The best foods to eat to reduce blood sugar include whole grains, legumes, some fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts. Including these foods in your diet along with regular physical activity can help improve your overall health.
The glucose in the blood is called blood sugar (Glu). Glucose is an essential component of the human body and an important source of energy.
Your body needs glucose to provide nutrients to the organs, muscles and nervous system.
The production and utilization of blood sugar should be in a dynamic equilibrium state to maintain normal levels. However, too much or too little blood sugar can have a great impact on your health.
Therefore, it’s important to focus on foods that can optimize blood sugar control while promoting overall health.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels?
The amount of glucose in your blood changes throughout the day and night. The levels vary depending upon when, what and how much you have eaten and whether or not you have exercised.
Changes in blood sugar levels before and after meals reflect the way your body absorbs and stores glucose.
Normal blood sugar levels:
- Fasting (not eating for eight hours) blood sugar level is between 70 and 99 mg/dL.
- Two hours after eating the blood sugar level is less than 140 mg/dL.
If you have diabetes, then you should consult with your doctor in order to determine an appropriate blood sugar level target based on the severity of your condition, the medications you are taking and your overall health status.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar?
Generally speaking, when you eat sugary or carbohydrate-containing foods, the amount of glucose in your blood will increase. Then, your pancreas will secrete insulin to keep blood sugar stable.
For healthy people, this process is very smooth and their bodies have the ability to control blood sugar levels.
However, if you suffer from insulin resistance or diabetes, there can be problems with the insulin function in your body. This also means that your blood sugar levels will be higher.
Early symptoms of hyperglycemia include [*]:
- frequent thirst and dry mouth
- increased hunger
- loss of vision or blurred vision
- frequent urination
- inability to concentrate
- fatigue and sleepiness
- abdominal distension or abdominal pain
- wounds that don’t heal easily
Over time, high blood sugar can cause damage to your body’s organs and systems.
Vascular damage may lead to many complications, including:
- heart disease or stroke
- impaired vision or blindness
- kidney damage or kidney failure
- neurological problems
- skin problems (especially in the feet), infections and wounds that are slow to heal
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that overweight adults between the ages of 40 and 70 should be tested for diabetes regularly.
People with a family history of diabetes or other health risks may need earlier or more frequent check-ups.
Foods That Help Lower Blood Sugar Level:
To lower blood sugar, it is important to find ways to keep insulin working normally.
The safest and natural way to achieve this goal is to start with a healthy and balanced diet.
- Step 1: Remove high sugar, refined and processed foods from your diet.
These kinds of foods not only keep you feeling hungry, they can also cause blood sugar fluctuations and spikes, which may reduce the efficiency of insulin.
- Step 2: Eat more natural foods that can keep your blood sugar stable.
These foods are rich in nutrients and contain amino acids (which form proteins in the body), fiber (the best source of carbohydrates) and healthy fats, which can maximize the effect of insulin.
Here are 10 of the best foods to help lower blood sugar:
Eggs are a low-carbohydrate food with a low glycemic index. They are nutritionally “dense” but low in calories.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats and multiple vitamins. Your body can easily digest eggs, which helps nutrients reach the cells quickly. In this way, eating eggs can help lower blood sugar levels.
Spinach is a non-starchy vegetable with a very low glycemic index. It has almost no effect on blood sugar levels.
In addition to being rich in amino acids, spinach is also an excellent source of fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Fiber, protein and minerals are three wonderful ingredients that can help balance insulin levels and help your body get more nutrients.
The glycemic index (GI) of broccoli is only 15 and its calories are also very low. Additionally, broccoli is rich in fiber.
All of these characteristics help keep your blood sugar stable, making it one of the best foods for diabetics.
Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli contain a compound called sulforaphane, which has a good effect on controlling blood sugar levels and reducing glucose conversion and absorption [*].
Avocado is a support food for many reasons. It is rich in monounsaturated fat, which is very beneficial to your heart and is especially effective in lowering blood sugar levels.
Avocado is also a good source of fiber, amino acids, B vitamins, magnesium and potassium. It is an excellent substitute for foods like mayonnaise and cheese, which is great for people with diabetes or food intolerance.
5. Sugar-free Greek Yogurt
Fermented foods such as yogurt are rich in probiotics, which can improve intestinal health relieving and treating leaky gut.
Studies have shown that a leaky gut may cause many health problems, including obesity and diabetes.
In particular, unsweetened Greek yogurt contains a great amount of protein. It is also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
These nutrients can quickly lower blood sugar levels and increase satiety.
A 2010 study found that eating almonds helps increase insulin sensitivity in patients with prediabetes.
Compared with other nuts, almonds contain more protein, fiber and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.
These nutrients can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin levels.
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and magnesium. All these help to control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and diabetes complications.
High fasting blood sugar is a typical symptom of type 2 diabetes. Some animal and human studies have shown that chia seeds can improve insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels after eating.
Fish and meats have no glycemic index because they do not contain carbohydrates. However, fish is especially more helpful than other types of meat in controlling blood sugar and preventing diabetes.
A 5-year study from 2009 to 2014 involving 33,704 Norwegian women showed that eating 75-100 grams of cod per day can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Garlic is a common ingredient of traditional medicine for diabetes and various other diseases. The compounds in garlic can help lower blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity.
Some compounds (such as allicin, allyl propyl disulfide and S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide) found in garlic can increase the level of insulin in the blood, by preventing the liver from deactivating insulin, making more insulin available in the body. [*]
Peas, chickpeas, lentils and other legumes have very low GI values, which help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. They are also a good source of protein and fiber.
A 2012 study found that adding beans to your diet can improve blood sugar and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Other Natural Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, there are some other natural ways to help control and lower blood sugar:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Exercise regularly.
- Reduce stress.
- Ensure good sleep.
- Lose or maintain a healthy weight.
- Intermittent fasting
It’s best to keep a blood glucose meter at home to help you monitor blood glucose at any time.
This is especially true of patients with insulin resistance, prediabetes or diabetes who may need timely treatment by taking necessary medicines to control their condition. Of course, this should all happen under the care of your physician.
Our recommended Blood Sugar Meter:
Following a healthy and well-balanced diet is essential for optimal blood sugar control.
Adding the foods listed above in your daily diet can help reduce your blood sugar levels quickly.
In addition to healthy eating, factors like your activity level, sleep quality and body weight are also important, when it comes to maintaining good blood sugar levels and improving your overall health.