People with diabetes can significantly benefit from changing their eating habits. A healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to manage blood sugar levels. Consuming foods that can be slowly and easily absorbed by the body prevents blood sugar levels from dipping or spiking.
Your diet plan should include more fruits, vegetables, spices and foods that are low in carbohydrates to manage your blood sugar levels.
Here are seven powerful foods that can help manage blood sugar and enhance your overall health:
Cinnamon is a fragrant and tasty spice that is loaded with antioxidant properties. Aside from adding a flavorful taste to numerous meals, it also offers plenty of health benefits.
Studies have found that cinnamon can enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce the levels of blood sugar. The long-term control of diabetes is usually determined with the measurement of hemoglobin A1c that reflects the average level of blood sugar from the span of two to three months.
Another research analysis concluded that cinnamon also assists in lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Adding a dash of cinnamon to your meals or making cinnamon tea may help in managing the blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.
Whether you eat it raw or cook it in your meals, garlic offers many health benefits. Studies have concluded that garlic has properties that reduce blood sugar, inflammation, and LDL cholesterol in type 2 diabetics.
It has also been found to reduce blood pressure levels. One study found a 10-point blood pressure decrease among individuals with unmanaged high blood pressure after taking aged garlic for three months.
A clove of raw garlic only contains one gram of carbs and four calories that can help in maintaining a healthy weight, depending on your diet.
3. Fatty Fish
It is a known fact that one of the best additions to a healthy diet is fatty fish, including mackerel, anchovies, herring, sardines, and salmon. They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for diabetics to consume on a regular basis to reduce their risk of stroke and heart disease.
Aside from melons and pineapples, the majority of the fruits have lower GI (Glycemic Index) scores of about 55 or less. The GI score is the carbohydrate ranking in foods as per the way they impact blood glucose levels.
The low GI scores in these fruits is low because they hold a high amount of fiber and water to balance out the high amount of fructose, the natural sugar in fruits.
However, once the fruits start ripening, there is an increase in the GI scores. Juices, even freshly squeezed, have a high score of GI as juicing eliminates the seeds and fibrous skins.
A study found that individuals consuming whole fruits, particularly strawberries, apples, grapes, and blueberries, drastically reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the risk increased with the consumption of fruit juices.
Strawberries, in particular, are a great source of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidants. Theseanthocyanins are known to decrease insulin and cholesterol levels after the consumption of a meal. These antioxidants have also been found to improve the levels of blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart diseases in type 2 diabetes.
5. Greek Yogurt
For diabetics, Greek yogurt is a good dairy option, especially for blood glucose management. It has been found to assist in the management of blood sugar and decrease the risk of heart disease, mostly because of its probiotic. It has also been found to assist in the weight loss of type 3 diabetic individuals.
6. Leafy Greens
Vegetables are undoubtedly a great addition to a healthy diet as they are not only full of nutritional value but also contain low calories. Leafy green vegetables, in particular, have a lower concentration of digestible carbohydrates that usually increase levels of blood sugar, making them beneficial for diabetic persons or those watching their blood sugar.
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are also a great source of minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin C. One study found that including more vitamin C-containing foods in one’s diet can lower inflammatory markers and help with the management of the fasting blood sugar level for type 2 diabetics.
Additionally, leafy greens are loaded with antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants are known to prevent the eyes from developing cataracts and macular degeneration – two of the most common complications in diabetes.
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are another excellent food option for diabetics as they contain a lowamount of digestible carbs and a high amount of fiber. 28 grams of chia seeds include 12 grams of carbs, from which 11 grams are fiber content that won’t increase blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds can also assist in promoting a healthy weight balance since fiber decreases hunger, keeping you “full” for longer. Moreover, fiber has been found to reduce the amount of calories absorbed by the body from a meal. Another study found that chia seeds may also reduce inflammatory markers and blood pressure.
Blood sugar management is integral in controlling diabetes and reducing the risk of other diseases. Increasing the consumption of these foods can assist in keeping your blood sugar levels in check as well ashelp you in controlling inflammation and insulin.
Along with incorporating these foods into your diet, it is essential to continue taking the medication prescribed to you by your doctor in order to manage your diabetes.
Regularly measure your blood sugar and consult your doctor to devise a healthy diet plan as per your condition and requirements. The more informed you are about diabetes and blood sugar management, the better you will be able to take care of yourself. Don’t forget to check out our Hydrate and Regulate Blood Sugar EBook to learn more.