10 Ways To Control Your Blood Sugar Levels

| August 8, 2012

I have posted more than 30 items of advice on the Real Diabetes Truth blog since the beginning of this year, so I thought now would be a good time to look back and summarise the main messages that have emerged. Below are my ‘top ten’ ways to avoid, or better manage, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

1. Eat a low GL diet. A diet that is low in carbohydrates will help you to control your blood sugar level. GI stands for ‘glycaemic index’, a measure of the speed at which a carbohydrate raises blood sugar levels. More useful in practice is the idea of ‘glycaemic load’ (GL), which also takes account of how much of a carbohydrate is in a food and what portion size is being eaten. If you are not already eating in a low GL way, put it at the top of your to do list!

2. Cut out sugar as far as possible.
A diet high in sugar is a sure way to raise sugar levels in the blood. High blood sugar slowly erodes the ability of cells in the pancreas to make insulin and the damage becomes permanent with time. Sugar also causes many of the diseases associated with ‘metabolic syndrome’, including high blood pressure, diabetes and accelerated ageing. Sugar is more dangerous to your health than saturated fat or salt. Keeping to a low GL diet will help to control sugar cravings.

3. Get regular exercise.Not only will it keep your weight down, improve your cardiovascular fitness and make you feel good, for those with type 1 diabetes it lowers blood sugar levels and may help you to reduce the amount of insulin you need. Exercise can also reverse the root cause of type 2 diabetes, by reducing insulin resistance, so that glucose is used more effectively. When muscle cells are made to contract during exercise, they take in glucose in the presence of insulin much more readily than do passive cells.

4. Top up your vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D promotes insulin production and maintains insulin sensitivity, while Vitamin B1 is excreted more rapidly in diabetes and its deficiency lies behind many diabetic complications. The minerals chromium, calcium and magnesium are also especially important for people with diabetes. Advice on supplementation is given in my posts about these nutrients.

5. Know your fats. Not all fats are created equal. Saturated fats, mainly found in meat and dairy products, can block the mechanism by which your pancreas knows when to release insulin and can contribute to type 2 diabetes. Unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, which are abundant in oily fish, actively promote insulin sensitivity and help to control blood sugar levels, as well as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

6. Get enough sleep. When you sleep, your brain secretes a hormone called melatonin, then when you wake up your adrenal glands produce another hormone called serotonin. Both of these have been found to affect blood sugar control and people who get insufficient sleep or who work irregular shifts are at a higher risk of developing diabetes.

7. Eat the diabetes ‘super foods’. You can help to control your blood sugar levels by making certain foods a regular part of your diet. Fish and nuts both contain omega-3 fatty acids, which promote better glucose uptake and lower blood sugar levels. Red grapes (and red wine) contain resveratrol, which improves insulin sensitivity and strawberries contain fisetin, which may reduce the risk of diabetic complications. It’s also good to know that coffee and dark chocolate can help to improve insulin resistance while protecting the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

8. Get herbal help. There are several herbs that can help you to control your blood sugar safely, without the risk of drug side effects. Bitter melon, ivy gourd, gymnema, cinnamon and fenugreek have all been shown to be effective in clinical trials. Medicinal mushrooms also contain many different chemicals that can aid blood sugar control, through a variety of biological mechanisms in the body.

9. Minimise reliance on drugs. Although medications have their place in the treatment of diabetes and are sometimes essential, you should work with your doctor to reduce your need for them. The measures outlined above should help with this. All diabetes drugs have side effects, some of which are life-threatening. In addition, statin drugs for controlling cholesterol levels have been found to actually cause diabetes.

10. Put yourself in control. This really is your best strategy for avoiding or managing diabetes. Recent reports have slammed the woeful state of NHS diabetes care. Don’t assume that doctors and nurses know best, or even know what they are doing. Read all you can about diabetes and its treatment. Question any medication you are asked to take and if something doesn’t seem right, make your voice heard!

Thank you for reading Real Diabetes Truth over the past months. There is plenty more good news about effective alternatives to mainstream drug treatment on the way! If you have any comments on my blog posts or experiences to share, I would love to hear them. Just scroll down to the bottom of each post (after the references) to leave your remarks or questions.

In my next blog post, I want to tell you about alpha lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant that a recent clinical trial has found to be well-tolerated and effective for blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


1. Yan S, Li J, Li S, Zhang B, Du S, Gordon-Larsen P, Adair L, Popkin B. The expanding burden of cardiometabolic risk in China: the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Obes Rev. 2012 Jun 28. [Epub ahead of print]

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Category: Diabetes

Comments (26)

Testimonials are based on the personal experience of individuals. Results are not typical and the potential benefits of taking any drug or supplement may vary depending on your individual needs and health requirements. Please consult your GP before making any changes to your medical regimen.

  1. susana says:

    I very much appreciate these recommendations. I will try some of them out.

  2. mikayla says:

    Can any one do this? As a precaution to developing type 2 diabetes or just to stay healthy?

  3. Lona says:

    This sounds so simple. Why doesn’t everybody follow these 10 tips?

  4. Kaytee says:

    Thnaks for these handy tips. I’m gonna try those medicinal mushrooms you mention – could be fun!

  5. Shane says:

    This article is very useful and will be a great help for me since I’m looking to live healthier. I’m not diabetic or like my grandmother used to say “sugar disease”, but want to get my health in top shape before it’s too late.

  6. Alicia says:

    Brilliant tips for all-round good health. Everyone should cut sugar from their diets. It’s addictive and can destroy your health. Fact!

