Contrary to what some people think, there is no “magic bullet” to control blood sugar levels. But there is a combination of good habits that you can easily adopt to manage your sugar levels and stay healthy. Good diet and exercise are what you need to accomplish this.
The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) reported that one out of every three Americans has pre-diabetes. This condition, occurring when your blood sugar is higher than its supposed to be, can obviously lead to Diabetes 2 if it remains unchecked.
Fortunately, it is controllable if you just take the time to eat wisely and exercise regularly. Bear in mind that at the time of this writing, there are multiple studies on a number of these foods as to their effect on blood sugar. Depending on the findings, their levels of effectiveness are subject to change (so you always want to monitor the most recent studies).
Let’s get started.
1. Bitter Melon
Most people are unfamiliar with this fruit (prevalent in many Asian and Indian cuisines), and it is an acquired taste. There are several compounds in bitter melon that may have properties lowering glucose levels including polypeptide P, vicine, and momordin and charantin, which are glycosides.
A 2011 pu
blication and a 2013 review showed that cinnamon helps in reducing fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, and “bad” LDL cholesterol while raising “good” HDL cholesterol. Keep in mind that there are different types of cinnamon with various properties, so talk to your doctor before supplementing with cinnamon extracts.
Nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids that are important for a healthy blood sugar eating plan. The protein in the nuts help keep blood sugar stable, while the fiber helps with weight control by helping us feel full. They also help lower insulin resistance which is a condition where the body’s cells don’t respond to the insulin that our bodies make.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
Practically all leafy green vegetables are healthy, delicious, and are good for a blood sugar diet plan. But those rich in magnesium – kale, collards, spinach, and romaine lettuce – function like a super nutrient once ingested. This is no surprise as magnesium is a critical mineral to support various health functions.
If you are looking for a high-protein meal that can significantly reduce cardiovascular risks while helping maintain a healthy glucose level, legumes are a great way to go. As a preventative measure, which everyone should be doing, beans are a cost effective and common sense option…and delicious too.
65% of people with affected by diabetes end up dying from a stroke or heart attack. That being said, salmon is a great option not only for its protein content but also its omega-3 fatty acid content which helps to maintain a healthy heart.
This is a very strong spice that can be taken as a tea or used to flavor a number of recipes. According to a study it can help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and 2 diabetes. The fiber in the fenugreek seed helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates. It also contains a number of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Most of us are familiar with this spice, as we use it to flavor our foods. It also helps manage blood sugar levels according to a 2012 study. There is a risk of bad breath however, but supplements are available in capsule form. Be sure to talk to your doctor for recommended dosage (as with any supplements).
9. Blueberries, Blackberries, And Cherries
Fruits that are blue, purple, or red-skinned have the highest concentrations of anthrocyanins which improve insulin sensitivity and directly affect blood sugar immediately after a meal. According to a 2010 study, a group of pre-diabetic people suffering from obesity increased their insulin sensitivity after six weeks of drinking blueberry smoothies twice a day.
Last but not least, drinking a little apple cider mixed with water before a meal helps increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar spikes after eating starchy foods. This seems to work well for people with pre-diabetes as well as diabetes 2 according to a study published in Diabetes Care.