How To Lower Blood Sugar In Diet – Jillian Kubala, MS, RD August 10, 2020 – Reviewed by Grant Tinsley, Ph.D., CSCS, *D, CISSN, Nutrition
People with diabetes, prediabetes, or other conditions that affect blood sugar should eat healthily to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. A few foods may help lower your blood sugar, but some may be more effective than others.
Although factors such as body weight, activity, stress and genetics also play a role in maintaining blood sugar, a healthy diet is essential for blood sugar control (
Some foods, including high sugar and refined carbohydrates, may contribute to blood sugar fluctuations, while others may improve blood sugar control and contribute to overall health.
This phytochemical is produced when broccoli is cut or chewed by a reaction between a glucosinolate compound called glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase, both of which are concentrated in broccoli (5).
Experimental, animal, and human studies have shown that broccoli extract, rich in sulforaphane, has potent antidiabetic effects, helping to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar and markers of oxidative stress.
Broccoli sprouts are a concentrated source of glucosinolates, such as glucoraphanin, and have been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes when added as a powder or extract.
Remember, the best way to increase sulforaphane availability is to enjoy broccoli and broccoli sprouts raw or lightly steamed, or to add active sources of myrosinase, such as mustard seed powder, to cooked broccoli.
Seafood, including fish and shellfish, offers valuable protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Protein is important for blood sugar control. It helps slow down digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes after meals, and also increases the feeling of fullness. Additionally, it may help prevent overeating and promote the loss of excess body fat, two effects that are important for healthy blood sugar levels.
High consumption of fatty fish such as salmon and sardines helps improve blood sugar regulation.
For example, a study of 68 overweight or obese adults who ate 26 ounces (750 grams) of fatty fish per week showed significant improvements in post-meal blood sugar levels compared to those who ate lean fish.
Brightly colored and packed with fiber and antioxidants, zucchini is a great choice for regulating blood sugar. In fact, pumpkin is used as a traditional treatment for diabetes in many countries such as Mexico and Iran.
Pumpkin is high in carbohydrates called polysaccharides, which have been studied for their potential to regulate blood sugar. Treatment with pumpkin extracts and powders has been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels in human and animal studies (
However, more research is needed to determine how whole pumpkin, whether roasted or steamed, benefits blood sugar.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with healthy fats and proteins, making them an excellent choice for blood sugar control.
A 2018 study of 40 people found that consuming 65 grams of pumpkin seeds reduced post-meal blood sugar by 35% compared to a control group.
A study in 25 people with type 2 diabetes found that eating both peanuts and almonds throughout the day as part of a low-carb diet reduced both fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels.
Also, one review found that diets emphasizing an average of 2 ounces (56 grams) of tree nuts daily significantly improved fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), an indicator of long-term blood sugar control, compared to a control diet. reduce people with type 2 diabetes (
Okra is a fruit that is widely used as a vegetable. It is a rich source of sugar-lowering compounds such as polysaccharides and flavonoid antioxidants.
In Turkey, okra seeds are used as a natural remedy for diabetes due to their powerful blood sugar lowering properties (
Rhamnogalacturonan, the main polysaccharide of okra, has been identified as a potent antidiabetic compound. Also, okra contains the flavonoids isoquercitrin and quercetin 3-O-gentiobioside, which help lower blood sugar by inhibiting certain enzymes (
Flax seeds are rich in fiber and healthy fats and are known for their health benefits. Flaxseeds, in particular, can help lower blood sugar levels.
In an 8-week study in 57 people with type 2 diabetes, those who consumed 200 grams of 2.5% fat yogurt and 30 grams of flaxseed daily had significantly lower blood sugar levels than those who did not. • Significantly reduced HbA1c. plain yogurt (
Additionally, a review of 25 controlled studies showed that eating flaxseed led to a significant improvement in blood sugar control.
Beans and lentils are rich in nutrients like magnesium, fiber, and protein that can help lower blood sugar. It is particularly high in soluble fiber and resistant starch, which help slow digestion and improve blood sugar response after a meal (
For example, a study of 12 women found that adding black beans or chickpeas to a rice meal significantly reduced post-meal blood sugar levels compared to eating rice alone.
Many other studies have shown that eating beans and lentils can not only help regulate blood sugar, but may also help protect against the development of diabetes.
Fermented foods like kimchi and kale are packed with health-promoting compounds, including probiotics, minerals, and antioxidants, and eating them has been linked to improving blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
A study in 21 people with diabetes found that eating fermented kimchi for 8 weeks improved glucose tolerance in 33% of participants, compared to only 9.5% of participants who consumed fresh kimchi (
Another study in 41 people with diabetes found that following a traditional Korean diet rich in fermented foods such as kimchi for 12 weeks led to a greater reduction in HbA1c than a control diet.
Eating chia seeds can help control blood sugar. Studies have linked chia seed consumption to lower blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity.
A 2020 review of 17 animal studies concluded that chia seeds may help improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, as well as reduce the risk of diseases, including diabetes.
Also, a study of 15 healthy adults found that participants who took 25 grams of chia seeds and 2 ounces (50 grams) of a sugar solution had blood sugar levels 39% lower than those who did not. only sugar solution (
Kale is often described as a “superfood”—and for good reason. It’s loaded with compounds that can help lower blood sugar levels, including fiber and flavonoid antioxidants.
A study of 42 Japanese adults found that consuming 7 or 14 grams of kale with a high-carb meal significantly reduced postprandial blood sugar levels compared to a placebo.
Studies have shown that the flavonoid antioxidants found in turmeric, including quercetin and kaempferol, have a powerful effect on lowering blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
Numerous studies have linked mulberry consumption to improved blood sugar control. Berries are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them an excellent choice for people who have trouble managing their blood sugar.
A 2019 study found that eating 2 cups (250 grams) of red raspberries with a high-carb meal significantly reduced insulin and blood sugar in adults with diabetes compared to a control group.
In addition to raspberries, research has shown that strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries can benefit blood sugar management by increasing insulin sensitivity and improving glucose clearance from the blood.
In addition to being creamy and delicious, avocados can also provide significant benefits in regulating blood sugar. They are rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and adding them to meals has been shown to improve blood sugar levels.
Numerous studies have shown that avocados can lower blood sugar levels and protect against the development of metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk of chronic disease, such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
Note, however, that most studies investigating the effects of avocado consumption on blood sugar levels have been funded by the Hass Avocado Council and may affect some aspects of this study.
Including oats and oats in your diet can help improve your blood sugar levels due to their high amount of soluble fiber, which has significant blood sugar lowering properties.
An analysis of 16 studies showed that oatmeal consumption significantly reduced HbA1c and blood sugar levels compared to control foods.
Additionally, a small study in 10 people found that drinking 7 ounces (200 mL) of water mixed with 27.3 grams of oatmeal before eating white bread reduced post-meal blood sugar compared to drinking water alone.
Although many citrus fruits are sweet, research shows they can help lower blood sugar levels. Citrus fruits are considered low glycemic fruits as they do not affect blood sugar as much as other fruits such as watermelon and pineapple (
Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are loaded with fiber and contain plant compounds like naringenin, a polyphenol with potent anti-diabetic properties.
Eating citrus can increase insulin sensitivity, lower HbA1c,
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