glucose meter and post it with diabetes

15 Healthy Foods That Lower Blood Sugar to Cook and Enjoy

Though lowering your blood sugar can only be accomplished via medication and exercise, consuming healthy foods which keep your blood sugar levels in balance can contribute greatly to maintaining an active lifestyle as a diabetic or individual with hyperglycemia. Sticking to a diet which avoids the three deadly sugars (fructose, glucose and lactose), and replacing them with beneficial alternatives can be a challenge if you are not aware of what foods you ought to be eating instead.

These foods help to keep your blood sugar in balance so that you do not have dips and spikes, however, for treatment as a diabetic, you need to continue to be under the care of a health care professional and consult that individual for advice concerning your intake of certain foods.

15 Healthy Foods That Lower Blood Sugar to Cook and Enjoy

1. Cinnamon

cinnamon with red apple on table

The first complaint of any diet is that there is no flavor, so we will start off with the power flavor of cinnamon on our list of foods that lower blood sugar. Nutritional research in connection with diabetes and cinnamon indicates that ½ tsp of cinnamon per day can prevent blood sugar spikes and regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day.

What to do:

  • Add a ½ tsp of cinnamon to your oatmeal in the morning.
  • Cinnamon can be sprinkled over almost any food to enhance the flavor.

2. Garlic

Speaking of flavor, what would our dietary world be without garlic? This potent spice can also be added to our list of foods that lower blood sugar. Studies indicate that the allicin and 17 active amino acids in garlic, as well as its cousin, the onion, help to reduce the glycemic load of almost any meal.

What to do:

  • Make use of garlic in your cooking.
  • Replace your butter or margarine spread with this roasted garlic spread.

3. Ginger and Turmeric

These two cousins are powerful spices with a ton of health benefits and need to not only be added to your list of foods that lower blood sugar, but added to your diet to combat inflammation, digestive disorders and blood related health as well. Studies indicate that both of the flavonoids gingerol (found in ginger) and curcumin (found in turmeric) can not only prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, but can also help maintain the proper balance of blood sugar levels.

What to do:

  • Make use of these two spices in your cooking.
  • Consume them as tea.
  • Mix 1 tsp of either spice in powdered form in a glass of warm milk and consume daily.

4. Healthy Fats

Because low fat diets were pushed so hard during the last few decades, most people have ran from any kind of fat in their diets. There are several healthy fats that should be included in our list of foods that lower blood sugar. Among the top performers are avocados and a group of oils with medium chain fatty acids like coconut, olive, and almond oils. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) help to improve insulin sensitivity as well as contribute to satiety to avoid overeating.

What to do:

  • Replace your cooking oil with health oils.
  • Try out this guacamole recipe and use it regularly as a spread or condiment.

5. Beef

You have been highly misinformed about beef and its fat content over the past few decades. Beef is one of the best foods that lower blood sugar levels. Not only is beef packed with vitamins, minerals and protein, but the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) found in beef has been proven to correct impaired blood sugar metabolism.

What to do:

  • Enjoy a charbroiled steak without guilt.
  • Add a good old All-American roast to your regular diet plan.

6. Cold Water Fish

While we are about eating meat, let’s consider cold water fish and the power of omega-3 fatty acids as viable foods that lower blood sugar. Lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while maintaining prominent level of HDL cholesterol, is shown to be significant in the battle of balancing your blood sugar.

What to do:

  • Chilly water fish typically include halibut, mackerel, wild caught salmon and sardines.
  • Try out this garlic salmon recipe.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Since apple cider vinegar seems to work as a powerful tonic for nearly every health issue, it's also a solid performer on our list of foods that lower blood sugar. Apple cider vinegar assists in digestion and can help to decrease insulin sensitivity when taken after a meal.

What to do:

  • Add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
  • Drink this after meals, especially large meals, to aid in digestion and lower the glycemic level of the meal.

8. Dark-Green Leafy Vegetables

leaves of kale

You may not have liked leafy greens when you were a child, but now you’re an adult in a battle for your health. The most powerful weapons you have in your arsenal among the foods that lower blood sugar are dark-green leafy vegetables. According to studies, 1.35 servings of these vegetables is associated with a 14% reduction in risk of developing diabetes.

What to do:

  • Consume 1 ½ servings (1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked) of spinach, kale, lettuce, collards, turnip greens, or Swiss chard daily.
  • They can be cooked or used raw in salads.

9. Dark Chocolate

 

You will probably be more thrilled about the next food on our list of foods that lower blood sugar; dark chocolate. The consumption of cocoa or chocolate, according to research, lowers insulin sensitivity and helps regular blood sugar levels, but don’t overdo it and don’t cheat and use white chocolate or milk chocolate.

What to do:

10. Nuts and Seeds

nuts and seeds in bowls on table

Nuts and seeds are also great foods that lower blood sugar levels. Because the carbohydrates found in nuts are primarily fiber, nuts have a glycemic index of zero. Research indicates that 2 oz. of almonds consumed daily can help decrease fasting glucose levels. Additionally, seed, like chia and pumpkin seeds achieve a similar purpose.

What to do:

  • Utilize almonds and other nuts, like pistachios, in recipes and salads in order to add them into your diet on a regular basis.
  • Chia seeds when soaked in water create a gooey gel that is perfect for thickening puddings and salad dressings.

11. Fiber-rich Foods

While we are about fiber-rich foods, let’s add them to our list of foods that lower blood sugar. Research indicates that those who double their daily fiber intake from the average of 25g to 50g see a significant drop in blood sugar levels. In your search for fiber, however, avoid foods containing glutton.

What to do:

  • To add plenty of fiber without glutton to your diet, check out this list of 20 fiber-rich foods to add to your diet.

12. Legumes

A group of foods that contain high fiber content as well as protein are legumes, which are essential elements on our list of foods that lower blood sugar. Beans and peas tend to top this list of foods which slow the release of glucose into your blood and prevent blood sugar spikes.

What to do:

  • Add foods from this list to your diet on a regular basis: lentils, chickpeas, cannelloni beans, and kidney beans.
  • Legumes are popular additions to most soups and a few salads as well.

13. Chromium-Rich Foods

Chromium is a mineral which plays a crucial role in the signaling pathways of insulin and its regulation. Chromium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, broccoli, barley, apples and oats are included in this group of foods that lower blood sugar.

What to do:

14. Dark Berries and Cherries

Dark berries and cherries are also top performers on our list of foods that lower blood sugar. Blackberries, blueberries and black cherries are much lower on the glycemic index than other fruits, so they help keep your sugar levels low. They also contain high concentrations of anthocyanins which inhibit certain digestive enzymes and slow down digestion to allow foods to be broken down and processed more thoroughly.

What to do:

15. Matcha Green Tea

Green tea certainly must be included among our foods that lower blood sugar, but even better than typical green tea is a Japanese, matcha (powdered) variety that has a powerful impact on regulating blood sugar levels. The high concentration of catechins in matcha green tea help to improve insulin sensitivity and enhance glucose tolerance.

What to do:

  • Learn how to properly prepare matcha green tea and add it to your daily health regimen.
  • Consume at least 2 cups of matcha green tea daily.

Conclusion

When it comes to foods that lower blood sugar, you don’t have to give up taste. Many of the foods on our list, including the herbs and spices, nuts, seeds and healthy fats can actually enhance the flavor of the foods you eat. Focus on adding one or more of these foods to your diet daily until you have altered your dietary lifestyle and keep your blood sugar levels under control for a healthier, happier life. Questions, comments, recipes and success stories are more than welcome in the section below.

Images from depositphotos.com and pixabay.com.

Sarah Harris

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