What can we do to reduce blood sugar? Start with these three steps.
Understand Blood Glucose Levels. The first step to reducing our blood sugar is to understand what makes our blood sugar levels rise. heart.org/diabetes
GLUCOSE – The food we eat is turned into glucose (sugar) in the stomach and enters the bloodstream.
INSULIN – Produced in the pancreas, insulin’s role is to take sugar (glucose) from the blood into the cells.
ENERGY – Insulin helps the body to be able to use glucose for energy.
In type 2 diabetes glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells because: The body develops “insulin resistance” and can’t make efficient use of the insulin it makes, OR The pancreas loses its capacity to produce insulin.
Learn and Track Your Blood Glucose. To learn our blood sugar level, we should have a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test performed by our healthcare provider.
The American Heart Association recommendation for healthy blood glucose is:
Blood Glucose Range
What It Means
Prediabetes (Impaired Fasting Glucose)
At increased risk.
126 mg/dL or more
High risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
The American Heart Association recommends home monitoring for those with high blood sugar to help healthcare providers determine whether treatments are working.
Tips For Success: Setting realistic goals and making slow changes over time are the best ways to set ourselves up for success, feel our best and live a healthy life.
Eat Better. Making healthy food choices, including controlling portion sizes and reading food labels, is an essential step in maintaining a proper body weight and preventing or managing diabetes. heart.org/Nutrition
Get Active. If we have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, physical activity can have tremendous benefits in controlling the disease and minimizing the negative health consequences. heart.org/PhysicalActivity
Maintain a Healthy Weight. One of the first steps to attaining a healthy body weight is speaking with our healthcare provider to assess our current health and physical abilities. Together, we can determine the amount and type of
physical activity that is appropriate to help us lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. heart.org/WeightManagement
Take Medication as Directed. Following our healthcare provider's advice is the best way to reach our treatment goals and enjoy the benefits of better health. heart.org/DiabetesMedication
Quit Smoking. Having diabetes means we are two to four times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. Add in smoking, and that risk is multiplied. heart.org/QuitSmoking