Having diabetes means carefully controlling blood sugar levels. This is often done with medications, but the right diet choices also play a large role in managing the condition. Knowing which foods are the best for lowering blood sugar is valuable information that can help keep diabetes symptoms at bay.
The Best Foods
Healthy dietary choices are important for good overall health and the prevention of many health problems. It becomes even more so for people who have diabetes because the disease can result in dangerous side effects if left untreated. Check out these foods for lowering blood sugar and you'll be well on your way to staying healthy.
Cinnamon might not be the top of the list when it comes to putting together a healthy meal plan for diabetes, but it should be. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cinnamon has a positive impact on blood glucose levels.
In the study, cinnamon was added to rice pudding, but you can also try it in oatmeal or plain yogurt - two other foods that are healthy for a diabetic diet. The results were evident when study participants added just over a teaspoon of cinnamon to their diets. Clearly, cinnamon won't fill you up, but it does add flavor to food and can help you get control of blood sugar levels.
According to the Mayo Clinic, whole grains are low in the glycemic index. Foods that fall on the low end of that spectrum are less likely to negatively affect blood sugar and can help you keep your levels low. That makes oatmeal a healthy addition to your diet.
Oatmeal is also high in fiber, which is linked to better control of blood glucose levels, reports the journal Diabetes Care. Specifically, oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which has been shown to help manage blood glucose levels. Adding a bowl of oatmeal to your morning is a simple way to get control of your diabetes.
All vegetables contain carbohydrates, but they aren't the carbs that diabetics have learned to fear. Because onions are non-starchy, they offer blood sugar benefits that starchy vegetables, which are higher in carbs, might not.
According to research published in the Tohuko Journal of Experimental Medicine, participants who included three 20 gram servings of onions per day as part of their well-controlled diabetic diet, experienced a dramatic decrease in blood sugar level.
Onions are ideal as part of a healthy meal plan for controlling blood sugar levels. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, it's safe to eat a 1/2 cup of cooked onions and other non-starchy vegetables at one sitting. In addition, onions also contain fiber, which helps lower blood sugar.
You might wonder how something full of natural sugars can possibly be beneficial for blood sugar levels. Grapefruit contains a healthy dose of fiber, which is part of its benefit. Grapefruits also contain a potent antioxidant called naringenin.
Research published in the journal Diabetes reports that the substance increases the sensitivity to insulin and can help control weight gain. Being overweight often exacerbates diabetes symptoms, so grapefruit seems to be a wonderful food source for controlling blood sugar since they're also very low in calories.
Almonds are low in carbs, but high in protein, which makes them a great pick for diabetics. According to Joy Bauer, registered dietician, nutritionist and author of many books, almonds are loaded with monounsaturated fats and magnesium, both of which play a healthy role in diabetes management. This helps with carbohydrate digestion, which is great for blood sugar control. Additionally, research published in the journal Diabetes Care indicates that magnesium can effectively help prevent and treat diabetes.
Making Healthy Choices
It's important to note that foods are not an effective alternative for prescribed medications and medical treatment for blood sugar and diabetes. The Mayo Clinic strongly encourages you to monitor your condition, eat a healthy diet that includes the foods above, stay at a healthy weight and see your doctor regularly. These steps can protect your health and allow you to enjoy delicious foods that won't compromise your condition.