When it comes to eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients to reduce blood sugar levels, the importance of improving this habit of life is understood, but it is difficult to start the application of a strategy, given the number of doubts that one has.
Since a high level of sugar in the blood could be dangerous and cause diseases such as diabetes, it is important not to overdo the inclusion of this food in the diet. To help you find the right options, below, we will discuss some of the foods that can help you eat a balanced diet and at the same time lower blood sugar.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease related to insulin deficiency or the inability to use it properly. We can differentiate between:
- Type 1 diabetes: In this type of diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Since the body needs insulin to metabolize glucose from the food we eat, this lack can be very problematic.
- Type 2 diabetes: In this type of diabetes, the body may not produce or use insulin properly.
In both types of diabetes, the sugar stays in the blood and this excess can lead to more serious problems. To help prevent these types of diseases, it is best to eat a balanced diet.
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What foods tend to increase blood sugar?
The carbohydrates (high glycemic index) are the foods you should avoid if you want to reduce the level of blood sugar.
A moderate consumption implies that, if you eat more than one food or drink that increases your blood sugar level, the amounts should be small, to avoid problems. Otherwise, the risk of developing diabetes will increase.
So, you should reduce and moderate your consumption of unhealthy carbohydrates (such as sweets and starches). Instead, you can go for foods that are high in protein.
Patients with diabetes should be aware that although the blood sugar level improves, this does not mean that the disease has disappeared.
Foods that lower your blood sugar level
The following foods, along with good planning, can help you maintain a balanced diet and also keep your blood sugar level closer to normal.
Compared to other fruits, avocados contain very little sugar (United States Department of Agriculture, 2011). In this way, they can be consumed in greater quantities, but taking into account that their energy density is high.
Walnuts are unique among dried fruits since they contain omega 3 fatty acids and have a low glycemic index. They are a source of vegetable protein, fiber, and minerals like magnesium. According to some research, they can be very convenient for the diet of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This is because fiber has been shown to be able to reduce the impact of sugars in the body.
Fish is a food with a low amount of carbohydrates but it has protein, iron, potassium and healthy fats.
Thus, a study published by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) specifies: “The total, white and oily fish consumption may be beneficial in reducing the risk of diabetes.” This highlights the importance of consuming fish regularly.
In this study, it was also seen that higher seafood intake appears to be associated with an increased risk of diabetes, warranting further research on cooking methods and mechanisms.
Eating healthy and tasty is possible, you just have to pay a little more attention to the properties of food to be able to take advantage of its benefits in various preparations.
4. Vegetables to lower blood sugar
In the field of vegetables, it is important to choose those that have a low starch content. Dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts are a good option.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, artichokes, and asparagus are also recommended. On the other hand, it might be advisable to avoid canned vegetables, since they often have preservatives and additives that are not suitable for patients with high blood sugar levels.
Legumes are a source of vegetable protein and nutrients, but also carbohydrates, so their consumption should be done in a moderate and spaced manner. Some very common foods, within the group of legumes, can be: chickpeas and lentils.
Although it is true that there are conflicting opinions regarding whether cinnamon is a beneficial food to balance the health of diabetic patients, to date, it is insisted that this spice has great potential thanks to its components (such as iron and calcium).
On the other hand, several investigations show the antidiabetic effects of the spice, probably due to the presence of certain phytonutrients inside.
According to the hypotheses of some researchers, vinegar could help reduce blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. But vinegar creams should be avoided, as they contain sugars.
Improve diet to manage blood sugar
The foods described here are not a substitute for the application of any medical treatment or insulin intake by diabetics.
A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle will help you enjoy a better quality of life. It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions and not abandon the prescribed treatment unless the professional so indicates.