Foods That Lower Blood Sugar And Help You Regulate Your Diet
What is The Glycemic Index?
Studies have shown that there are some foods that raise blood sugar, while others actually help regulate blood sugar levels and promote overall health.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a tool for assisting with food choices. It is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or quickly they impact blood glucose levels. Foods are only assigned a GI value if they contain carbs.
The GI ranks foods on a scale of 0 to 100. Foods with lower GI scores are the best for maintaining healthy blood glucose levels.
- Low GI: 1 to 55
- Medium GI: 56 to 69
- High GI: 70 and higher
Some foods with higher GI scores are actually healthy foods that shouldn't be avoided entirely. By pairing these foods with healthy fats, fiber and protein, the body's glycemic response is stabilized.
Foods That Raise Blood Sugar
First let's start with the foods that raise blood sugar. These are the top offenders for causing unhealthy levels of glucose in the blood. They should only be eaten in moderation or as an occasional treat.
- Fast food
- Chips, pretzels and packaged snacks
- Refined carbs like white bread, pasta, crackers and rice
- Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, sports or energy drinks and flavored coffee confections
- Starchy vegetables and french fries
- Flavored yogurt
- Sweetened cereals
- Natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup or agave
- Dried fruits and fruit juices
Fruits and vegetables are definitely diet friendly, but certain ones can include a surprising amount of sugar including bananas, potatoes, pineapples, corn and mangoes. Eat these in moderation or pair them with healthy fats to regulate the blood sugar spike. Try eating apple slices with peanut butter for a snack that will help keep you full without causing your blood glucose to skyrocket.
20 of the Best Foods That Lower Blood Sugar
Whether you have prediabetes, diabetes or simply want to lower your risk of developing these conditions, planning meals based on this list of foods that lower blood sugar will provide a nutritious diet and help reduce your blood sugar levels.
- 1. Apples - leave the skins on for added fiber and slower sugar absorption.
- 2. Avocados - are low in carbs and packed full of healthy fats.
- 3. Berries - a tasty way to boost your antioxidants.
- 4. Broccoli - raw or lightly steamed is best.
- 5. Chia Seeds - expand when moistened and make delicious puddings.
- 6. Citrus Fruits - eat whole fruits instead of juice.
- 7. Eggs - are a powerhouse food in a tiny package. Just one egg a day has been shown to impact blood glucose levels.
- 8. Fermented Foods - kimchi and sauerkraut are a delicious way to boost both gut health and regulate glucose.
- 9. Flax Seeds - consume a combination of whole and ground seeds for the best combination of fiber and healthy fats.
- 10. Fruits - most fruits contain lots of water and fiber to balance out their naturally occurring sugar.
- 11. Kale - is a true superfood. Smoothies are a sneaky way to get more of this powerful green into your diet.
- 12. Legumes - beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils have very low GI and are full of fiber.
- 13. Nuts and Nut Butters - contain B-glucans which can help reduce blood fats and improve insulin levels.
- 14. Oats and Oat Bran - contains curcumin, a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals.
- 15. Okra - contains many antidiabetic compounds.
- 16. Pumpkin - both the seeds and the flesh are full of fiber and antioxidants.
- 17. Seafood - fatty cold water fish provide the most benefits.
- 18. Sweet Potatoes and Yams - eating the skins provides extra fiber
- 19. Whole Wheat or Pumpernickel Bread - have lower GI scores than regular whole wheat bread because they are less processed and high fiber.
- 20. Yogurt and Kefir - look for plain or unflavored varieties to avoid unwanted sugars.
Apple cider vinegar is another helpful addition to your low blood sugar diet. Make homemade salad dressing by combining apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil or add two teaspoons to an eight ounce glass of water for a refreshing daily boost. Cinnamon, green tea and fenugreek are other things that you can consume as part of a sugar busting diet.
How To Best Control Blood Sugar
Controlling blood glucose isn't only about sticking to a list of foods that lower blood sugar. Support good blood sugar levels by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- 1. Exercise regularly
- 2. Limit carbs and choose healthier options
- 3. Don't skip meals
- 4. Increase fiber - the recommended daily intake for women is 25 grams and 38 grams for men
- 5. Choose foods with low glycemic index
- 6. Control stress - stress hormones such as glucagon and cortisol cause blood sugar levels to rise
- 7. Stay hydrated - water helps the kidneys flush out excess sugar
- 8. Portion control - helps keep calories in check and prevents blood sugar spikes
- 9. Supplements - proper levels of chromium and magnesium have been shown to help regulate sugar levels. Sweet Defeat is another product that can help curb your sugar cravings so you can keep your blood sugar under control.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”