Problems with insulin production or function can cause a person’s blood sugar levels to shoot up. This can, in turn, lead to several other health issues. Hence, people with high blood sugar need to use medications from time to time and follow a strict routine. However, besides medicines, there are also several other ways to manage the problem. Here’s a list of foods that help lower blood sugar naturally.
An easy way to prevent blood sugar spikes is to avoid carbohydrates. The reason being that the human body typically breaks down carbs into sugar (glucose). Unfortunately, for those with diabetes, insulin production is hampered. As a result, excess glucose is not digested, and it continues to build up in the blood, increasing blood sugar levels. The best way to tackle this problem is to avoid high-carb items like bread, potatoes, and corn and go for low-carb meals instead.
While carbohydrates spike blood sugar levels instantly, fibers do the opposite. They are hard to break down, meaning they slow down carb digestion and, thus, the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This leads to a gradual increase in blood sugar rather than a sudden spike. There are two types of fibers: soluble and insoluble. Studies have shown that soluble fibers, such as oats, carrots, and barley, can improve blood sugar management substantially, especially in type 2 diabetes.
Glycemic index, or GI, is a value assigned to foods based on how quickly or slowly they cause blood sugar levels to rise. Foods are measured on a scale of 0 to 100, and the lower they are on the scale, the slower they tend to release glucose into the body. Low-GI foods also aid weight management and are perfect for those with pre-diabetes or diabetes. However, a low GI value is not all that matters. The foods should also be low in carbs and sugar and rich in fiber.
Whole grains like buckwheat, barley, rye, and corn are high in fiber and can also help lower blood sugar naturally. Most of them have a low GI score as well. However, most whole grains could have high amounts of carbohydrates, so checking with a doctor before adding them to everyday meals is essential. According to a particular research study, men who had meals made up of many whole grains saw a 34% decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Oats and oatmeal are excellent for those with diabetes. Not only do they have a low GI value of 55, but they also contain B-glucans. These are natural chemical compounds that help digest glucose and even improve the response of insulin after meals, thus lowering blood sugar. However, one must avoid instant oatmeal or sugar-laden options as they can spike sugar levels. Furthermore, it should be had in moderation for the best results.
Studies have shown a link between cinnamon and lower levels of blood sugar in the body. This could be because it helps lower the resistance to insulin in those who have diabetes. Having around five grams of cinnamon every day reduces glucose levels, especially in type 2 diabetes. However, it is best to check with the doctor before including cinnamon in the daily meals.
Fenugreek is another food that is highly effective to lower blood sugar naturally. This is because it is high in soluble fiber that helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates. This, in turn, slows down the absorption of sugar in the body. Interestingly, multiple studies have been conducted to understand how fenugreek can treat diabetes.
Fish is a valuable source of protein. It also contains tons of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. But what many do not know is that fish also helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body. How? The protein in fish helps slow the digestion process, preventing post-meal spikes. It also makes one feel full, which allows them to exercise portion control. In addition, fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help with several other health conditions.
Most nuts have a GI score of 55 or lower. They also contain loads of vitamins, plant proteins, and unsaturated fatty acids, making them the perfect snack item. Aside from this, nuts can also help keep blood sugar levels in check. However, to ensure one gets the best results, they should opt for unprocessed nuts rather than those with flavors and coatings. Those with diabetes can snack on nuts when hungry or even crush them and sprinkle them on salads.
Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, soya beans, and kidney beans have a low GI score. They are also high in protein and contain tons of fiber that help keep blood sugar in check. In addition, they also contain minerals like magnesium and potassium that have a host of other health benefits; for instance, they regulate blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. One cup of legumes every day can help manage the condition.
When it comes to lowering blood sugar naturally, eating the right foods is crucial. However, patients should also implement portion control. Portion control can help control weight and lower calorie intake. Studies have shown that weight management helps manage blood sugar levels and also reduces the risk of diabetes in the long run. Individuals can use smaller plates, weigh portions, and maintain a food journal to manage portion sizes.