7 Simple Strategies to Buffer Blood Sugar Levels

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buffer blood sugar levels

7 Strategies to Buffer Blood Sugar Levels

Stabilizing your blood sugar levels is an important component to a healthy lifestyle.  Sweet foods and starches are not genetically congruent to eat on a regular basis.   Our ancestors looked at these as rare delicacies.   Most people in our society today are raised on a steady diet of sugars, grains and other starches.  In this article you will discover 7 simple strategies to buffer blood sugar levels so you can have all day energy!

Foods are measured for their effect on blood sugar through the Glycemic Index (GI).  The GI ranges from 0-100.  Foods that have a GI index under 55 are considered low GI.  A range of 56-69 is considered medium GI while 70+ is considered high.  It is recommended to eat foods that are low GI and utilize different strategies to lower and/or buffer these GI responses in your body (1).

Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load:

Another way of ranking the blood sugar response of different foods is through the Glycemic Load (GL).  The GL measures how long the food will release sugar into the system.  Many foods may be high GI but low GL.  This is important to know in order to regulate your blood sugar levels.

An example of this would be fruit such as watermelon.  Other foods are low GI but high GL such as oatmeal which releases sugar into the system for an extended period of time.  This causes a slow increase in blood sugar levels

A GL of 20 or more is high, a GL of 11-19 is medium and a GL of 10 or less is low.  High GL foods are inflammatory in nature so it is advisable to stick with foods that are low GI and GL as much as possible or use advanced strategies to buffer the glycemic response in the body (2).

Follow A Healing Diet

There are many versions of what a healing diet is all over the internet.  I teach my clients a few foundational principles involved in this.  The first thing to focus on is to avoid processed foods and instead choose real foods that come from nature or are as natural as possible.  These foods will naturally have a lower glycemic index and load and be more supportive to stable blood sugar levels.

The 3 key steps to balance our blood sugar with diet include getting rid of sugar and grains.  This is obvious since sugars, grains and starches are what increase our blood sugar when we eat them.  The next thing is to get rid of inflammatory fatty acids such as processed vegetables oils (corn, canola, soybean, safflower, peanut, etc.) and eat more good fats such as avocados, coconut fats, grass-fed butter and olives/olive oil.

Finally, the last change is to stop eating conventional meat that is raised in poor conditions and fed grains.  Instead, grass-fed, organic and pasture-raised animal products are significantly higher in nutrient density and lower in environmental toxins. With fish, we are looking for wild-caught rather than farm raised.  Getting the right animal products makes a big difference in our bodies production of inflammation and our ability to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Simple Strategies to Improve Blood Sugar Levels

These 7 simple strategies, help our bodies to improve their ability to stabilize our blood sugar and keep us from having a blood sugar imbalance.  These strategies are great to apply on a daily basis and especially useful to do if you are consuming a higher carbohydrate meal.

If I am going to have a sugary dessert, I always apply 2-3 of these strategies in order to get the best synergistic effect for keeping my blood sugar stable.  Give these a shot and let us know in the comments box which of these you feel the best with.

1.  Use Lemon:

The citric acid in lemon helps to buffer the release of blood sugar (3).  Additionally, the antioxidants and trace minerals within lemon help to improve insulin signaling, boost liver function and stabilize blood sugar.

Squeeze a lemon on as many foods as possible and drink it fresh squeezed in purified water.  A great idea is to have warm, lemon water in the morning or have a warm herbal tea with a squeeze of lemon to start your day!

2.  Use Apple Cider Vinegar   

Vinegar is very high in acetic acid.  This acid has been shown to reduce the glycemic response of a typical carbohydrate based meal by 31% (4).

Another study reduced a carbohydrate meal from a typical glycemic index of 100 to 64 (5).  Apple cider vinegar (ACV) also provides enzymes, probiotics and trace minerals that enhance blood sugar signaling.  Use ACV on as many foods as possible.  You can also take 1-2 tbsps. of ACV in water about 30 minutes before your higher carbohydrate meal to keep your blood sugar as stable as possible.

3.  Use Fermented Foods  

This would include coconut kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, & kimchi.  Raw, grass-fed fermented dairy such as yogurt, kefir & raw cheese.

These foods have a natural acid to slow the release of blood sugar and they provide enzymes, probiotics and other bioactive nutrients that enhance blood sugar signaling.  Use a variety of different fermented foods every day (6).

Fermented Foods, Top 10 Best Fermented Foods to Heal Your Gut

4.  Use Cinnamon:

Cinnamon has been shown to reduce gastric emptying rate, improve insulin receptor sensitivity and inhibit enzymes that inactivate insulin receptors (7).

