Live a Low-Glucose Lifestyle What you eat plays a critical role in preventing, managing, or even reversing diabetes. The most important thing to know is that diets high in starchy or sugary foods, and drinks with added sugars or even fruit sugars, promote high fasting blood sugar and lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, and an increased risk of diabetes. Opt instead for whole foods and a Mediterranean or modified low-carb diet that effectively reduce blood glucose and help keep your blood sugar on an even keel. Exercise can also help you to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.When we engage in physical activity, our muscles require more energy in the form of blood sugar.This lowers the amount of glucose circulating in your blood. But you don’t need to become a gym rat to experience the metabolic perks of physical activity. Research in the journal Diabetologia found that brief snack-sized portions of exercise throughout the day may control blood glucose levels better than spending an uninterrupted hour on the treadmill. Bottom line is, no matter what you choose, just get moving. Monitor your steps and take up an activity or group class—it can do wonders for your stress levels as well as your blood glucose. Blood Sugar Balancing Supplements While diet and exercise can go a long way toward keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range, the following supplements can help normalize glucose swings. This is especially important if you are insulin resistant or at a high risk of type 2 diabetes. Bitter melon is a fruit that contains several substances that encourage the body to use carbohydrates in the way nature intended. This helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Research suggests that bitter melon works just as well or is more effective than some prescription diabetes drugs. Studies show that bitter melon improves the ability of cells to be sensitive—rather than resistant—to insulin. Animal and human research also shows that bitter melon works somewhat like insulin, enhancing the delivery of blood sugar. And, compounds in the fruit activate a protein that regulates glucose metabolism in much the same way exercise does. While diet and exercise can go a long way toward keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range, supplements can help normalize glucose swings. MEN’S HEALTH 9