How To Control Blood Sugar After Meal – Effectively managing blood glucose levels can be challenging, but is necessary to prevent serious long-term health problems. This is true whether you are diagnosed with diabetes, pre-diabetes or your pancreas is perfectly functional. A healthy diet can have a significant impact on blood sugar levels, both in the short and long term. Here’s how to get the most out of it.
The goal is to stay within the target range as recommended by your healthcare provider and avoid blood sugar spikes or drops. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day helps regulate your energy and keep your organs functioning properly. One way to achieve this is by slowing down the digestive process that converts carbohydrates into energy.
Yes, your blood sugar will naturally rise in response to the carbohydrates you eat. But it is important to note that not all carbohydrates are created equal. Some have a higher glycemic index (GI) than others. Refined carbohydrates are in the high GI category. Minimally processed carbohydrates with a high fiber content are in the low GI category. Eating more low-GI carbs instead of higher-GI carbs can help diabetics more easily control their blood sugar levels. You can also help your carbs with foods that are high in protein and fiber.
We’ve compiled a list of nutrient-dense, low-glycemic foods that won’t spike your blood sugar and will help you feel full.
Green leafy vegetables | Legumes | Olive oil | Nuts | Oatmeal | Eggs | Chia Seed Natural Yogurt | Seafood | Onion | Other tips for controlling blood sugar
This superfood group includes things like kale, spinach, broccoli, bok choy, Swiss chard, and lettuce. They are very low in carbohydrates, so they won’t spike your blood sugar. Rich in antioxidants, studies have shown that eating these foods can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. The USDA recommends eating at least 2-3 servings of green leafy vegetables per week to reap these health benefits.
Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and black beans may contain starch, but they also have protein, magnesium, and high levels of soluble fiber. This means they are slower to digest than simple carbohydrates, providing a steady supply of energy to the body instead of a quick rush. The high fiber content found in beans is associated with a lower risk of obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Canned beans are affordable and convenient, but be sure to check the label for added sugars before you buy.
Olive oil has long been an essential part of the traditional Mediterranean diet, which is rich in vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, and low in red meat and refined carbohydrates. Eating this type of diet, including olive oil, can have unique benefits for diabetics. A 2015 study found that extra virgin olive oil helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels more than other types of fat.
Low in carbohydrates but high in protein and healthy fats, nuts are a solid choice for diabetics looking for a snack. They help regulate blood sugar and help you feel fuller, which can aid in weight loss. There are several studies linking nuts to increased health benefits, including a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and a slower blood sugar response. Just make sure you eat nuts in moderation as they are high in calories.
High in carbohydrates but also high in soluble fiber, oatmeal can be a good alternative to sugar-rich cereals for people with type 2 diabetes. But be careful; the more processed oats are, the faster they will digest and raise blood glucose levels. Stick to old-fashioned or steel-cut oats (as opposed to instant oatmeal) and eat with protein or healthy fats.
Speaking of protein and healthy fats, eggs are packed with both, especially the yolks. Eggs are a wonderful addition to a healthy diabetes diet, as they are associated with better insulin sensitivity and lower fasting blood sugar in adults with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. They also help you feel full, making it easier to maintain at a healthy body weight. Although early research suggested that the high cholesterol content of eggs may be bad for the heart, more recent studies have shown that eating eggs regularly as part of a healthy diet does not increase risk factors for heart disease.
Chia seeds are a great source of fiber and antioxidants (noticing a trend?) and also contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrient-packed seeds may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and diabetes complications Like the other fiber foods on this list, chia seeds help slow digestion, reduce insulin resistance, and help prevent high blood sugar in the blood. It’s easy to sprinkle chia seeds into oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies and baked goods for a nutritional boost.
Rich in protein and probiotics, natural sugar-free yogurt is one of the best dairy products that diabetics can eat. A2017 study found that people who ate probiotic yogurt daily had lower blood glucose levels and blood pressure than people who didn’t. Although you’ll find a wide variety of yogurts in the grocery store these days, be sure to watch out for added sugars, which are especially common in low-fat yogurt. Greek yogurt is an especially good choice because it contains fewer carbohydrates and more protein than regular yogurt.
Seafood is an excellent source of protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Like the other protein-rich foods on this list, seafood helps you feel full and slows digestion. Fatty fish that are rich in omega 3 can be especially healthy for people with diabetes. It has been shown to help overweight adults improve blood sugar levels after meals more than people who ate other types of fish. Salmon, mackerel, sardines and albacore tuna are just some of the options to choose from.
Garlic is widely used as a way to add flavor to many recipes, but it also has health benefits for people with and without diabetes. Compounds found in garlic give it strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, and have been linked to cancer prevention, lowering blood pressure and improving blood sugar management. Be aware that it can be quite strong when eaten raw or in large quantities, causing side effects such as heartburn and nausea.
Exercise helps increase our body’s sensitivity to insulin, which lowers blood sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association, physical activity can cause blood sugar to drop for up to 24 hours after exercise. Monitor your blood sugar levels to see how your body responds to exercise.
Water helps flush out all types of toxins from our system and can also flush out excess glucose. A study found that not drinking enough water puts people at risk of high blood sugar.
Carrying extra weight is associated with insulin resistance and a higher risk of developing diabetes. If you’re reading this, you’re already researching how to eat healthier, which is a big factor in weight loss, so good for you! Keep in mind that losing even a modest amount of weight can lead to big benefits for blood sugar management.
Unstable blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle and lead to insomnia and frequent urination at night. This, in turn, can lead to fatigue the next day, which increases insulin resistance and makes it harder to stick to a healthy diet and lose weight.
Extra virgin olive oil consumption is associated with improved postprandial blood glucose and LDL cholesterol in healthy subjects, Nutrition and Diabetes
Egg consumption may improve factors associated with glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in adults with pre- and type II diabetes, National Library of Medicine
The impact of egg consumption on cardiovascular risk factors in persons with type 2 diabetes and at risk of developing diabetes: a systematic review of randomized nutritional intervention studies, National Library of Medicine
The effect of probiotic yogurt on blood glucose and cardiovascular biomarkers in patients with type II diabetes: a randomized controlled trial, Journal of Evidence-Based Care
High intake of fatty fish, but not lean fish, improved postprandial glucose regulation and increased leukocyte membrane n-3 PUFA content in healthy overweight adults: a randomized trial, National Library of Medicine
The information provided on the Aeroflow Diabetes Blog is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or care. Aeroflow Diabetes recommends that you consult a physician if you have any medical problems or concerns. Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition, is a diabetes dietitian (registered dietitian nutritionist) known for combining her diabetes knowledge and culinary experience into easy-to-follow recipes and articles!
In this article we will look at how to lower blood sugar immediately and which foods help lower blood sugar over time.
There is no food that will magically protect your body from developing diabetes. But there are some foods that research has shown can help promote healthy blood sugar levels over time. Read on to find out how to lower blood sugar immediately, foods that help lower blood sugar, and what foods to eat when your blood sugar is higher than you’d like.
*This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment
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