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What is High Glucose?

Fasting blood glucose is part of a routine blood test. What does it mean if your fasting glucose is high? Learn what to do to lower fasting glucose.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
Episode #113

4 Ways to Lower Your Glucose Levels

There are several things you can do to help lower your fasting glucose levels.

  1. Lose weight, if you need to. People who are carrying around a lot of extra body fat are generally less able to clear sugar from their blood into their cells. That means less energy for the cells and chronically high blood sugar. This is especially true if your fat tends to accumulate around your middle as opposed to in your butt. In his article on Type 2 diabetes, Dr. Rob explains the mechanics of insulin resistance. But the solution is to get serious about taking off excess weight. At the beginning of this year, I did a five-part series on how to find the best diet. If you need to take off some weight, start by reading that series.

  2. Get more exercise. Exercise helps to make your cells more sensitive to the effects of insulin, which keeps your blood sugar from creeping up. Exercise also helps with weight loss. If you need some tips and inspiration, check out Get Fit Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Slim Down and Shape Up.   Ben was voted Personal Trainer of the Year but you can get his great tips and advice free right here on the Quick and Dirty Tips website.

  3.  Go longer between meals.   One problem with the current trend of eating mini-meals every two or three hours is that your blood sugar really never gets an opportunity to return to baseline. (The other problem is that people’s mini meals tend not to be quite mini enough and people end up eating too many calories!). As I explained in my article “How Often Should You Eat?”going longer between meals can help you maintain healthier blood sugar control.

  4. Avoid high glycemic foods.  A diet high in sweets, pastries, white bread, fruit juice, and soda promotes blood sugar problems. A low-glycemic diet, on the other hand, not only helps prevent blood sugar issues, it can help repair them. Don’t worry, a low-glycemic diet is nothing new. It’s the same old thing I talk about week after week: plenty of vegetables, nuts, beans, and other protein foods, moderate amounts of whole grains and fruit, and not too much sugar or junk food. Below, you’ll find links to some more resources on planning a low glycemic diet. 

 

What Else Can Cause a High Glucose Reading?

Finally, it’s possible that your wake-up call may have been a false alarm. Maybe you had some coffee before the test, which can elevate your blood sugar. Some prescription drugs can elevate your fasting blood sugar, including certain antidepressants, heart medications, hormone replacement therapy, and birth control pills. Although diabetes (or pre-diabetes) is the most common cause of high blood sugar, there are also other medical conditions that can elevate your numbers. And sometimes, blood tests are just wrong.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to repeat any abnormal blood test, just to be sure. But I suggest you take my advice to heart, no matter what. Even if future blood tests show normal glucose readings, the healthy habits I’ve outlined above will help keep them that way.

This is Monica Reinagel, reminding you that these tips are for your information but are not intended as medical advice. Please work with your health professional to determine what’s right for you.

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Have a great week and remember to eat something good for me! 

RESOURCES:  

What is Type 2 Diabetes (House Call Doctor)

Finding the Best Diet (NutritionDiva)

What’s a Low Glycemic Diet? (Nutrition Data blog)

Glycemic Index of Common Foods (Harvard Health Publications)

Quick and Dirty Tips to Slim Down and Shape Up (Get Fit Guy)

Glucose image courtesy of Shutterstock

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About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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