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.
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.
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.
Have you ever considered a calorie-free superfood powder as a way to boost your nutrition? i love a Greens Superfood powder that contains a variety of different greens. Look for one without any added sugar, and there are usually an insignificant number of carbohydrates or calories per serving to impact your blood sugar at all.
Other superfood powders, such as Chlorella, Spirulina, Maca, Goji Berry Powder, and Camu Camu, are excellent options for adding natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and much more to your diet without raising your blood sugar.
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 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
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).