Oct 12, 2021
Top Foods to Help Manage Blood Sugar
This is one of my favorite topics to write about. I’ve been helping patients and clients manage blood sugar for 36 years. Never has it been more important or more needed than right now.
As our American beltlines continue to expand and our health continues to decline, the need to control our blood sugar has never been greater. With all the advances we see in science and information regarding lifestyle, we are in the first generation that has ever experienced a lower life-expectancy than the previous generation. That means, very sadly, our kids are expected to live shorter lives than we are.
I cannot stress how important keeping our blood sugar low is to build and maintain our health. There is a direct correlation between maintaining low blood sugar and incidence of heart disease, incidence of diabetes, incidence of strokes and incidence of arthritic joint disease.
How can we live a full life, eating foods that are tasty and flavorful, while still managing to keep our blood sugar in a healthy range? I’m so happy you asked, follow me:
- Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables – not only do they fill you up, but they’re full of essential vitamins and minerals that help regulate your blood sugar. Since they’re a whole food with trace amounts of sugar and high levels of fiber, you can eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you want without having to worry about high blood sugar spikes. Here are just a few of these amazing vegetables – artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes and zucchini.
- Eat lots of leafy greens - leafy greens are packed full of nutrients and are lower in digestible carbs than other vegetables. This means that your blood sugar won’t raise very much regardless of how many you eat. Examples of these special veggies are spinach, kale, cabbage, romaine lettuce, cilantro, collard greens.
- Eat lots of fatty fish – we often refer to these fish as ‘cold water fish’, because we don’t like to use the term fatty. However, fatty fish like salmon and anchovies give you a significant serving of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which can help protect your heart against potential complications from diabetes. DHA and EPA both protect your blood vessels, reduce inflammation, and improve the function of your arteries after consumption.
- Eat nuts and seeds - Nuts and seeds have high levels of fiber and most are low in digestible carbs, so they won’t raise your blood sugar. It is important to differentiate certain types of nuts, however, as some of them have very high levels of digestible carbs. The best types of nuts for people concerned with their blood sugar include almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Please note – we do not recommend eating “lots” of nuts and seeds. They are great for maintaining low blood sugar but are high in healthy fats, it’s still fat and shouldn’t be over-done.
- Eat beans and lentils - Beans and lentils are rich in nutrients, such as magnesium, fiber, and protein, that can help lower blood sugar. They’re particularly high in soluble fiber and resistant starch, which help slow digestion and may improve blood sugar response after meals. Another great plus for beans and lentils is the very low price for bags of them.
- Eat lots of berries - Berries are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and they make an excellent choice for people with blood sugar management issues. Great berries to munch on include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
- Eat lots of citrus fruits - though many citrus fruits are sweet, research shows that they may help reduce blood sugar levels. Citrus fruits are considered low glycemic fruits because they don’t affect blood sugar as much as other types of fruits like watermelon and pineapple. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are packed with fiber and contain plant compounds like naringenin, a polyphenol that has powerful antidiabetic properties.
We could go on listing many, many great foods to manage blood sugar levels. Please note, none of these foods come from fast-food restaurants and they are all better eaten fresh, not canned or boxed or frozen.
We can all benefit from eating more of the food items listed here. Our blood sugar control is well within our grasp as we include healthy portions of these tasty items. Be Blessed.
Category: Dr. Sterling