Tax season isn’t the only time you should be "crunching your numbers." You should be taking steps every day to keep your blood sugar levels in check. The good news is you don't need to pay an accountant or a dig through a pile of receipts. You can maintain, or even lower your blood sugar level, by paying attention to what your body may be telling you, eating a healthy diet and exercising.
How Do I Know if My Blood Sugar is Off?
If you’re feeling hungry all of the time, becoming restless or anxious, or experiencing mood swings, your blood sugar may be too low. Frequent peeing, headaches and blurred vision are signs your blood sugar may be too high.
If you don't have diabetes, your (fasting blood sugar) should be under 100 mg/dl when you wake up each morning. Two hours after you've eaten, your blood sugar level is in check if it’s less than 140 mg/dl.
For someone living with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends a blood sugar level of 80-130 mg/dl before a meal and less than 180 mg/dl, 1-2 hours after eating. A blood glucose meter can help you keep your blood sugar levels in check.
How to Lower Your Blood Sugar Level (And Maintain It)
One way to keep your blood sugar levels under control is to eat a healthy diet. Foods high in good carbohydrates will help keep your glucose levels from spiking, if they come from healthy sources like whole grain brown rice and barley.
Other foods you can work into your diet to maintain, or lower your blood sugar level include:
- Nuts and beans (legumes)
How Can Exercise Help?
Exercise is another key component when it comes to keeping blood sugar levels where they're supposed to be.
Aerobic exercise will help your body use insulin better. You should shoot for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise each week. That means you're working hard enough to talk, but not sing, while you're working out.
Strength training can also make your body more sensitive to insulin and keep your blood sugar level in check. Try lifting weights at least 2 times per week.
Maintaining your blood sugar levels can help you keep from becoming one of the more than 29 million Americans living with diabetes. And for more tips on how to lower blood sugar levels, click on our Blood Sugar Guide.