Cinnamon is also an extremely powerful antioxidant potential that prevents inflammatory conditions that damage cell membranes and insulin receptors.  Cinnamon works great on starchy vegetables and on fruit.  Be sure to use it whenever you consume things like dessert recipes, fruit (just sprinkle on your apple or banana) and sweet potatoes.

5.  Do Air Squats:

Inactivity can cause blood sugar levels to become imbalanced. Stimulating your system with an intense exercise like squats helps to burn up stored sugar and stimulate anti-aging hormones that make you feel good.  Next time you are craving sugar, do 20-50 air squats before doing anything else.  If you are fit, you can do jump squats to really burn up the stored sugar in your system.

This is also a good idea before consuming anything with carbs.  Squats are one of the best exercises for using up stored sugar your muscles (glycogen) and helping the body to buffer any increase in sugar or carbohydrate intake for the next 2 hours.

Try to get deep with your squats, but if you have hip or knee issues than you could try doing a half squat with an overhead press (grab some cans or light dumbbells’).  Even better, you can do Super Brain Yoga which involves air squats done in such a way to improve your brain.

6.  High Quality Multi-Vitamin with Chromium:

High quality, bioavailable multi-vitamins help the body by supplying tons of easily absorbable trace minerals and B vitamins that are critical for healthy blood sugar levels.  One such nutrient is chromium which both increases the production and activates the glucose transport molecule GLUT-4 (8).

Chromium activates GLUT-4 to shift its location from deep within the cell to a position on the cell membrane.  This opens a window in the cell that allows glucose to flow into the cell through a concentration gradient where it can be metabolized for energy while lowering circulating blood sugar to stable levels (9).

You want a minimum of 125-250 mcg of chromium to get a desirable blood sugar balancing effect.  Most multi-vitamins do not contain anywhere near this amount.  I recommend taking 1-2 caps of high energy support with each meal depending upon how many carbohydrates in your meal.

blood sugar levels

7.  Insulin Manager:

This is an elite product for blood sugar sensitivity. I put all my people with blood sugar levels that are highly unstable on insulin manager taking 1-2 caps with each meal depending upon the carbohydrate content of the meal.

This formula has meticulously selected herbs, vitamins and minerals designed to stabilize blood sugar levels. It also contains high-potency antioxidants to reduce inflammation and improve insulin, leptin and cortisol sensitivity in the body.

This product is like a prescription medication without the side effects.  It has a much stronger blood sugar stabilizing effect over multi-vitamins and isolated herbs and nutrients.  Insulin manager is formulated with an emphasis on healthy cell membranes and insulin, leptin and cortisol receptor sensitivity.

Key nutrients include mega doses of chromium, biotin, thiamine, niacine,  Gymnema sylvestre extract, Fenugreek extract, Bitter Gourd extract and Vanadium.  These nutrients synergize to have an incredibly powerful blood sugar regulating effect.  I ONLY recommend this for my clients with poor blood sugar signaling patterns.

blood sugar levels

Best Ways to Test Your Blood Sugar Levels

Working with a functional medicine or nutrition practitioner to monitor your metabolism can be a game changer for your health. There are a number of blood sugar and metabolism markers that can be observed to determine the current state of your health.

Upon receiving these values, it is possible to create a really solid plan to get your body back in balance based on your lifestyle choices.  In this article, I discuss the main labs to look at blood sugar metabolism which include analyzing your fasting plasma glucose, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), fasting insulin, lactose dehydrogenase (LDH), C Reactive Protein (CRP) and HbA1C.

blood sugar levels

Inflammation Crushing Ebundle

The Inflammation Crushing Ebundle is designed to help you improve your brain, liver, immune system and discover the healing strategies, foods and recipes to burn fat, reduce inflammation and Thrive in Life!

As a doctor of natural medicine, I have spent the past 20 years studying the best healing strategies and worked with hundreds of coaching clients, helping them overcome chronic health conditions and optimize their overall health.

In our Inflammation Crushing Ebundle, I have put together my very best strategies to reduce inflammation and optimize your healing potential.  Take a look at what you will get inside these valuable guides below!

gut lining, Top 12 Nutrients and Herbs to Heal a Leaky Gut Lining 

Sources For This Article Include:

