Metabolic Health 11 MIN READ

12 Natural Ways To Reduce High Blood Sugar Levels

Blood sugar is fuel for the body and the brain. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can be a precursor of prediabetes.

Written by Abhay Puri

Oct 14, 2022
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Blood sugar is fuel for the body and the brain. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can be a precursor of prediabetes. Elevated blood glucose levels that are not within the ideal range can affect non-diabetics too by affecting your ability to heal and causing severe damage to your kidneys and blood vessels.


  • Blood sugar is a biomarker for your metabolic health and optimising it will help manage your physical and mental performance,
  • Exercise is a good way to convert glucose into energy, increased insulin sensitivity allows your cells to effectively utilise the available sugar in your bloodstream,
  • Studies indicate that eating a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet reduces blood sugar levels over the long term and prevents sudden glucose spikes.

Blood sugar is a marker of your metabolic health. Optimising blood sugar levels is also important in managing your peak physical and mental performance.

A few simple tips and lifestyle changes like the ones below can help you to balance your blood sugar levels without drastic medical interventions.

Twelve ways to organically reduce high blood sugar

There are several factors involved in the regulation of glucose, but here are some natural ways that are backed by research that can help in reducing blood sugar levels and keeping them balanced.

1.A little less conversation, a little more action, please

Exercise has several benefits in terms of lowering blood sugar immediately because it converts glucose to energy and aids the muscles to use it for contraction. Moreover, regular exercise can help you maintain a moderate weight and has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.

Increased insulin sensitivity allows your cells to more effectively utilize the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise is a good way to convert glucose into energy. While anaerobic activity (high-intensity exercises like running or weightlifting) breaks down glucose directly, low-intensity aerobic exercise like walking for about an hour enhances insulin action for at least 24 hours. Even a brisk walk, squats or light exercises that break up sitting time can have this effect (1). It is important to note that strenuous workouts can cause a temporary, post-exercise rise in blood sugar. Over-exercising can also release stress hormones that elevate blood glucose.

2.Minimize your carb footprint

Carbohydrates are dominant contributors to raised blood sugar levels. Your body breaks digestible carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. As blood sugar levels elevate, the pancreas releases insulin to help cells absorb blood sugar or utilize it as energy or storage. When you eat too many carbs at once or have insulin-function problems, this process doesn’t quite work perfectly and leads to a blood sugar spike.

Many studies indicate that eating a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet reduces blood sugar levels over the long term and prevents sudden glucose spikes. Managing your carb intake is important but carbs shouldn’t be entirely eliminated from your diet. The two major kinds of carbohydrates—simple and complex—impact the blood glucose differently, depending on how they are broken down. Simple carbohydrates, found in foods such as white bread, pasta and other refined products, can be broken down into sugar rapidly, which usually leads to a spike in glucose levels almost immediately. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are made up of three or more sugars linked together. The body takes longer to break them down and thus glucose levels only rise gradually after consuming them. Examples of complex carbohydrates include most whole grains like whole-grain oats, sweet potatoes and barley.

Thus, minimizing the consumption of carbohydrates, particularly simple carbohydrates, and ensuring you balance your carb intake with healthy fats (which help with glucose uptake) and protein can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

3.‘Water’ you waiting for?

Drinking enough water helps to prevent dehydration and helps the kidneys remove excess sugar from the body through urination. Proper hydration has a number of health benefits including diluting the existing blood sugar and improving metabolic functioning. Many studies have found that people who consume more water have a lower risk of developing diseases linked to high blood sugar (3). This is because water plays an essential role in transporting glucose into cells via plasma membranes, and is key to the functioning of the two classes of glucose transporters, sodium-glucose cotransporters (referred to as SGLTs) and facilitative glucose transporters (referred to as GLUTs), which allow cells to absorb and process glucose (4).

4.Less can be more

Postprandial spikes refer to normal, temporary high blood sugars that occur soon after eating. But post-meal walks have been backed by research and show the stabilizing of blood sugar levels after meals. One way to keep blood sugar levels in check is to eat in moderation—especially as far as carbs are concerned. Portion control can help you regulate the number of calories you consume, prevent overeating and aid in weight management and maintenance.

As per some research, eating small amounts throughout the day is a good way to regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent highs and lows. It is also associated with better weight management, which promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Monitoring your serving sizes can be aided by a few simple steps you can keep in mind—measuring or weighing your portions, using small plates and keeping a food journal are all simple things that could help reduce overeating. Eating slowly is another tip that seems obvious but can help with portion control and avoiding sudden spikes in your glucose levels.

5.Stressing is no blessing

It’s no secret that stress can affect your blood sugar levels. When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones such as glucagon and cortisol, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Stress stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which releases cortisol. Besides regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels, cortisol is the body’s natural alarm system, which signals to the liver that more glucose is required. As a result of increased glucose levels as an immediate energy source, cortisol inhibits insulin sensitivity in stressful situations.

Studies have shown that chronically elevated stress levels are linked to higher blood sugar. Although avoiding stress entirely might be difficult, techniques like exercise, relaxation and conscious breathing or meditation can be effective ways to combat stress and help people reduce their blood sugar levels.

6.Stay connected with fibre

Fibre plays an important role in managing the levels of glucose and the way it is digested or processed into the bloodstream. Fibre slows carbohydrate digestion and thus promotes the more gradual absorption of sugar, preventing a sudden spike in levels.

