Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Reduce Your Sugar Intake

The average American consumes 22 teaspoons (88 grams) of added sugar per day. That translates to around 350 calories (12).

While some of this is added as table sugar, most of it comes from processed and prepared foods, such as candy, cookies and sodas.

You have no nutritional need for added sugar like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup. They are, in effect, just empty calories.

Your body breaks these simple sugars down very easily, causing an almost immediate spike in blood sugar.

Studies show that consuming sugars is associated with developing insulin resistance.

This is when the cells fail to respond as they should to the release of insulin, resulting in the body not being able to control blood sugar effectively (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the way foods have to be labeled in the US. Foods now have to display the amount of added sugars they contain in grams and as a percentage of the recommended daily maximum intake.

An alternative option to giving up sugar entirely is to replace it with natural sugar substitutes.

SUMMARY:
Sugar is effectively empty calories. It causes an immediate blood sugar spike and high intake is associated with insulin resistance.
4. Keep a Healthy Weight
At present, two out of three adults in the US are considered to be overweight or obese (15).

Being overweight or obese can make it more difficult for your body to use insulin and control blood sugar levels.

This can lead to blood sugar spikes and a corresponding higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The precise ways it works are still unclear, but there’s lots of evidence linking obesity to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

Weight loss, on the other hand, has been shown to improve blood sugar control.
In one study, 35 obese people lost an average of 14.5 pounds (6.6 kg) over 12 weeks while they were on a diet of 1,600 calories a day. Their blood sugar dropped by an average of 14% (19Trusted Source).

In another study of people without diabetes, weight loss was found to decrease the incidence of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (20Trusted Source).

SUMMARY:
Being overweight makes it difficult for your body to control blood sugar levels. Even losing a little weight can improve your blood sugar control.
5. Exercise More
Exercise helps control blood sugar spikes by increasing the sensitivity of your cells to the hormone insulin.

Exercise also causes muscle cells to absorb sugar from the blood, helping to lower blood sugar levels (21).

Both high-intensity and moderate-intensity exercise have been found to reduce blood sugar spikes.

One study found similar improvements in blood sugar control in 27 adults who carried out either medium- or high-intensity exercise (22Trusted Source).

Whether you exercise on an empty or full stomach could have an effect on blood sugar control.

One study found exercise performed before breakfast controlled blood sugar more effectively than exercise done after breakfast (23Trusted Source).

Increasing exercise also has the added benefit of helping with weight loss, a double whammy to combat blood sugar spikes.

SUMMARY:
Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and stimulates cells to remove sugar from the blood.
6. Eat More Fiber
Fiber is made up of the parts of plant food that your body can’t digest.

It is often divided into two groups: soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber, in particular, can help control blood sugar spikes.

It dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that helps slow the absorption of carbs in the gut. This results in a steady rise and fall in blood sugar, rather than a spike (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).

Fiber can also make you feel full, reducing your appetite and food intake (26Trusted Source).

Good sources of soluble fiber include:

Oatmeal
Nuts
Legumes
Some fruits, such as apples, oranges and blueberries
Many vegetables

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