Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Supplements for Better Blood Sugar Control

You’re sweating like crazy, nauseous, dizzy, and feel weak. Sounds like how you might feel after an intense workout, but it may also be the sign of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. It can happen when your body uses up the sugar in your blood that we get from our food and if gone untreated can lead to diabetes. If you are concerned this could be you, you may want to look into using supplements to keep blood sugar levels more stable.

High blood sugar can do a lot of damage to the body over time and can lead to nerve damage, vision problems, and kidney damage that can lead to eventual kidney failure. Many other disorders go hand in hand with diabetes such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The best way to control blood sugar naturally is by exercising consistently and following a diabetic diet. The diet consists of counting carbohydrates (less than 130 grams a day), limiting fat calories to less than 30% of all calories, and increased amounts of protein and fiber. Carbohydrates should be of the whole grain variety as they are shown to cause less of an increase in blood sugar than white flours. However, sometimes diet just isn’t enough.

For those who are overweight or obese, diabetes could be right around the corner. People who are overweight and at risk for diabetes may want to consider the following supplements that may better regulate blood sugar.

Chromium
This trace element can be found in meats, fish, brown sugar, and whole wheat bread. It is believed to decrease fasting blood glucose (which is blood sugar before eating a meal) insulin levels and Hemoglobin A1C. A1C after a few months of consistent use. A1C and fasting blood glucose are two of the diagnostic criteria used for diagnosing diabetes.

Biotin
This supplement also known as vitamin B7 is also used to help with hair loss and brittle nails. Studies have shown the combination of chromium and biotin may lower blood sugar levels, but not biotin alone.

Cinnamon
Commercial cinnamon found in grocery stores is actually a combination of a few different cinnamons, but cassia cinnamon appears to be the most successful in reducing blood sugar, however some studies have found no effect at all. Side effects are minimal and anywhere between 1 to 6 grams per day is an appropriate dosage.

Diabetic patients are on medications or insulin that should be adequately controlling their blood sugar.  These supplements are not studied in conjunction with diabetic medications and could possibly interact with them. If you think you might be at risk for diabetes, ask your doctor to do a fasting blood sugar screening at your next check-up. I also highly recommend seeing a nutritionist who can tailor your meals to your needs. As the saying goes: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Also Read:

Sugar Free Foods that Raise Blood Sugar

5 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar

Understanding the Glycemic Index

October 11th, 2011

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