5 Foods That Can Help Lower Blood Sugar
Medically Reviewed By: Tom Iarocci, MD
Diabetes is a disease that affects over 29 million people in the United States, with about 1.4 million Americans receiving a new diagnosis each year. An even more startling statistic may be that more than 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. now has pre-diabetes—a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not as high as in diabetes. Pre-diabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, which is associated with a long list of dreaded complications including heart disease and stroke.
The good news is that by eating a healthy diet, being physically active and losing any excess weight, you can stem the tide of pre-diabetes and its progression to type 2 diabetes. The foods that you reach for every day are a key part of this equation to better health. Here are a few excellent choices that you can add to your menu without busting your blood-sugar bank.
Avocados now considered a superfood, meaning they offer more than your average menu choice. They help provide healthy fats and are great to eat when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs, which are important components of a diet that aims to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. According to the American Diabetes Association, monounsaturated fats are called good fats or healthy fats because they can lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol. Even good fats are calorie-dense, though, so make sure you do not have too much of a good thing. One-third of a medium avocado is about 80 calories, with 4 grams of total carbohydrate and 8 grams of total fat.
2.) Whole Grain Cereal
Whole grain cereals containing a good amount of fiber per serving can be an excellent choice for breakfast. The higher fiber content not only helps you to feel full and stave off hunger, but can also help to moderate your blood sugar. In addition to the fiber, you will get vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals—or plant compounds, many of which are thought to have health benefits. Whole wheat or whole oats are excellent choices.
Blueberries contain a lot of fiber and important nutrients that help maintain a healthy body. Blueberries are also touted as brain food in that some evidence suggests they might help protect the brain from what’s known as oxidative stress. Blueberries contain flavonoids that are great for promoting immune health and may help fight inflammation, and they can also be a tasty part of your diet to reduce bad cholesterol.
No, not the delicious red maraschino cherries you get with your drink from the bar—nor those wonderfully sweet, chocolate-covered dried cherries from Washington State. But the cherries we are talking about are no less marvelous: the dark red cherries that usually flourish during the summer months. Cherries, like blueberries, are high in anthrocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that may help the body fight inflammation. The consumption of a diet low in fat and rich in antioxidants may reduce the risk of obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are associated with the development of diabetes and its progression.
5.) Chicken / Lean Meats / Salmon
You can still have a delicious meal that includes meat on your journey to healthy blood sugar levels. Poultry and fish are the best choices, but if you are going for red meat, leaner cuts are encouraged. Lean meats don’t affect blood sugar as much as carbohydrates, making them a good choice to add to the dinner plate. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart-healthy fats. Fresh wild sockeye salmon has a firm red flesh and is full-flavored, which means it is great in a variety of dishes. Sockeye salmon has deliciously firm flesh with medium sized flakes when meeting the fork, and flesh that ranges in color from orange to deep red. Atlantic salmon has a milder flavor, and the flesh ranges from pink to orange. The flesh has a medium-firm texture with large flakes of meat and a medium fat content.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.