Eating a healthful diet is a sure way to keep blood glucose in check. Essentially, foods that the body absorbs at a slow pace are best as they don’t cause spikes or dips in blood sugar. Even though factors such as activity, body weight, genetics, and stress also play a vital role in managing blood sugar, following a diabetic-friendly diet is important for its effective control. Below are 7 best foods that help control blood glucose.
Raw, cooked, or roasted veggies add flavor, color, or texture to every meal. They will make you feel full and supply you with essential vitamins and minerals that assist control blood glucose. Consider low-carb or non-starchy veggies like mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, onions, tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, and squashes such as zucchini.
Try these veggies with dips like low-fat dressings, guacamole, salsa, and hummus or roasted with various seasonings like cayenne pepper, garlic, or rosemary. To maximally benefit from vegetables, pick fresh, canned, or frozen ones that don’t have added sauce or salt.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens have plenty of nutrients and lower digestible carbs compared to other vegetables. Some best leafy greens to include in your regular diet are broccoli, kale, cabbage, chard, and spinach because they are full of vitamin C, which helps to regulate type 2 diabetes and promote overall wellbeing.
For fast, crunchy chips, roast your greens, especially kale leaves, in an oven with olive oil. Besides, you can mix greens with roasted vegetables to add texture as well as a different flavor or combine them with proteins like salmon.
Most fruits have medium to low GI (glycemic index) scores – 55 or less – except for pineapples and melons. GI score monitors the effects of particular foods on levels of blood sugar; therefore, diabetic people should eat foods with medium to low GI scores.
Many fruits have a lot of fiber and water to balance their fructose, a naturally occurring sugar. Fruits’ GI scores increase as they get ripe, while fruit juices contain high GI scores. A 2013 study discovered that individuals who ate whole fruits, mainly apples, blueberries, citrus, okra, and grapes, had significantly reduced risks of developing type 2 diabetes.
Legumes like beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas have low GI scores. They are full of nutrients, including fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein necessary to keep blood sugar levels checked.
A study found that including legumes in a daily diet ensured effective glycemic control and reduced coronary heart disease risks in diabetic people.
Keep away from legume products with added sugars and starches like sauces, syrups, and marinades as they can raise GI scores.
5. Whole Grain Foods
Diabetic people are advised to consume a wide selection of whole-grain foods. Some diabetic-friendly whole grains are brown rice, bulgur, oats, buckwheat, farro, popcorn, quinoa, sorghum, wheat berries, wheat bread, and barley.
They contain lots of minerals like magnesium and zinc, vitamin B and E, and fiber. Fiber can slow down digestion and carbohydrate absorption and might not increase your blood glucose as fast as refined grains. Besides, they will make you feel full for longer, which is a great deal in managing weight.
Cold-water fish, shellfish, and other seafood are rich in healthy fats, protein, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that can help control blood sugar levels. Protein slows digestion as well as avoids post-meal blood glucose spikes and increases fullness feeling.
Regular consumption of fatty fish such as salmon and sardines is scientifically-proven to control blood sugar. For instance, a study in 68 people with obesity or overweight who ate 750 grams (26 ounces) of fatty fish every week had great improvements in their post-meal levels of blood sugar compared to those who ate lean fish.
7. Most Nuts
Eating nuts is also scientifically-proven when it comes to controlling blood sugar levels. Nuts are good sources of plant protein and unsaturated fats, including antioxidant vitamins, phytochemicals like flavonoids, and minerals like magnesium and potassium.
As with most foods, it’s best to consume whole, unprocessed nuts to avoid flavorings that could spike GI scores. Take your pick: almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews – the list goes on for diabetic-friendly nuts.
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