There are two kinds of fibres: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre, in particular, has been shown to improve the management of blood sugar. A high-fibre diet can improve the way your body processes glucose and slow the rate at which carbohydrates break down. Some foods that are high in fibre include vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.

The recommended daily intake of fibre is in the range of 25 grams for women and around 35 grams for men. That averages out to approximately 14 grams of fibre for every 1000 calories you consume. By ensuring your fibre intake is sufficient, you can keep your blood sugar low.

7.Good sleep is for keeps

Getting sufficient sleep is also an important part of keeping blood sugar in check. Sleep and glucose metabolism are closely related. For starters, low sleep levels can lead to increased circulation of the stress hormone cortisol, which results in gluconeogenesis (the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources), which in turn affects glucose regulation. A study shows that 6 days of sleep restriction has been associated with an increase in evening cortisol levels and night-time growth hormone concentration, which induces a rapid decrease in muscular glucose uptake. Both these factors can also result in reduced insulin sensitivity due to spikes in blood glucose levels.

Getting adequate sleep each night is a key step in keeping blood sugar levels balanced. Blood sugar levels tend to increase in the early morning hours. For most people, insulin works as a way to instruct the body about what to do with the excess glucose, which helps to keep blood sugar levels normal. Lack of sleep can have a similar effect to insulin resistance, which means blood sugar could spike significantly from lack of sleep.

Sleep duration also affects the response of the hormones associated with appetite: leptin (which reduces hunger) and ghrelin (which stimulates hunger). Insufficient sleep tends to offset the difference between the two hormones, potentially resulting in several metabolic irregularities, leading to changes in food intake and causing overeating. Research suggests that a single day of binge eating can raise blood sugar levels.

8.Not worth the weight

Losing weight can be another way to control your blood sugar levels. Being overweight has been linked to an increased incidence of diabetes as well as increased insulin resistance. Studies show that reducing weight by only 5–7 per cent can reduce the chances of chronically elevated blood sugar levels. In such cases, you don’t need to achieve your ideal body weight—even a reduction of 5–10 kilograms can have similar benefits.

Losing weight and maintaining a consistent moderate weight is important for healthy blood sugar levels. It also improves levels of cholesterol and can be beneficial to one’s overall well-being.

9.Keep your eye on GI

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly carbs break down during digestion, and how quickly your body is able to absorb them. This affects the rate at which your blood sugar levels rise. The GI divides foods into low, medium and high GI, ranking them on a scale from 0 to 100. Low-GI foods are generally considered those that have a GI lower than 55.

Both the amount and type of carbs you eat determine the ways in which a particular food affects your blood glucose levels. Specifically, consuming low-GI foods has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels as well as decrease fasting blood sugar levels. Some examples of foods with a low-to-moderate GI include barley, unsweetened yoghurt, oats, beans, lentils, most whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, and so on. A diet with low GI and sufficient protein or healthy fats minimizes blood sugar spikes and improves insulin resistance and overall health.

10.Make sure you measure up

Monitoring your blood glucose levels is another good step to ensure they do not spike. This will help you to determine the impact meals have on your blood sugar and learn how your body reacts to different foods.

You can check your blood at home using a portable blood glucose meter, also known as a glucometer or a continuous glucose monitor. By measuring your levels at regular intervals daily, and keeping track of the numbers, you can understand what effect a meal or activity has on your blood sugar. You can also use these measurements to execute small lifestyle changes like swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting carbs, in order to see the way it impacts your blood sugar levels.

11.Know your food groups

There are several foods or categories of food that can help with reducing blood sugar levels. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that have been shown to lower fasting blood sugar, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and insulin resistance. Interestingly, studies have also found that reductions in blood sugar levels over time are more significant in people who consume multiple types of probiotics for at least 8 weeks.

Another food group that might be useful to incorporate into your diet is resistant starch—found in some potatoes and beans—which bypasses the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine and thus doesn’t raise glucose levels. This has also been found to be the case with fermented foods.

Some other foods that have been suggested to reduce blood sugar levels are apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, fenugreek seeds and berberine, which can support blood sugar management and are used as traditional home remedies.

12.You are when you eat

It’s not just what you eat but also the timing of the meals and the regularity of eating them that can help you avoid both high and low blood sugar levels. Several studies suggest that smaller, more frequent, meals throughout the day can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Smaller meals and healthy snacks have been shown to lower HbA1c readings, indicating improvements in blood sugar levels over a longer period of time.

Similarly, the body is more efficient at processing sugar early in the day, so a healthy breakfast can improve blood glucose levels. A high-protein breakfast has an edge over breakfasts that are high in carbs, and over time this can help with weight loss as well as lower blood sugar.


Regular exercise, managing your weight and losing weight, eating well by reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fibre intake, portion control by eating smaller but regular portions throughout the day, being aware of the GI levels of what you eat, being aware of certain food groups, supplements and other remedies that can help with lowering blood sugar levels, sufficient sleep and lowering your stress levels are some of the easier ways points to manage your blood glucose. By following these steps and being aware of what you eat you can possibly lower high blood sugar levels organically without medical intervention.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for general information and educational purposes only. It neither provides any medical advice nor intends to substitute professional medical opinion on the treatment, diagnosis, prevention or alleviation of any disease, disorder or disability. Always consult with your doctor or qualified healthcare professional about your health condition and/or concerns and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen including making any dietary or lifestyle changes.



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