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Over 100 million adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes in the US alone. Are you one of them?
If so, you’re probably looking for some different ways to manage your blood sugar. And, while prescription medication can make a big difference, there are plenty of healthy lifestyle changes that can help you, too.
In this article, we’ll share 10 foods that can help you eat your way toward lower blood sugar. Keep reading to learn more!
10 Foods for Lower Blood Sugar
Lowering your blood sugar can reduce your risk for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. But, that’s not all.
It can also help prevent weight gain, achieve weight loss goals, reduce stress hormones, and combat inflammation in the body.
If you’re hoping to experience all the benefits of lower blood sugar, add these foods to your diet.
1. Leafy Greens
Even if you have plenty of vegetables in your diet, you might not be eating enough greens. Spinach, kale, collards, and lettuce are highly nutritious and low in calories. Plus, they’re packed with vitamins and minerals.
These foods have very few digestible carbs, the kind that can cause your blood sugar to spike. So, they’re a great way to fill up without worry.
2. Fatty Fish
While most types of fish are a healthy way to add protein and omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, fatty varieties have more of an effect on your blood sugar and heart health.
Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel are all excellent options! Eating these will help you feel fuller, longer. And, all those omega-3’s can help reduce triglycerides and inflammatory markers, as well as your overall risk for heart disease and stroke.
If you’re eating to reduce blood sugar, be sure to add a few eggs into your routine. Eggs can help decrease inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, and increase your “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
They are also an excellent source for antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help protect the eyes from disease. But, if you want all those big benefits, you’ll have to eat whole eggs. Most of these nutrients are found in the yolk rather than the white.
4. Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts contain large amounts of fiber and are low in digestible carbs. This nutritional combination can help reduce blood sugar, insulin, and LDL levels. Plus, it can reduce overeating because you’ll feel full and satisfied after just a small serving.
Blood sugar, insulin, and obesity go hand in hand. So, people with type 2 diabetes, who often have elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, are more prone to weight gain. Next time you’re craving a salty snack like chips, reach for a handful of nuts instead.
5. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt contains just 6–8 grams of carbs per serving, which is much less than conventional yogurt. It’s higher in protein too, which promotes weight loss by reducing appetite and decreasing calorie intake.
Eating greek yogurt rather than less healthy forms of dairy may lead to weight loss, improved body composition, and lower blood sugar in healthy people and those with type 2 diabetes.
Both summer and winter squash contain tons of antioxidants including lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Plus, adding them to your diet can help reduce obesity and insulin levels.
People with type 2 diabetes should add these healthy vegetables to their diet to experience a decrease in blood sugar, load up on fiber and antioxidants, and get a few essential vitamins and nutrients, too.
Toss a cinnamon stick into your water bottle to create one of the best drinks for diabetics. This spice is packed with flavor and makes a great substitute for other sugary alternatives that can cause your blood sugar to spike.
Plus, it’s loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Daily consumption may improve blood sugar control, reduce insulin sensitivity, and maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Garlic smells and tastes great, and packs a wide variety of health benefits. Studies have shown it can help to reduce inflammation, blood sugar, and LDL cholesterol. Plus, it can help lower your blood pressure, too.
One clove of raw garlic contains just 4 calories and 1 gram of carbs. So, it’s a healthy way to add flavor to your meals without extra salt and sugar.
9. Whole Grains
If you’re living with diabetes or high blood sugar levels, you probably avoid bread. That’s because most options are high in carbohydrates and can quickly raise blood sugar levels.
However, there are a few types that you can eat in moderation, worry-free. Pumpernickel and 100% stone-ground whole wheat bread have more fiber and less sugar, making them a guilt-free way to enjoy a slice or two.
Other whole grains like oats and bran can also be enjoyed in moderation, so long as they don’t contain added sugars.
10. Beans and Lentils
If you don’t have tons of time for daily meal preparation but still want to eat right, beans and lentils are a great make-ahead option. They are an excellent source of nutrients like fiber, complex carbs, and protein, all of which can help lower blood sugar.
Plus, these foods help you feel full for hours, so they can reduce the temptation to overeat. For the most health benefits possible, skip canned options that include sauces and marinades. These extra ingredients often contain sugar and simple carbs that can lead to a spike in blood sugar.
Lifestyle Changes for Lower Blood Sugar
If you’re serious about eating your way toward lower blood sugar, adding these foods is a great start! But, remember, you’ll need to cut the unhealthy options out of your diet, too.
Start by replacing the processed food in your daily meals with these healthy alternatives. And, be sure to skip sweets like soda, candy, and cookies. Swap them out for healthier options like cinnamon water and fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. After a few weeks, you probably won’t miss them a bit.
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