High blood sugar puts you at risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, and even developing mental disorders. Thankfully, this condition is manageable and preventable.
Taking the required steps to control blood sugars doesn’t mean depriving yourself of certain foods; it means eating healthy. Balancing your diet will not only lower your blood sugar levels but also improve your mood and boost your energy.
Whether you’re trying to control or prevent diabetes, nutrition plays a key role. You need to pay close attention to your food choices, especially carbohydrates.
In this article, we have listed some of the best food to help you manage your blood sugar levels.
Oat Bran and Oatmeal
With a Glycemic Index score of 55 and lower, Oats are less likely to cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
It also contains B-glucans, which is responsible for the following:
• Improve insulin sensitivity
• Helps in maintaining glycemic control
• Balances glucose and insulin response after meals
• Reduces blood lipids
Sixteen studies carried out in 2015 reported that oats have a beneficial effect on controlling lipid and glucose profiles in people with type 2 diabetes. Although there’s still a need for more research on the impact of oatmeal consumption on people suffering from type 1 diabetes.
However, if you’re diabetic, it’s wise to monitor your oat intake because 1 cup of Oatmeal or Oat bran contains about 28 grams of carbs.
For years’ garlic has been a popular spice and a special ingredient in traditional medicines treating diabetes and other conditions. Garlic can be eaten raw, added to food as a spice, or added in desserts.
Garlic contains compounds that can help lower blood sugar by reducing insulin resistance and secretion.
In a 2013 study, 60 patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity ingested metformin alone and a combination of metformin and garlic twice a day after meals for 12 weeks. It was reported that the patients who took a combination of metformin and garlic had a significant reduction in their fasting blood and post-meal sugar levels spikes.
Although most fruits can raise your blood sugar, some like cherries have a lower GI score.
Sour cherries contain a chemical known as anthocyanin, which may protect you against diabetes and obesity. According to studies, food rich in anthocyanin may help in supporting the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Instead of consuming lots of bananas and apples, why don’t you try out sour cherries? Use cherries regularly to balance your blood sugar levels.
Almond and other nuts
Almond helps in regulating and reducing spikes in blood sugar levels after consuming a diet and prevents diabetes.
Research shows that consuming 2 ounces of almonds daily might lower fasting blood sugar and lipids. One study suggested that the consumption of almonds could increase insulin sensitivity in people suffering from prediabetes.
Almonds primarily consist of fiber. They have inconsiderable amounts of carbs; therefore, their GI score is 0. Most nuts also have a GI score ranging from 0 to 20, with cashew nut having 20. So, when you’re hungry, try to eat nuts like walnuts and macadamias instead of other snacks.
Apple Cider Vinegar contains acetic acid, which reduces specific enzymes in the stomach. Based on a scientific report by the American Diabetes Association, apple cider vinegar might improve insulin sensitivity. Drink about 20 grams of apple cider vinegar in 40 grams’ water before you eat your meal to reduce fluctuation in blood sugar.
Cold-water Fish in your diets
A fish has high levels of proteins but lacks carbohydrates, meaning its GI score is 0. So, consuming it might be very helpful in managing and preventing diabetes.
Results obtained from 33, 704 Norwegian women over five years, suggested that eating 75-100 grams of Pollock, haddock, saithe every day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Whole grains like millet and quinoa have higher amounts of fiber, nutrients, and phytochemicals that can help to lower blood sugar. According to a report published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, whole grain consumption helps in improving insulin sensitivity.
Next time you go shopping, search for whole grain and their products instead of refined grains that have a higher amount of carbohydrates.
Leafy green vegetables are very nutritious and are low in calories. They also have moderate amounts of carbohydrates, so they can’t cause a huge spike in your blood sugar levels.
Kale, Spinach and other leafy greens are perfect sources of minerals and vitamin C.
Vitamin C is important for people suffering from diabetes. A study concluded that vitamin C ingestion reduces inflammations, free radicals, and fasting blood sugars in people with high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
A green vegetable is also an excellent source of antioxidants like Lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration, which is quite common in people suffering from high blood sugar and diabetes complications.
Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Normal potatoes have a high GI score than yams and sweet potatoes.
Yams and sweet potatoes are also very nutritious. One research reported that the flesh of sweet potatoes comprises more fiber than the skin, which is an excellent sign that whole vegetables might be very beneficial to people with fluctuating blood sugar and to those people suffering from diabetes.
Try using legumes like peas, dried beans, and lentils because of their IG score is very low. Legumes are also an excellent source of nutrients, which help in balancing spiking blood sugar levels.
These nutrients comprise:
• Complex carbohydrates
Be Smart About Sweets
Having high blood sugar or being diabetic doesn’t mean you eliminate sugars. You can still enjoy sugar in your favorite dessert now and then, but you have to learn how to moderate yourself.
- Reduce your sugar intake gradually to give your taste buds time to adjust and adapt.
- Reduce your carb intake because they contain lots of sugars.
- Consume healthy fats, because fats lower your digestive process, meaning your blood sugar levels won’t spike rapidly. No! Don’t go for donuts, try out healthy fats like ricotta cheese, yogurt, nuts, and peanut butter.
- Eat sweets with meals, instead of eating them alone as a snack. When sweets are eaten alone, they cause an instant spike of blood sugar, which isn’t healthy. But when you consume sweets with other food, the other food will help lower the digestion process, and sugar won’t spike so rapidly.
Including healthy food like Oatmeal, leafy greens, almonds, cold-fish, whole grains, and legumes in your diet will help you lower your blood sugar level.
You should reduce your sugar intake progressively, give your body time to adjust. Always monitor your blood sugar levels, too low blood sugars might induce hypoglycemia.
Also, don’t forget to exercise its important in reducing weight and improving insulin sensitivity.
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