The main sugar content present in our blood is Blood sugar or glucose. The carbohydrates in the consumed food generate this glucose.
This sugar functions as a source of energy as well as provide essential nutrients to the organs, muscles, and nervous system. The small intestine, liver, and pancreas constantly regulate the production, storage, and absorption of glucose. The endocrine system keeps in check the bloodstream's glucose levels with the help of the pancreas.
- 1 Foods That Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
- 1.1 Foods that Help
- 1.2 Avocados
- 1.3 Tuna, halibut, and fish with omega-3 fatty acids
- 1.4 Garlic
- 1.5 Sour Cherries
- 1.6 Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1.7 Leafy Greens like spinach, kale, and chard
- 1.8 Chia seeds
- 1.9 Cacao
- 1.10 Blueberries and blackberries
- 1.11 Almonds and other nuts
- 1.12 Whole grains
- 1.13 Eggs
- 1.14 Coffee
- 1.15 Foods that Do Not Help
Foods That Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Problems with sugar levels like Diabetes occur when the pancreas does not produce insulin or the cells do not use insulin effectively or both. The body does not get enough sugar from the blood into cells or produce any insulin. This causes high levels of blood sugar. The carbohydrates in the consumed food get converted into sugars through the digestion process. These sugars get absorbed into the blood.
The pancreas produces the hormone called insulin. The insulin sends excessive glucose into the liver as glycogen and the pancreas may not be able to produce enough insulin to compete with the sugar coming into the body which causes the blood sugar levels to shoot up. Various causes like obesity, diet, and family history contribute to it.
If you have diabetes, managing your blood glucose level is extremely important as higher blood sugar levels can cause long-term complications.
Foods that Help
The foods you choose to consume have a big impact on glucose levels. Do not ever skip meals. Irregular eating habits can cause spikes and dips in blood glucose and make it difficult to balance.
There are no foods, drinks, or supplements that can lower blood sugar but it can be achieved only through medication and exercise.
However, some foods that have a low Glycaemic Index (GI) will not raise the blood sugar and help avoid a blood sugar spike.
Avoid foods that have a high GI score (above 55) and reduce the number of carbohydrates and sugar consumed.
Include healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fat in your diet. The healthy fat-containing food includes nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, olive oil.
They have a low GI and are rich in satiating polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). They improve blood pressure and lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Tuna, halibut, and fish with omega-3 fatty acids
Proteins help the body to maintain and repair itself. Since they do not affect blood sugar levels, they do not raise blood sugar levels. Fish is a great source of protein, like salmon, trout, albacore tuna, mackerel, and halibut.
Garlic and onions can lower fasting blood sugar and do not increase blood sugar levels.
Sour or Tart cherries, not regular cherries have anthocyanins that protect against diabetes and obesity.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The acetic acid present in it improves insulin sensitivity after meals.
Leafy Greens like spinach, kale, and chard
All leafy greens have a low GI as well as are high in fiber, magnesium, and vitamin A which lower blood sugar, like spinach, lettuce, collards, turnip greens, and kale.
Chia seeds, with a GI of 1, are high in fiber and healthy fats, omega-3s, calcium, and antioxidants.
Cacao seeds are high in antioxidants and contain epicatechin flavanol. This helps to regulate glucose production and stabilize blood sugar.
Blueberries and blackberries
Blackberries and blueberries are high in fiber and contain anthocyanins which slow down digestion and prevent spikes in blood sugar.
Almonds and other nuts
Almonds that have a GI score of 0 can regulate and reduce spikes in blood sugar. Most nuts like pistachios, walnuts, and macadamias have GI scores less than 20, except for cashew with 22.
Refined grains contain high carbohydrates and cause sugar spikes. In comparison, whole grains, like millet or quinoa contain higher amounts of fiber, phytochemicals, and other nutrients and help regulate blood sugar.
Eggs have a GI score of 0. They can increase fullness, reduce cravings, and can be consumed in moderation since they contain a higher amount of cholesterol.
Caffeinated or Decaffeinated coffee may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes by more than 10 percent. Of course, it should be in moderation and avoid adding sugar or even milk to it.
Foods that Do Not Help
Do not consume:
- Foods that are high in saturated and trans-fats, cholesterol, and sodium.
- Processed foods. They digest very fast and spike up blood sugar levels. Examples are foods containing sodium, sugar, saturated, Trans fats, and lots of calories.
- Sugars, high GI carbohydrates, or other treats.
Few apps can check the exact carbohydrate and sugar content of food before you consume it, like MyFitnessPal, MyNetDiary, and Carb Manager.
Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly. Eat a healthy and balanced diet, do regular exercise, and take the medications prescribed by your doctor on time will surely help to maintain normal blood sugar levels.