  7. Mary says:

    I have had type one diabetes for 59 years a couple o major strokes affecting my balance. Considering all this my eyesight is fine. I advise anyone to take their blood sugars prior to eating and count the carbs they are about to eat so that they can work out how much short acting insulin to take I also tale two long acting insulin once in the morning and once at night I also test my blood sugar before I go to bed and take something to eat if it is low so that I lllessen the. Chance of hyping through the night.

  8. Carm says:

    Should a diabetic eat peanut butter or not? I learnt that peanuts have omega 6 and it cause inflammation. Please advise. Thank you!! Carm

  9. Hi!
    Its a very interesting side!!!
    I have a question=
    where can I bay the GV2 Medicine ???
    I will be very greatfull if YOU can tell mi that!!!
    Iam luking forward to hear from YOU!!!

    Greeting,Bente Merete Momsen.

  10. Hej,
    Its a very interesting cide !!!

    I woud like to know where I can get GV2? to help mine Diebetes 2 .
    lots of greetings with your interesting in Alternative

    Bente Merete Momsen.
    Hope to hear from You,!

  11. jimmy says:

    whats the best way to control diabetes when doing long periods of driving or is it best just to keep testing your blood sugars.

  12. KANNAN says:

    HI DR.


  13. Linda says:

    When I became insulin dependent 40 years ago, I did some research to try to avoid all the horrible complications of diabetes.It all seemed to come down to circulation.I have taken fairly large doses of Vitamin E and C,and Lecithin, as well as D and a Multivitamin ever since. My specialists keep telling me how “lucky” I am; when I tell them about the vitamins, they of course don’t believe that the Vitamin E and Lecithin have protected my eyes – I am 63, with no retinopathy; I don’t even wear glasses!My cholesterol is fine, my feet are fine. I wish there was a way to spread the word about Vitamin E and Lecithin, and all they do to keep veins healthy!!!!

    • Sheila says:

      I am astonished by your comments and wish I had known this information when I was diagnosed with Diabetes in 2007. My kidneys, eyes and feet are effected already, even after taking high doses of medication prescribed by my GP. They say that I must have had Diabetes long before it was diagnosed 6 years ago. (We lived in the M.E. for 20 years!) So, thank you for telling us about Vitamin E and Lecithin. It is a fantastic story! I hope it helps other Diabetics to prevent the terrible consequences of uncontrolled Diabetes.

  14. Mosanto says:

    I have type 1 diabetes and right now I have errectiles issues, to make sex for is big problem but I need help

  15. puran mangaroo says:

    I think the diet you mentioned will help million of people suffering with diabetes once they willing to look after their health. Only you is responsible for your ownself eating this recommended healthy diet and exercise. let your food be your medicine.

  16. PATRICK WALSH says:

    Before the discovery of insulin injections the main remedy for insulin control blood sugar control was vanadyl sulphate. For about 2 years now Ibeen unable to get it from my local Health shops. Why?
    For 8 years I’ve been trying to get a Homeopathy remedy called Mucokehl that is known to reverse diabetic neuropathy and eyesight improvement. On line there are plenty of American and German sites but I couldn’t find a uk site. I’ve tried Homeopaths even one at Chichester University. I’m getting desperate. Can you help me find a source. It has been known to reverse the symptoms. People are losing toes and feet yet there is no Mucokehl source in England. Why I ask in desperation. Your help and advice would be much appreciated

    • admin says:

      It’s a well-known fact that there is a clampdown on alternative therapies in the EU. The European Commission is imposing stringent laws that regulate the availability and sales of alternative medicine. This may be the reason why you cannot find the remedies you are looking for. You may have better luck searching for reputable online suppliers of the products that you are looking for.

  17. laurey says:

    Hi, I don’t have diabetes, my Mother did. I learned about the mineral Chromium. This mineral is what opens the door for sugar to enter the blood stream, also enhances fat into muscle mass. It is in brewers yeast tablets, also with protein and vitamin B’s. I learned to take 2 before a meal, with 500 mg. of vit. C., for they help each other. I also take a vit. D. with them.
    I wrote Dr. Oz and he had other doctors talk about the benefits of chromium for diabetes, on his show.
    Maybe look into this.

  18. janardhanankunnoth says:

    i am a daibetic person .i am using tablets amaryl m 2mg twice a day and insulin 12 mg at night 10 o clock .but not controling

  19. Charles Anderson says:

    I am a type 2 diabetic with slightly high Colestoral. My doctor has prescribed 10mg rosuvastatin once per day. Is this good for me? He has prescribide 500mg metfornin once per day but I do not take this as I have found that vinigar keeps me between 6 and 9 in the meter. When is the best time to take a blood reading and why? regards, Charles

    • Jessica Hasler says:

      Good afternoon – third time of trying – mail just deletes.

      Am interested in dosing for Vinegar to control b/sugar – Type of Vinegar, mixed with? Daily dosage

      Look forward to your response, thank you – J Hasler

      • admin says:

        Hi, we cannot give you personal advice on a daily regime as it may be construed as medical advice. We can pose your question to Martin Hum and he may discuss the vinegar and blood sugar control in a future post.

        • Jessica Hasler says:

          Hi there!

          My query re vinegar to < b/sugar was in response to Charles Anderson post of 16/08/12. In my experience "anecdotal" information can often be very useful – was
          not seeking medical advice – my apologies.

          Will watch for Martin Hum's future post- thank you!

          • Joseph Onuorah says:

            i really apreciate your lecture on diabetes. currently I am diabetic. I will be glad if you can educate me more on the best ways to control sugar level