It can be frightening when you first hear your doctor tell you that you have high blood sugar levels or pre-diabetes. Instead of being fearful and feeling helpless, take action and be proactive. Realize that this is an opportunity to make some bold and life-impacting changes. Here is my 4-step naturopathic plan to help.

Step 1 – Dietary Change

Our Western diet is high in sugars, for proof, check the nutrition facts label on your packaged food products. It’s amazing how much extra sugars are added to our foods. Instead, choose products that are ‘unsweetened’ and ideally start preparing your own meals so you know exactly what goes into them. Of course it’s important to cut down on sweets and sugary treats. Don’t sacrifice the flavour, make sure to add flavourful spices to your meals – cumin, coriander, cinnamon, oregano, fennel seeds…many others are great ways to continue to enjoy flavour in your food. Make sure to include protein with each meal as this helps direct your metabolism away from the sugary side. Optimize the high-nutrient dense foods – particularly vibrant coloured vegetables, aim for 4-5 servings, and include low sugar fruits such as berries and melons.

Step 2 – Get Active and Build Muscles

One of the best ways to get your body to burn extra fat and sugars is to exercise. In addition to your cardio-type exercises (jogging, cycling, swimming, brisk walking), don’t forget to include muscle-generating exercises since your muscles burn a higher amount of calories.

Step 3 – Relieve Stress, Reduce Cortisol

People under stress have higher levels of sugar in the blood. It is basic physiology: when stress is high enough to generate adrenaline and cortisol hormones, these hormones trigger elevations in blood sugar. Inadequate sleep can also elevate your stress hormones and elevate your blood sugar levels so it’s important to resolve your insomnia. Examine your stressors and what’s keeping you out of balance and put a plan in place to correct it.

Step 4 – Get Herbal Support

Plants can have very healing qualities. A 2014 German study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that hibiscus, blackberry leaves and elderberries helped reduce the negative effects of elevated glucose in an animal study. Many other plants can help with blood sugar balance including berberine-containing plants (coptidis, barberry, Oregon grape, goldenseal) and the spice fenugreek.


About the Author

Rahim Habib is a registered naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of experience in general family practice. He has a special interest in helping patients comprehensively detoxifying their bodies for preventative and therapeutic benefit. He also has a special interest in children’s health, assisting kids in their learning and behavioural health with conditions such as ADHD, Autism spectrum, asthma, allergies and childhood obesity. He also helps adults with chronic conditions, such as thyroid disorders, infertility, inflammation, obesity, autoimmunity, dementia and cancer care. He is the director of the Four Seasons Naturopathic Clinic for Detoxification and Healing and can be reached at 905-597-7201 or