Control Blood Sugar Swings

Five steps to avoid ups and downs and stay in control

woman sleeping

Many things during the course of your day cause your blood sugar to rise or fall. It’s important to remember that you can manage most of these factors and keep in balance.

Don’t skip meals
Your body needs a steady supply of fuel. Missing meals may send your blood sugar and energy levels tumbling, which can leave you feeling tired and hungry. Start by having breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up. Spread your food intake evenly over the day to control your blood sugar levels. It may help to eat five small meals, spaced a few hours apart.

Be careful with caffeine
Caffeine in coffee, tea, or soft drinks may affect blood sugar levels in some people. Limit your caffeine to about 200 mg per day. That’s about 2 cups of brewed coffee or four sodas. Try making a gradual switch from caffeinated to decaffeinated. Check the label on over-the-counter pain relievers, which sometimes contain caffeine.

Exercise smart
Being active helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. Get up and move at least 30 minutes a day. Brisk walking is a good option, or indoor aerobic exercise if weather keeps you indoors. Have a snack before exercise, and check blood sugar levels before and after to monitor how your body reacts. Talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.

Get your sleep
Sleep is important for maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that if you get less than 6 hours of sleep, you are more likely to have high blood sugar levels. Stick to a regular nighttime routine, keep your bedroom dark and cool, and nix caffeine or alcohol near bedtime.

Cut back on fat
Too much saturated fat can lead to weight gain, which may make it more difficult to manage your blood sugar levels. Choose lean cuts of meat, and cook with canola or olive oil. Go for small amounts of healthy fats, found in nuts, avocados, and fish.