Reduce Blood Sugar with Life's Simple 7

Updated:Nov 7,2013

Heart disease and stroke are the No.1 causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes.

What can we do to reduce blood sugar?

  1. Understand Blood Glucose Levels.
    The first step to reducing our blood sugar is to understand what makes our blood sugar levels rise.
    heart.org/diabetes
  • GLUCOSE – The food we eat is turned into glucose (sugar) in the stomach and enters the bloodstream.
  • INSULIN – Produced in the pancreas, insulin’s role is to take sugar (glucose) from the blood into the cells.
  • ENERGY – Insulin helps the body to be able to use glucose for energy.

    In type 2 diabetes glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells because:
    The body develops “insulin resistance” and can’t make efficient use of the insulin it makes,
    OR
    The pancreas loses its capacity to produce insulin.
  1. Learn and Track Your Blood Glucose.
    To learn our blood sugar level, we should have a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test performed by our healthcare provider.

    The American Heart Association recommendation for healthy blood glucose is:

    Blood Glucose  RangeDiagnosisWhat It Means
    <100 mg/dL Normal Healthy range.
    100-125 mg/dLPrediabetes
    (Impaired Fasting Glucose)
    At increased risk.
    126 mg/dL  or more Diabetes Melitus High risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

    The American Heart Association recommends home monitoring for those with high blood sugar to help healthcare providers determine whether treatments are working.
    heart360.org/DiabetesMonitoring

    We can track blood sugar and our efforts to reduce it online with Heart360. And with Heart360 we can even get text reminders and upload readings from a mobile device.
    Heart360.org
  1. Tips For Success:
    Setting realistic goals and making slow changes over time are the best ways to set ourselves up for success, feel our best and live a healthy life.
  • Eat Better. Making healthy food choices, including controlling portion sizes and reading food labels, is an essential step in maintaining a proper body weight and preventing or managing diabetes.
    heart.org/Nutrition
  • Get Active. If we have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, physical activity can have tremendous benefits in controlling the disease and minimizing the negative health consequences.
    heart.org/PhysicalActivity
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight.  One of the first steps to attaining a healthy body weight is speaking with our healthcare provider to assess our current health and physical abilities. Together, we can determine the amount and type of physical activity that is appropriate to help us lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
    heart.org/WeightManagement
  • Take Medication as Directed. Following our healthcare provider's advice is the best way to reach our treatment goals and enjoy the benefits of better health.
    heart.org/DiabetesMedication
  • Quit Smoking.  Having diabetes means we are two to four times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. Add in smoking, and that risk is multiplied.
    heart.org/QuitSmoking
Learn more at heart.org/MyLifeCheck and heart.org/Diabetes.

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