6 Foods for Blood Sugar Support

It takes a lot of juggling to manage diabetes – you're supposed to maintain a healthy weight, make healthy food choices, be physically active, and take medications as prescribed. Having a plan and setting realistic goals can help.
 

Knowing the glycemic index (GI) of a food will also guide you to make healthy choices. The GI measures how quickly a food will raise blood sugar. Low GI foods have a score of 55 or less, while high GI foods have a score of 70 or more.

For the most part, lower GI foods are a better choice for people with diabetes. Foods that are both nutritious and have a low GI are helpful in managing health and blood glucose levels.

Delicious Superfoods For People Who Need Blood Sugar Support

WALNUTS

All nuts generally have very low GI scores. Walnuts, in particular, contain magnesium, fiber, and alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that supports heart health and healthy cholesterol levels. They're also full of vitamin E, folic acid, zinc, and protein.

Tip: Substituting nuts and other healthy fats for carbohydrates help support healthy blood sugar levels.

Another plus: Those who eat nuts regularly have less risk of developing diabetes. 

FLAXSEEDS

Since fats don’t contain carbs, they will not increase blood sugar levels. Flaxseeds are a low GI food and their high omega-3 fats content helps lower the risk of heart disease, which diabetics are more susceptible to. I like using flaxseed oil makes a great oil for a homemade salad dressing. 

Omega-3 fats also support healthy inflammatory levels, which is crucial because inflammation worsens diabetes. 

CACAO

Unsweetened cacao powder will not spike your blood sugar if eaten on its own. Cacao’s high flavanol content is shown to regulate insulin levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and lower your craving for sweets. Cacao nibs are the same, but can be used in different ways. 

Tip: Use it to make a sugar-free hot cocoa that's easy on the blood sugar levels. 

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Not only does it taste great, it’s carb-free, and contains healthy fats that won’t raise your blood sugar. When combined with carbs, olive oil will keep after meal blood sugar levels lower.  

SUPERFOOD POWDERS

Have you ever considered a calorie-free superfood powder as a way to boost your nutrition? ChlorellaSpirulinaMacaGoji Berry PowderCamu Camu, and many more are excellent options for adding natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and much more to your diet without raising your blood sugar.   

CINNAMON

Cinnamon is so easy to add to many different foods, and it might have a glucose-lowering effect on blood sugar. Although much of the evidence is anecdotal, what works for you may not work for someone else.  

BERBERINE

This herb is one of the most effective natural supplements available for supporting blood sugar, insulin, heart health and immunity. It supports glucose uptake by the cells, and assists the body to maintain healthy glucose and insulin levels. 

There are many factors involved in balancing blood sugar levels, and including superfoods will improve the quality of your diet. These are my favorite lifestyle and nutrition tips for balancing blood sugar levels.

Managing blood sugar levels doesn't have to taste bad! And like I always say, please check with your healthcare provider before taking any type of supplement.

Here's to Health, Happiness, and Low Blood Sugars!

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

 

References:

Lovejoy JC. The impact of nuts on diabetes and diabetes risk. Curr Diab Rep. 2005 Oct;5(5):379-84.

Cacao and diabetes

Cordero-Herrera et al. Cocoa flavonoids improve insulin signaling and modulate glucose production via AKT and AMPK in HepG2cells. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2013, 00, 1-12.

Dening J. Benefits of Olive oil consumption in type 2 diabetes treatment. Olive Oil Times. Feb 2016.

Violi et al. Extra virgin olive oil use is associated with improved post-prandial blood glucose and LDL cholesterol in healthy subjects. Nutrition & Diabetes (2015).

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