Small Steps to Manage Your Blood Sugar

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Here are some small steps to keep your blood sugar in check when you have type 2 diabetes.

When you eat higher calorie foods and fat, your blood sugar rises, so selecting foods with fewer calories, heart-healthy fats, and low-fat dairy products is key. Bake, broil, or grill fish high in omega-3s, like salmon or trout. Up your high-fiber foods, like fruits and non-starchy veggies, like eggplants, mushrooms, and cucumbers. Pick whole grains and cook with olive or canola oils.

Avoid processed foods like crackers, cookies, and packaged treats, as they can keep blood sugar high. This goes for sugar alcohols, like mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol, too. They can be found in sugar-free foods, but are still a type of carbohydrate and can make your blood sugar swing. Also, drink less alcohol, as it might swing your numbers too far in either direction, too.

Monitoring your numbers can help you stay within the target range. It's best to check at least once a day, and before or after meals and exercise. Keeping a record also helps your doctor see where things stand and how these affect your blood sugar.

Cut out stress, as studies show it can alter your blood glucose level. Get a good night's sleep, because if your circadian rhythm, your body's biological clock, is out of sync, it could throw your blood sugar off. And exercise, as it lowers blood sugar, even if you don't lose any excess weight.