Foods & Nutrients That Support Healthy Blood Sugar Balance

Research shows there is a health consequence as a result of high blood sugar. The damaging effects are especially obvious in people with blood glucose levels already teetering toward the high end of the normal range. Simply put, excess blood sugar is seriously damaging to health.

But here's the good news: maintaining a balanced blood sugar balance the majority of the day is within your control because it is almost entirely dependent on what you eat (and don’t eat).

By adopting a diet rich in nourishing proteins, healthy fats, and fiber-packed foods, you can sidestep the pitfalls of elevated blood sugar and insulin spikes.

Foods to Support Blood Sugar Balance

Build your meals around FAT, PROTEIN, and FIBER.

If you aren't able to include all 3 components, include at least 2 every time you eat.

FIBER *include lots and lots of brightly colored vegetables at every meal. Aim for 3 cups/day.
*dairy from pasture raised animals
*seafood and fish
*chicken, beef, deer, elk, lamb, turkey, bison
*protein powder
*beans and lentils

*avocado and avocado oil
*olives and olive oil
*nuts and nut butter
*seeds (ie: flax, pumpkin, hemp, sunflower)
*grass-fed butter
*MCT oil
*coconut and coconut oil

Start each day with a protein and veggie-rich breakfast. Continue building your lunch, between meals snacks, and dinner meals around these foods. You’ll know you have the right formula when your energy is steady, your mood is balanced, and your cravings have decreased.

The #1 reason people have blood sugar spikes at mealtime.
Not enough protein! This is essential! I recommend 25-30 grams of protein at every meal. People who eat protein at their meal almost always have a lower, more normal blood sugar response compared to not having enough protein. Plus, the protein fills you up so you don't need to eat as frequently, which also helps keep blood sugar at a healthier level.

An important factor many people ignore is PORTION SIZE.

Another important factor many people overlook is portion sizes, especially with foods that contain carbohydrates, such as beans, lentils, bread, rice, pasta, and fruit. Your body can typically tolerate a small portion, but it's smaller than you think! And, as you eat more, the blood sugar spike becomes exponentially higher, and also takes longer to drop back down to normal. This creates an average blood sugar that's too high.

Exceptional Vitamins, Minerals, Phytonutrients for Blood Sugar Balance

There are also specific vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that support healthy blood sugar balance. Aim to include several of these foods daily. Even small amounts of a variety of these foods consumed regularly can go far in maintaining a healthy blood sugar balance and supporting your long-term health.

The Essential Fats, EPA and DHA: These two fats are essential and must come from food or a supplement. Most people are deficient, so I highly recommend a supplement of some type. Related to blood sugar, DHA and EPA support how effectively cells respond to insulin's signal to take up glucose from the bloodstream. This is KEY to healthy blood sugar!

Food sources: wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and even pastured eggs and beef are good sources of the omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA

Chromium: This mineral is essential for insulin to work properly. Small amounts of chromium are found in a wide variety of foods, but some reliably good sources include brewer’s yeast, grass-fed beef, oysters, mussels, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and mushrooms. It's available here in supplement form.

Magnesium: It plays a central role in the body’s secretion and use of insulin and helps maintain proper blood sugar levels, while low intakes of magnesium are associated with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes.

Foods high in magnesium are leafy green vegetables, nuts, nut butter, seeds, avocados, kelp, plain yogurt, oysters, and shrimp. It's available here in supplement form.

High Fiber Foods: Foods naturally high in fiber help to balance blood sugar by slowing the time it takes carbohydrates to be digested, thus slowing the release of glucose into the blood stream. Fiber is also an important piece of the weight management puzzle.

Soluble fiber, the type of fiber that attracts water and forms a gel-like substance during digestion, is particularly beneficial because it maintains a healthy glucose and insulin response. Many soluble fibers can also be fermented by intestinal bacteria. As the bacteria use these fibers for fuel, they produce short chain fatty acids that feed the colon cells and also help to improve insulin sensitivity and protect against metabolic damage that can lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Nearly all fresh vegetables and fruits are good sources of fiber, but flaxseeds, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, collard greens, broccoli, eggplant, summer and winter squash, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, and beets are all good sources of soluble fiber.

Flavonoids and Anthocyanins: Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid antioxidant found in deeply colored vegetables and fruits like red cabbage, purple eggplant, purple potatoes, red radish, blueberries, and blackberries.

This potent antioxidants helps preserve insulin function by protecting the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas from damage. They also help support healthy post-meal blood sugar levels. Those reds, blues and purple-colored fruits and veggies are really nutritious, so eat up.

Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG): You’ll find this in green tea, matcha green tea, and to some extent black and oolong teas. It slows the breakdown of starches and sugars in the digestive tract and supports healthy use of glucose and insulin.  

Vinegar: This versatile food helps moderate post meal blood sugar and insulin fluctuations, possibly by blocking the absorption of sugar and starch from the intestines. Simply starting your meal with a salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar can have an immediate and positive impact on your glycemic response. There is even some evidence to suggest other acidic foods like lemon juice, lacto-fermented veggies (e.g. kimchi, sauerkraut), and kombucha may have similar effects on blood sugar levels.

The Allium Family: This family includes onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, and leeks, contains compounds that support healthy blood sugar levels, as well as antioxidants that help protect the body from the damaging effects of high blood sugar.

Cinnamon: This culinary spice has been well researched for its blood sugar balancing effects. Compounds in cinnamon improve the activity of insulin and the cells’ ability to use glucose, which helps to lower fasting blood glucose levels. Other spices that can positively influence blood sugar levels include chili powder, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, mustard, parsley, rosemary, and sage.

Berberine: Berberine is a natural nutrient found in several plants including goldenseal, Oregon grape, and barberry. It has gained attention for its potential role in blood sugar support. Scientific studies show berberine supports insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to more efficiently take up glucose from the bloodstream.

Additionally, berberine has been shown to inhibit enzymes involved in glucose production in the liver, helping to reduce excess glucose release into the bloodstream.

As if that wasn't convincing enough, berberine has anti-inflammatory properties that may contribute to improved metabolic function and blood sugar regulation.

It's best to use berberine by taking a supplement after each meal. Clinical trials have consistently shown that berberine supplementation can lead to significant reductions in fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c, making it a promising nutrient for individuals seeking to support healthy blood sugar levels.

Glucose-Adapt is a great product for promoting normal blood sugar levels! It contains 500mg Berberine in three capsules.  

If you want to add additional Berberine to the Glucose-Adapt, this product pairs wonderfully with Glucose-Adapt.

Featured Products

Chromium: optimal blood sugar support

Glucose-Adapt: blood glucose and insulin balance

Berberine ALA: blood sugar stabilizer

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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