Today, researchers know more about blood glucose management than ever before. There are numerous studies on the effects of different foods, exercise, medications, and insulin on blood sugar levels. Their findings have surely helped a large part of the 26 million people with diabetes in the U.S.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you have to work out a particular exercise, eating, or medical plan that will keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Generally, the best foods for these people include foods low in sodium, sugar, and carbs, high in fiber, omega 3s, and monounsaturated acids, as well as plant proteins, lean meats, vegetables, and fruits.
But, there are also some other surprising foods that can help reduce blood glucose levels in those with diabetes.
Foods with Little to No Carbohydrates
These foods are very low in carbs, so they won’t cause a significant rise in blood glucose levels when eaten alone, even in large amounts.
- Dark green vegetables and salad veggies
Some Nuts (a 2-ounce serving of these nuts contain 5 grams or less net carbs: almonds, brazil nuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, and walnuts contain low net carbs. So, a 2-ounce serving of any of these contains 5 g or fewer net carbs.
Foods with Synergy
These foods have components that work together for ultimate health benefits. Some of them help control blood sugar levels, and they include the following:
- The soluble fiber in oats
- Whole grains
- Ground flaxseed
- Soy protein
Green tea provides incredible health benefits, mostly because of its antioxidant/polyphenol content. According to a meta-analysis of 17 controlled trials, drinking this tea helps reduce fasting blood glucose levels and fasting insulin levels.
Beans are a nutrient powerhouse, containing protein, both types of fiber, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and different plant compounds. This incredible nutrient content helps improve blood glucose in those with type 2 diabetes.
The beans and plant protein in beans release carbs into the blood slowly, thus slowing the digestion and reducing the rise in blood glucose. On the other hand, the protein they contain helps increase insulin secretion after meals. Also, fiber and protein help keep you full for longer.
Recent research shows that buckwheat extract reduced blood glucose levels after meals in rats with diabetes by 12-19%. So, why not start experimenting with buckwheat groats?
According to a study conducted on obese diabetic mice, whey protein hydrolysate reduces the rise in insulin levels, improves blood glucose clearance, and improves the pancreas cells’ ability to release insulin in response to blood sugar.
What’s more, past research has connected amino acids in milk with a better secretion of insulin, and low-fat dairy with a decrease in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This spice can help increase insulin sensitivity and improve blood sugar levels, according to studies. For instance, one research suggests that consuming less than ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon a day can lower blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, consuming two teaspoons of this spice can reduce post-meal blood glucose levels, according to another research. Therefore, feel free to sprinkle some cinnamon on your morning coffee, cereal, yogurt, or smoothie.
Mushrooms contain almost no fat, so they are a good food option for obese and diabetics. What’s more, preliminary data from human trials suggests that mushrooms help reduce blood pressure, plasma glucose, serum triglycerides, and total cholesterol levels.
These effects are most likely because of the plant compounds’ polysaccharides.
Eating garlic can cut the risk of heart disease, one of the most common diabetes complications. One 2006 study shows this vegetable can lower blood glucose levels, but only when eaten raw. Also, it helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Another meta-analysis discovered that eating garlic on a regular basis could balance blood glucose levels. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Moreover, garlic is rich in vitamin B6 which takes part in the metabolism of carbs, and vitamin C which shows potential in controlling blood glucose.
However, avoid garlic if you take blood-thinning medications as it’s a natural blood-thinner.
Now that you know these foods can help your diabetes management make sure you include them in your diet as often as you can.