According to the latest research, approximately 34.2 million Americans (that’s 10.5 percent of the population) have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Are you part of this group? Do you need help figuring out the right diet that will help you with your blood sugar management?
If you’re not sure where to begin, read on.
Listed below are some foods you can add to your meals today to regulate blood sugar and start feeling better. We’ll also share some foods you can eliminate to achieve the same result.
Broccoli makes a great addition to your diet if your goal is diabetes self-management.
Both broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a plant chemical that’s produced when broccoli is chewed or chopped. It has antidiabetic effects and helps to lower blood sugar, as well as oxidative stress markers, while also increasing insulin sensitivity.
Broccoli is also a good source of fiber. Eating plenty of high-fiber foods can help you to avoid blood sugar spikes and stay fuller longer, which can be useful if you’re trying to lose weight and need help resisting cravings.
Fish and shellfish are excellent sources of protein. Eating a high protein diet can help you to keep your blood sugar levels under control and feel more satiated after a meal is finished.
It’s important to note, too, that fatty fish are also beneficial for blood sugar balance. For example, salmon and sardines have been shown to produce more stable blood sugar levels after eating, even better than leaner types of fish.
Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are both tasty and healthy foods to include in your diet for better blood sugar. Pumpkin contains fiber and a type of carbohydrate known as polysaccharides. Polysaccharides have significant blood sugar-balancing properties.
Pumpkin seeds are also beneficial because they contain magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that is known for balancing blood sugar. As a bonus, it has relaxation-promoting properties, too.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are also good choices. They’re packed with magnesium, fiber, and protein, all of which help to lower blood sugar.
Research also shows that people who add beans and other legumes to their high-carb meals have lower post-meal blood sugar levels than those who don’t.
For those who have not been diagnosed with diabetes but are still concerned about blood sugar balance, adding beans and lentils to your diet now could make a big difference. Another study shows that these foods may help to prevent diabetes.
Many people assume that they have to give up fruit altogether when they’re working on managing blood sugar. That’s not true, though.
Strawberries are a sweet (but low sugar) fruit that can easily be added to your diet for better blood sugar levels. They contain fiber and antioxidants, too, which can reduce oxidative stress and keep your cells healthy.
Other types of berries are also beneficial to those dealing with blood sugar issues. Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries offer their own unique benefits, but they’re all good sources of antioxidants and fiber (without a lot of sugar).
Nuts, from almonds and cashews to pistachios and walnuts, are great snacks for those who need help keeping their blood sugar under control.
They’re good sources of healthy fats, and they also contain fiber for better blood sugar balance.
Some nuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, too. These nutrients can help to prevent blood sugar spikes and they protect your heart!
Oatmeal isn’t just a tasty and versatile breakfast food. It can also help you to avoid blood sugar spikes and drops (as long as you don’t load it up with sugary toppings).
Oatmeal is packed with fiber, which lowers blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity. To add more flavor to your morning (or afternoon or evening) bowl, consider adding other toppings that have blood sugar management benefits, such as strawberries or nuts.
Eggs contain protein and healthy fats, and they can help to improve insulin sensitivity while also decreasing inflammation. They contain antioxidants, too, which protect against free radical damage and oxidative stress.
It’s important to remember that the egg yolk is your friend. Don’t throw it out, as it contains the majority of the nutrients.
Healthy fats help to prevent blood sugar spikes. They also add more flavor to your food and make your meals more satisfying.
Olive oil is a great example of a healthy fat source that you can add to your diet to control blood sugar levels.
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, which are known for their heart health benefits, and it’s a good source of antioxidants. Combine it with some apple cider vinegar and spices to make a simple, tasty salad dressing.
Foods to Avoid for Better Blood Sugar
When it comes to learning how to manage blood sugar, there are plenty of wholesome foods you can add to your diet. At the same time, though, you may need to cut out or reduce your intake of certain things to really see progress.
Here are some examples of foods and drinks to avoid or enjoy only on occasion:
- Sugar-sweetened beverages (such as soda, fruit juice, etc.)
- Fried foods
- Sugar-sweetened cereal
- Packaged snacks (such as chips, crackers, cookies, etc.)
These foods are more likely to cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. They can also contribute to an increased risk of other health issues, such as heart problems or obesity.
Time for Better Blood Sugar Management
Not that you know more about the benefits of a healthy diet for blood sugar management, it’s time to start making some changes. Keep the tips listed above in mind so you can start regulating your blood glucose levels and making your health a priority.
Do you want to learn more about managing blood sugar? Do you need help with stress relief so you can manage diabetes more easily?
If so, Ingredia may be able to help. Contact us today to learn more about our research and how we’re working to revolutionize the dairy products you know and love.