One way to control blood sugar is to follow a healthy diet. In general, foods and drinks that the body absorbs slowly are best because they do not cause spikes and drops in blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) measures the effects of specific foods on blood sugar. People who want to control their levels should choose foods with a low or moderate GI score. A person can also pair foods with a low and high GI to ensure that a meal is balanced. Here are some of the best Foods That Control Blood Sugar.
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Except for pineapples and melons, most fruits have low GI scores of 55 or less. This is because most fruits contain lots of water and fiber to balance out their naturally occurring sugar, which is called fructose. However, as fruits ripen, their GI scores increase. Fruit juices also have very high GI scores because juicing removes the fibrous skins and seeds.
A large 2013 study trusted Source found that people who consumed whole fruits, especially blueberries, grapes, and apples, had significantly lower risks of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers also reported that drinking fruit juice increased the risk of developing the condition.
Seafood, including fish and shellfish, offers a valuable source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may help regulate blood sugar levels.
Protein is essential for blood sugar control. It helps slow digestion and prevents post-meal blood sugar spikes, as well as increases feelings of fullness. Plus, it may help prevent overeating and promote excess body fat loss, two effects that are essential for healthy blood sugar levels. A high intake of fatty fish like salmon and sardines has been shown to help improve blood sugar regulation.
For example, a study in 68 adults with overweight or obesity who consumed 26 ounces (750 grams) of fatty fish per week had significant improvements in post-meal blood sugar levels, compared with those who consumed lean fish
Okra is a fruit that’s commonly utilized like a vegetable. It’s a rich source of blood-sugar-lowering compounds like polysaccharides and flavonoid antioxidants.
In Turkey, okra seeds have long been used as a natural remedy to treat diabetes due to their potent blood-sugar-lowering properties. Rhamnogalacturonan, the main polysaccharide in okra, has been identified as a powerful anti-diabetic compound. Plus, okra contains the flavonoids isoquercitrin and quercetin 3-O-gentiobioside, which help reduce blood sugar by inhibiting certain enzymes. Although animal studies suggest that okra has powerful anti-diabetic properties, human research studies are needed.
Oats have a GI score of 55 or lower, making them less likely to cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels.
Foods That Control Blood Sugar- Oats also contain B-glucans, which can do the following:
- reduce glucose and insulin responses after meals
- improve insulin sensitivity
- help maintain glycemic control
- reduce blood lipids (fats)
Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are packed with health-promoting compounds, including probiotics, minerals, and antioxidants, and eating them has been associated with improved blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
A study in 21 people with prediabetes found that eating fermented kimchi for 8 weeks improved glucose tolerance in 33% of the participants, while only 9.5% of participants who consumed fresh kimchi showed improved glucose tolerance. Another study in 41 people with diabetes demonstrated that following a traditional Korean diet rich in fermented foods like kimchi for 12 weeks led to greater reductions in HbA1c than a control diet
Eating plain yogurt daily may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Authors of a large 2014 meta-analysis concluded that yogurt may be the only dairy product that lowers the risk of developing the condition. They also noted that other dairy products do not seem to increase a person’s risk.
Researchers are still unsure why yogurt helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, plain yogurt is generally a low-GI food. Most unsweetened yogurts have a GI score of 50 or less.
It is best to avoid sweetened or flavored yogurts, which often contain too much sugar for a person looking to lower their blood sugar levels. Greek-style yogurt can be a healthful alternative.
Foods That Control Blood Sugar: Nuts are low-glycemic, high in fiber, and a healthy source of fat. They also contain beneficial nutrients and vitamins, like, omega-3 fatty acids, and , which improve heart health and contribute to a balanced diet. A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that consuming more than a quarter ounce of nuts a day decreased Type 2 diabetes risk factors, like body mass index and waist circumference.