blood sugar without drugs, extra vegetables, organic food

How is your blood sugar? According to the CDC, 84 million American adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar is elevated but doesn’t reach the threshold for a diagnosis of diabetes (125 mg/dl or higher). Although prediabetes increases your risk for heart disease and stroke as well as diabetes, the progression is not inevitable. It is possible to control your blood sugar without drugs, using attention to diet, exercise and stress management.

Controlling Your Blood Sugar Without Drugs:

Q. I am not a pill person. I do not like taking drugs or even supplements. My doctor has told me I am prediabetic and I need to get my cholesterol under control. Do you have any recommendations how I might be able to do this through my diet?

Change Your Diet:

A. You can make a lot of progress on both fronts by cutting back on sugar and simple carbs and eating lots of non-starchy veggies. You want foods that are low in glycemic load. Adding cinnamon to your coffee grounds, drinking fenugreek tea and using a salad dressing with mustard and vinegar at most meals will also help.

You can learn how to prepare these foods and a number of others (cholesterol-controlling oatmeal, lentil nut loaf and wheat berry salad, for example) in our book, Recipes & Remedies From The People’s Pharmacy.

Pick Up the Pace:

Physical activity can make a significant difference when you want to control your blood sugar without drugs (Yanai et al, Journal of Clinical Medical Research, May 2018). Experts recommend half an hour of moving around (walking, running, gardening, dancing, playing tennis or basketball, etc.) at least five days a week. Find something you love and figure out how to fit it into your schedule so you can stick with it. This can help get cholesterol under control and reduce the risk of premature death as well (Al Rifai et al, American Heart Journal, April 2018; Meseguer Zafra et al, Hipertension y Riesgo Vascular, online April 7, 2018).

Reduce Your Stress:

Psychological stress and anxiety can contribute to poor blood sugar control. These psychological factors also influence cardiovascular health (Mathews et al, Journal of Women’s Health, online Jan. 29, 2018). Checking in with friends, listening to music, connecting with your faith community, spending time in nature or finding other ways that work for you to dispel stress can help your health overall.

You can learn more about nondrug approaches to reversing prediabetes in our Guide to Managing Diabetes.

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  1. Mike hill
    Clearwater florida

    I am diabetic but can control it sometimes with diet n herbs
    I trying to learn to be a vegetarian eating no animal protein , I’ve given up meats for a year and had zero arthritis none at all, March is my birthday month and I decided to eat some steak some muscles chicken breast erotic 30 day span and ended up in ER with a huge gout flareup in my elbow so I’m trying to learn what you eat that is healthy carbs that won’t raise my blood glucose being a diabetic and staying a vegetarian any help will do thank you

  2. Shirley C
    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    A few summers back, I became concerned about a relative’s progressively worse diabetes. I raised the roof and changed the person’s diet in the direction of very low carbs/sugar and increased, moderate to high protein, increased fiber and increased healthy fats. Their numbers improved markedly, to the point that their doctor decreased their meds to 4 days a week from 7, and said they could almost go without if they kept on the new regime. They were already exercising regularly.

    Diet is the MOST important factor. Low carbs is the MOST important part of a healthy diet – probably for everyone, but certainly for diabetes, which is a carbohydrate/sugar mismanagement disease. Let’s get America trim again!

  3. Keith R

    Which meats are not good for diabetics?

  4. Patricia

    It might be a good idea to have a look at the Intensive Dietary Management program practiced by Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist based in Toronto. He emphatically does not consider diabetes to be a chronic, progressive disease – it seems to be that only because the diabetic state is perpetuated by current mainstream treatment. His program attacks the root-cause of diabetes which is that current diets are typically overloaded with carbohydrates which is in turn the result of the last 30 years of bad government advice to eat low fat – disastrous.

  5. david

    A food diary and consult with a dietician are the best way to address the root cause, compulsive over-eating. Watching the way people eat at work and looking at supermarket shopping carts, the problem is severe.

  6. Lauris
    Grenada, west indies

    Good morning, seems it’s is very educational and will lIke to know more, sugar is always spiking, please help, thank you.

  7. Antoon
    New zealand

    I am a type 2 diabetic I would never take doctors prescription medicine I never have and never will. I am 86 years old in 3 months time. I was diagnosed with type 2 diab 20 years ago and have not taken metformin or any other drug. I consider them snake oil because they never cure any sickness. Their side effects are unacceptable tp me.

    To deal with diabetic problems cut down severely glucose producing foods like sugar and grains and associated foods. Vegetables, protein and limited fruits are far better. Walk a lot or other exercises.

  8. Gerry

    Is there a home machine like a blood pressure machine to measure blood sugar and/or cholesterol or does this have to be done in a doctor’s office? I walk half an hour at least every day with my dog and also put cinnamon in my coffee grounds (old fashioned drip pot) but would really like to have some way to measure this at home.

    • John
      Ypsilanti, MI

      You can certainly get a blood sugar monitoring device for the home without a prescription–I just got one (the Bayer Contour Next) from Walmart for 7 dollars (USD) which came with 20 testing strips. However, at a pharmacy 50 testing strips for that model was going to cost me 80 dollars, so I looked online and have ordered 50 for 22 dollars. If you are new to blood sugar testing, I can recommend the ReliOn all-in-one, which comes with 50 testing strips, and then you need to buy a new kit. That one is 20 dollars and works well. It has really helped me get an idea of what my blood sugar was doing in the mornings and when I’ve ‘splurged’ on starchy sweets. There is a lot of information online if you have questions.

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