write it all down
Eat normally, but use your blood sugar meter to test yourself at the following times. Write down what you ate and what your blood sugar results were:
Upon waking (fasting)
1 hour after each meal
2 hours after each meal
Note: People often ask where to start measuring the hour after eating. For most people measuring from the end of the meal works well. If you take more than 45 minutes to eat your meal, measure from when you eat the course that contains the most starch and sugar.
What this will tell you is when your blood sugar is at its highest after your meal and how long it takes to drop back down.
Most people also will see that all starches and sugars, even the ones that nutritionists tell us are "healthy" like whole grains and fruits can raise our blood sugars dramatically compared to fats and proteins.
Step 2: For the next few days cut back on your carbohydrates
Cut back on breads, cereals, rice, beans, any wheat products, potato, corn, and fruit. If you are eating gluten-free foods, stop eating anything designed to replace gluten-containing foods, too.
Get most of your carbohydrates from veggies. Test your modified meals using the same schedule above. See what impact you can make on your blood sugar by eliminating various high carbohydrate foods.
Be aware that some foods, like pasta digest slowly, so you won't see a blood sugar spike one hour after eating or even, at times, two. But if you test pasta at four or five hours after eating, you may see a spike. The same is true of foods that contain the sweeteners used in "sugar free" foods sold as being good for diabetic diets.
These often will produce a significant blood sugar spike an hour or two later than when you'd see the spike from regular sugar. If a food seems too good to be true, test another hour or two later.
The closer we get to non-diabetic readings, the greater chance we have of avoiding horrible complications.
Here are what doctors currently believe to be non-diabetic readings:
Fasting blood sugar: under 100 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/L)
One hour after meals under 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L
Two hours after meals under 120 mg/dl (6.6 mmol/L)
If you can do better than this, go for it. At a minimum, The American College of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends that people with diabetes keep their blood sugars under 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L) two hours after eating.
When you achieve normal blood sugar targets, you can start cautiously adding back carbohydrates, making sure to test after each meal. Stop adding carbohydrates as soon as you get near your blood sugar targets.
Recent studies have indicated that your "after meal" numbers are those most indicative of future complications, especially heart problems.
Step 3: Test Test Test!
Remember, we're not in a race or a competition with anyone but ourselves. Play around with your food plan. Test, test, test! Learn what foods cause blood sugar spikes and what foods cause cravings. Learn which foods give you healthy blood sugars.
No matter what anyone tells you, if a food raises your blood sugar over the targets you are aiming for, that food should not be part of your diabetes food plan. Your blood sugar meter will tell you what the best "diabetes diet" is for your body. Use it and regain your health!
Need Help Deciding What to Eat?
Visit this page to learn some tried and tested lower carb eating strategies that will make it easier to give up the high carb food that is harming you.
What Can You Eat When You Are Cutting The Carbs?
An Affordable Continuous Glucose Monitor Is Better than Test Strips
The FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitor, came on the market at the end of 2017. It is not covered by insurance for anyone save people using meal-time insulin. However, the reader costs only about $80 and a sensor that lasts 14 days is about $65 self-paid at Walmart or Costco. You will need a doctor's prescription to get the reader and sensors, but many doctors will prescribe one if you assure them you won't bother them about getting insurance to pay for the device.
The cost of the device and a month's worth of strips is not much more than what you would pay for a brand name blood sugar meter and 200 strips. The continuous glucose monitor will give you far, far, more information and make it much easier to learn how to get normal blood sugars.
I wrote up a detailed description my trial of the first version of this device HERE. If you are interested, there are several closed groups on Facebook where advice is available from many long-time users from outside of the U.S., where the device has been available for years.
Our Full-Length Books Give Many More Tips
Blood Sugar 101: What They Don't Tell You About Diabetes is a 240-page book that goes into far more detail than any web page can about why blood sugar deteriorates, what blood sugar levels cause complications, and how to lower your blood sugar safely with both diet and safe drugs. It also gives strategies for lowering blood sugar safely using diet for people taking insulin or an insulin stimulating drug.
You'll find extensive sections on how to stick to a diet that lowers blood sugar for years, not months, and a lot of information about the foods and supplements that will be most helpful to people who are trying to lower their blood sugar. Blood Sugar 101: What They Don't Tell You About Diabetes also examines what peer-reviewed research has found about alternative ways of lowering blood sugar with diet and commonly prescribed drugs.
Your Diabetes Questions Answered: Practical Solutions that Work and Keep on Working.This is our newest book. It greatly expands the information found in Blood Sugar 101 as it presents the answers to over 200 questions about diabetes.
NOTE: This advice is an edited, updated version of the excellent advice that was written by a person named Jennifer, which for many years she posted when greeting newcomers to the alt.support.diabetes newsgroup. It has helped thousands of people bring their blood sugars down to the level that gives an A1c test result in the 5% range. Note: The Jennifer who wrote the advice is not the Jenny Ruhl who maintains these pages.
Download the How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Flyer
You can download one page versions of this advice in a flyer in many languages. You'll find it HERE.