Here's Another Reason You'll Want To Keep Your Blood Sugar Low

Keeping your blood sugar at healthy levels is essential for your health — both body and mind — even if you don't have a diabetes diagnosis. Eating too much sugar is linked to a wide array of physical health problems, including type 2 diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, yeast infections, acne, cavities, joint pain, brain fog, bloating, weight gain, and energy crashes.

A January 2021 study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism has shown that high blood sugar is also connected to cognitive decline. Researchers studied blood sugar levels and brain health by looking at data from nearly half a million people ages 40 to 69 using the UK Biobank. They chose people with low to normal blood sugar, normal blood sugar, prediabetes, and diabetes. Low to normal blood sugar levels, measured with a blood test called A1C, had an A1C of less than 5.7 percent, and those with prediabetes or diabetes had an A1C of 5.7 to 6.4 percent. 

People with prediabetes and diabetes were at a significantly higher risk of having dementiaAlzheimer's, cognitive decline, or a lower hippocampal volume. The hippocampus is a part of the brain responsible for learning and memory (via Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology). 

When researchers looked at people with low to normal blood sugar, they found better brain health. So, how do you lower your blood sugar levels?

How to lower blood sugar levels

Nearly half of all Americans have either prediabetes or diabetes, according to the CDC. You can help get your blood sugar levels back to normal or maintain your normal levels with a few strategies.

Avoid sugary foods and foods high in carbs. A 2016 study shows a link between soluble dietary fiber and healthy blood sugar levels. Add high-fiber foods to your daily diet like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. According to the American Diabetes Association, too many carbs can increase your blood sugar levels. Stick to whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

Exercise lowers your blood sugar, so stay active. Your body will use glucose for energy when you exercise instead of storing it (via the American Diabetes Association). Choose something you enjoy — walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling, weight lifting, dancing, or yoga.

Stress can cause high blood sugar (via a 2012 minireview). Lower and manage stress with meditation, yoga, exercise, muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and finding a hobby you enjoy (via WebMD).

Your healthy lifestyle will help lower your blood sugar or maintain a healthy blood sugar level, and you'll want to keep it on the lower side for your brain health.