5 Foods That Help Control Your Blood Sugar


Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. It is absorbed from the foods you eat and is carried through your blood to all cells.

You can improve your blood sugar control by making healthy food choices and following a regular exercise routine. Achieving normal blood sugar levels can help prevent serious diabetes complications now and in the future.

1. Drink Water

Water is a necessary fluid for the body that provides a number of important functions. It’s especially important for people with diabetes because it can help prevent dehydration, which contributes to elevated blood sugars.

Water also helps to flush out excess glucose from the bloodstream. It can also be helpful in reducing cravings for sugary beverages, which may lead to excessive consumption of calories and elevated blood sugars.

However, drinking too much water can cause a dangerous condition known as hyponatremia, which should be avoided. It’s best to drink water throughout the day in small, regular amounts, based on your activity level and environment.

To help you stick to a healthy water-drinking routine, consider using a smartwatch or smartphone app to set water reminders for yourself throughout the day. Keeping a water bottle at your desk or in the car can also be a great way to remember to drink more water.

2. Eat Nuts

As a protein-packed snack, nuts are a healthy addition to any diet. They also offer an array of nutrients that promote health and stave off debilitating diseases like diabetes.

Nuts are low in carbohydrates and high in heart-healthy fats. They can keep you full and help regulate your blood sugar, preventing spikes. Aim for five one-ounce servings per week of nuts such as pistachios, almonds and cashews.

Adding nuts to your meal helps lower your blood sugar levels, as long as you are careful about how you prepare them. Avoid eating them fried and coated in salt, Dobbins says. Try to eat them raw or dry-roasted instead.

In a few small studies, people who added nuts to their meals saw lower postprandial glucose and insulin responses than those who didn’t. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings. Still, people with diabetes should add them to their diet. Regularly consuming nuts may also reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and heart disease, as noted by the PREDIMED study. This is probably due to the fact that they provide fiber, unsaturated fats and protein, which can all reduce your risk of heart disease.

3. Eat Nonstarchy Vegetables

If you’re on the Nutrisystem diet, you’re encouraged to fill half of your plate with nonstarchy vegetables, which are high in fiber and water content. They’re also a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Adding them to your meals helps stabilize blood sugar and calories and adds volume to your meals. Ideally, they should be boiled, steamed or baked to keep the nutrients intact. Be careful to limit unhealthy condiments such as sauces and dressings, as they tend to be high in salt and fat.

Starchy vegetables such as corn, peas and potatoes dish up carbs similar to those in grains and “starches” such as bread and pasta, so they should be counted as part of your carb allowance at meals.

Make nonstarchy veggies a staple of your diet by pairing them with protein and making them the base of your meals. You can use them in salads, soups, side dishes and omelets or as a topping for proteins such as lean meats, eggs and tofu. Make sure to include a variety of non-starchy vegetables in your meals, such as green leafy veggies (spinach, kale, chard), carrots, peppers and tomatoes.

4. Eat Fruits

Fruits are a good choice for those who need to manage their blood sugar because they provide nutrient-rich carbohydrates. They also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But some fruits may cause your glucose levels to rise more than others. And it is important to keep in mind that portion size plays a role.

For example, mangoes have a lot of sugar and not much fiber so they can lead to a spike in your blood sugar after eating them. A better option would be to combine them with a protein like peanuts or paneer which will slow down the absorption of the sugar.

You should also be cautious with dried fruits as they tend to have more sugar than fresh ones. A small box of raisins can have up to 20 grams of sugar, so it is best to eat them sparingly. Dried apricots, currants and pineapple are also high in sugar, but they do have some good micronutrients like iron and health-promoting phytochemicals. It’s best to consume them in small quantities and in between meals.

5. Eat Lean Protein

Protein provides our bodies with the amino acids that help build and repair tissues. It also helps keep our blood sugar steady. A high-protein diet can be a good option for people with diabetes, but it should be paired with nutrient-rich complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.

It’s important to choose lean proteins, which have less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and 95 milligrams or less of cholesterol in a 3-ounce serving. Lean proteins include poultry (chicken breast, thighs, and drumsticks) and fish like trout, salmon, cod, halibut, mahi-mahi or tilapia. Poultry and fish are also good sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Low-fat dairy, including milk and yogurt, can be a source of protein, but it should be paired with nonfat berries to control the carbohydrate load.

Plant-based protein foods like beans and lentils are also a good source of lean proteins, offering fiber, disease-fighting plant compounds, and nutrients like iron. Edamame is another great protein option that contains cancer-fighting isoflavones and is low in unhealthy fats.

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