Filling your refrigerator with nutritious foods that may lower blood sugar may make it easier to make healthy choices.
You may have heard that there are certain foods to avoid with high blood sugar. Did you know that there are also foods that lower blood sugar? It's true. If you're looking for natural ways to lower blood sugar, these healthy, great-tasting foods may help.
Whether they're chickpeas, lentils, black beans, or peas, legumes are a top source of soluble fiber, a special kind of fiber that may help reduce blood sugar. Try them as a replacement for meat in chili, sloppy Joes, or tacos.
Love pasta? Enjoy yours with a side salad drizzled with apple cider vinaigrette. Apple cider vinegar provides acetic acid, which slows the action of digestive enzymes that break down starches. As a result, the sugars contained in those starches are released into your system more gradually.
It's easy to assume blood sugar control is all about carbs, but the type of fat you consume matters, too. Monounsaturated fat from foods such as avocados, olives, and walnuts, has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity and lower fasting blood sugar. Try one quarter of an avocado, mashed, in place of mayonnaise on a roast chicken or turkey sandwich.
Craving a crunchy snack? Opt for rye crackers. Just two crackers deliver roughly 5 grams of fiber, according to the USDA Food Composition Database. Top yours with hummus for an additional boost of fiber and protein.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with magnesium, a mineral that helps your body regulate blood glucose levels. One quarter cup of these crunchy seeds delivers approximately 191 milligrams of magnesium. Sprinkle two tablespoons' worth over your morning cereal or yogurt for a quick magnesium boost.
Oats may be an especially good choice if you have diabetes as they're one of the few foods that contain beta-glucans, a slowly digested soluble fiber that some research suggests may lower cholesterol and improve diabetes control. Sprinkle your bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, another potential blood sugar reducer, for a healthy burst of flavor.
Up to 90 percent of us have diets low in chromium, a mineral that helps your cells use insulin. Broccoli, apples, potatoes, and turkey breast are all good sources.
In addition to eating more of these foods that lower blood sugar, don't forget to pay attention to what you drink. Sipping more water may be a natural way to balance blood sugar. Some research even suggests that drinking a daily liter of water can reduce the risk of developing high blood sugar by 21 percent. Add a few orange slices and sprigs of fresh mint for a low-calorie, naturally sweetened flavor kick.
By Karen Ansel, MS, RDN
American Diabetes Association, Fats
Prevention.com, Fight Your Diabetes With Fat
USDA Food Composition Database, Rye Crackers
MedlinePlus, Magnesium in Diet
USDA Food Composition Database, Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, dried
Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, Fiber
American Diabetes Association, Cinnamon May Help Lower Blood Glucose Levels in Type 2 Diabetes
University of Maryland Medical Center, Chromium
National Institutes of Health, Chromium
MedlinePlus, Chromium in Diet
Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, Chromium
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.