1. The 3 R’s of Glycemic Index: Recommendations, Research, and the Real World Link Here
2. Foster-Powell K, Holt SH, Brand-Miller JC. International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;76(1):5-56. PMID: 12081815
3. Radulian G, Rusu E, Dragomir A, Posea M. Metabolic effects of low glycaemic index diets. Nutr J. 2009 Jan 29;8:5. PMID: 19178721
4. Brighenti F, Castellani G, Benini L, Casiraghi MC, Leopardi E, Crovetti R, Testolin G. Effect of neutralized and native vinegar on blood glucose and acetate responses to a mixed meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 Apr;49(4):242-7. PMID: 7796781
5. Liljeberg H, Björck I. Delayed gastric emptying rate may explain improved glycaemia in healthy subjects to a starchy meal with added vinegar. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1998 May;52(5):368-71. PMID: 9630389
6. Kim EK, An SY, Lee MS, Kim TH, Lee HK, Hwang WS, Choe SJ, Kim TY, Han SJ, Kim HJ, Kim DJ, Lee KW. Fermented kimchi reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight and obese patients. Nutr Res. 2011 Jun;31(6):436-43. PMID: 21745625
7. Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003 Dec;26(12):3215-8. PMID: 14633804
8. Chen G, Liu P, Pattar GR, Tackett L, Bhonagiri P, Strawbridge AB, Elmendorf JS. Chromium activates glucose transporter 4 trafficking and enhances insulin-stimulated glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes via a cholesterol-dependent mechanism. Mol Endocrinol. 2006 Apr;20(4):857-70. PMID: 16339278
9. Qiao W, Peng Z, Wang Z, Wei J, Zhou A. Chromium improves glucose uptake and metabolism through upregulating the mRNA levels of IR, GLUT4, GS, and UCP3 in skeletal muscle cells. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2009 Nov;131(2):133-42. PMID: 19283340
Probiotics, Probiotics: Benefits, Categories, and Protocols
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  1. How would you know if you are experiencing hypoglycemia from the pill and how could you prevent that from happening?

    1. Great question Jenn. If you are feeling irritable, light headed, nausea, have low energy, hunger and/or cravings. We like to say, keep your HEC in check. Hunger Energy Cravings.

  2. Dr. Jockers,

    I am trying to assist a family member avoid taking type 2 diabetes medicine recently prescribed. The first blood test they had, the fasting blood sugar was 220, three weeks later with a drastic diet change with adding supplements . No white food products, no processed foods. Fresh vegetables, limited fruits, added healthy fats nuts, and oils. They had another test today and it was 145 fasting blood sugar. They also lost 8 ibs in the three weeks. We know we need to keep tweaking the diet and add more excercise. My family membe’rs Dr. was not impressed with the 75 point drop in the blood sugar levels and pressured them into taking the prescription meds. I am reading and researching as much as I can to try and improve our lifestyle so that they do not have to take these prescriptions. If you have any resources that you could direct us to further I would greatly appreciate it! I have purchased Suzy Cohen’s RPH book entitled Diabetes without Drugs and that has been helpful. I feel like we are making good progress but after their visit today they feel like it was not enough and they are not. Thank you for all you share for better health!

    Kindest Regards,
    Michele Burns

  3. Good evening, dr Jockers!
    I want to ask You can children use “insulin manager” ? Now my doughter ‘s blood sugar is ok…she is 9 years old . After meal it’s about 9 mmol/L. We use bitter melon … We have reccomendation for chromium and vanadium .
    Thank you very much!

  4. I love your articles. They are very informative. I see lots of articles, from different sources, pertaining to diabetes, which I keep because my husband is diabetic, but I would really like to see something on the other end of the spectrum for hypoglycemia, which I am.

    I control my hypoglycemia with diet, no sugar, no processed foods, no caffeine, no grains (except oatmeal), no wheat, no white foods, etc., but once in awhile I’ll have a cookie. I would just like to know more about it.

  5. I too would like to know more if this or what would help when you have been dealing with hypoglycemia for many years? Can’t help but stress when disability check each month isn’t enough cover necessity bills rent lights etc. & buy healthy esp organic foods but trying my best stick to Keto Zone Diet drop down 2 more stubborn lose sizes!😀

    1. Hey Dawn, these strategies may help! Exogenous ketones or a ketogenic diet may also be helpful to provide an alternative fuel source and restore blood sugar regulation over time!

  6. I am type 2 diabetic with hi blood, both have maintenance like metformin (2000) simvastatin(10mg), amlodopine(10mg). i read a lot of your post especially about diabetes. Oftentimes i ask myself if i can try your supplements and take less of my maintenance, any doctors here doesnt agree to stop even lessen my medication. i want to be back to normal like take supplements, eat healthy diet..etc.
    Is there a way i can do it? Many thanks for replying and appreciate so much your time and effort!

  7. Dr. J! My hero! But hey now, I’m kinda surprised you glossed over the breath on the brain squats! I think you exhaled coming up but it’s always good to talk about and link the breath, as you know. From what you’re doing it’s a bit counter intuitive. Going down or contracting is usually exhaling, rising or expanding is inhaling – better mobility and use of oxygen.

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