As a diabetic, your body does not metabolize sugar properly. If you’re a type 1 diabetic, you may have been born without the ability to produce enough insulin. As a type 2 diabetic, overtime your body may have become insulin resistant, or damage to the pancreas has caused your body’s production of insulin to decrease. At any rate, managing glucose levels is important. The most direct to manage your blood sugar levels by monitoring what you eat. Earlier this year, we wrote a blog giving you some quick tips for maintaining a healthier diet. Today, we are sharing with you 5 Foods That Help To Lower Blood Sugar! Read until the end to learn about a few more things you can do to help maintain proper glucose levels.
Best Foods For Maintaining A Healthy Blood Sugar Level
Incorporate the following foods in to your diet to help you maintain healthy glucose levels:
Sweet potatoes are a delicious starchy food that is high in nutrition but registers a low GI score. These orange vegetables are high in fiber and are a great substitute for regular potatoes, which are high on the GI chart.
All though there is no conclusive evidence that eating sweet potatoes alone will lower your blood sugar levels, sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative to everyday fast metabolizing carbs.
For diabetics, pasta and bread are typically the first things to be given up during a diet change. However, by substituting 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat or pumpernickel bread, you may be able to fill that sandwich craving without sacrificing your A1Cs. These substitutes are not only delicious but both clock in at 55 or less on the GI scale.
Foods made from white flour are highly processed and have had the fibrous out shells of the grains removed. Whole wheat on the hand, has this shell intact and as such, introduces much-needed fiber into your diet that can help to slow digestion and stabilize blood sugar.
In general, fish and other meats do not register on the GI charts because they do not contain carbohydrates. However, when selecting your proteins, keep in carbs aren’t the only macro we’re concerned with. Increased fat can lead to obesity and insulin resistance. Fish, such as salmon, cod, and haddock, are healthy sources of protein. Incorporating quality sources of protein with your meals will help also help with portion control. More on that below.
Legumes come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, flavors, and textures. But one thing is consistent; they are very low on the GI chart. A 2012 study found that incorporating legumes into your diet improved glycemic control and lowered the risk of coronary heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes. Legumes are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates (the good kind) and a good source of protein. A word of caution, READ THE LABELS! Some legume products, especially those found in boxes, contain added sugars and starches in the forms of sauces or marinades. When in doubt, opt for buying your legumes in bulk and cook them yourself.
Most unsweetened yogurts have a GI score below 50. In a study conducted on dairy consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers found that in general, dairy consumption was not associated with type 2 diabetes risks. However, this study also concluded that yogurt may be the only dairy product that can actually lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Additional strategies for maintaining and lowering your blood sugar levels
Along with eating the right foods, there are other lifestyle choices that you can make that will help to improve not only your blood sugar levels but your overall health too. These include:
- exercising regularly
- not skipping meals
- eating smaller portions (checkout our blog on the plate method for easy portion control)
- drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated
- managing and reducing stress
- maintaining a healthy body weight
At Diabetes Center of Wellness, we specialize in helping our patient better understand their body and how it is affected by diabetes. We teach proper management and help you form the right habits to make diabetes just a detail of your life, and not the focal point. Let us help you live a normal and active life. For information on becoming a patient, contact our office today.