Best Foods to Lower Blood Sugar Levels
If you have either type of diabetes you will know that your diet plays a part in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Many people mistakenly believe that a diabetes diet will be restrictive but it is quite simply a valid healthy eating plan.
A healthy diet can help you to manage your blood sugar levels and may also prevent a whole range of health problems caused by being overweight or by eating unhealthy foods on a long-term basis.
Top 10 foods that help to lower blood sugar
Some foods are particularly helpful when it comes to keeping blood sugar levels low, these are said to have a low glycemic load or to be low on the glycemic index. Foods that can help to lower blood sugar include:
- Avocado - Avocados contain soluble fibre and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats - known as the 'good' fats. Soluble fibre slows down the digestive process preventing blood sugar from rising too rapidly. They should be eaten in moderation however as they are high in calories.
- Beans - Beans and legumes are low in fat, high in protein and packed with soluble fibre. Choose from kidney, navy, black, lima, pinto beans and also lentils.
- Cinnamon - This tasty spice is thought to improve the ability of insulin to respond to glucose. It may also help to lower blood sugar levels and reduce LDL cholesterol.
- Fish - Fish provides an excellent low-fat, low cholesterol alternative to meat. Oily fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel are particularly beneficial for your heart and your overall health.
- Flaxseeds - Ground flaxseeds provide a powerful supply of omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium that can both help to control blood sugar levels. Sprinkle ground flaxseeds into natural yoghurt, over salads or into soups and stews.
- Nuts and nut butters - Nuts such as almonds, pecans, walnuts and peanuts are packed with fibre and also contain healthy fats. Choose the unsalted variety and pay attention to portion size as they are high in calories. Eating a handful of nuts can help you to feel fuller for longer and will also keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel.
- Oatmeal - Another rich source of soluble fibre, oatmeal helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable as they release energy slowly and steadily.
- Sweet potato - Sweet potatoes or yams contain a higher level of fibre than ordinary potatoes and therefore score much lower on the glycemic index.
- Vegetables - Fresh vegetables make up part of any healthy diet, they are low in fat and calories, high in fibre and have a high water content. Vegetables help you to feel fuller for longer and do not cause blood sugar levels to spike.
- Vinegar - There's no need to skimp on taste if you have diabetes, recent studies found that the acid in vinegar may help to keep blood sugar levels stable after eating. Vinegar can be used to make tasty salad dressings - try balsamic, red wine or rice vinegar.