Foods and Drinks to Help Balance Blood Sugar
You are not alone if you are having difficulty balancing your blood sugar. Diabetes affects more than 37 million Americans, with roughly 1.5 million new cases diagnosed each year. In addition, 84 million people have been diagnosed with prediabetes (1).
Nothing beats a good meal to start the day. However, if you’re attempting to control your blood sugar, it’s critical to eat items that will assist balance your levels throughout the day. Skipping breakfast might reduce blood sugar levels since hunger may lead you to seek sugary snacks. Here are some breakfast alternatives to keep you on track.
Oats and Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a complete grain high in fiber that may help decrease the absorption of sugar into your system (2). For an antioxidant boost, top your oatmeal with fresh berries. Alternatively, try oats, which are similarly high in fiber. Soak some protein-rich Greek yogurt, diced apple, and berries in water overnight. Add some nuts in the morning and you’ll be full till noon. You might also cook some conventional porridge, but avoid the urge to top it with sugar. Add some banana slices and berries for a delightful start to the day.
Eggs: Eggs are a high-protein food that may help you feel full and manage your blood sugar levels (3). For breakfast, try preparing a nutritious frittata or omelet. Another traditional breakfast item is an egg on toast. The protein in the eggs will help balance out the carbs in the bread, allowing you to maintain a stable blood sugar level. Poached, scrambled, or fried eggs on seeded wholemeal bread Why not cook some eggs and create toast soldiers? For the best blood sugar-balancing impact, choose wholemeal, granary, or seeded bread over white bread (4).
Toast: If you don’t want eggs, there’s no reason you can’t simply have toast. Remember to avoid white bread if you don’t want to go for a snack mid-morning. This is because it is swiftly absorbed, quickly boosts your blood sugar levels, and quickly drops them (5). Jam, marmalade, and honey are not suitable toppings for diabetics. So, why not try a sliced banana with almond or peanut butter?
Yogurt: Yogurt is high in calcium and probiotics, or healthy microorganisms. Probiotics have been demonstrated to alter blood sugar levels and aid in the prevention of diabetes (6). Rather than choosing so-called fruit yogurt, go for plain yogurt that is lower in sugar and sweetened with real fruit. Choose full-fat yogurt over low-fat yogurt because low-fat yogurt has more sugar than full-fat yogurt. Protein yogurts are also a good option since they take longer to digest.
Fruit and cottage cheese: A modest dish of cottage cheese with fresh fruit is a healthy yet filling alternative. The fruit adds natural sweetness, and the cottage cheese is packed with protein, making this a well-balanced meal that will keep you going all morning.
Smoothie: A smoothie prepared with unsweetened almond milk, frozen bananas, and spinach is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and magnesium. Adding a scoop of protein powder can help you feel satisfied until noon. Don’t be tempted to make all-fruit smoothies or add fruit juice. This will cause your blood sugar levels to skyrocket (7).
Smoked salmon: If you’re feeling frisky or celebrating a particular occasion, how about some smoked salmon? It tastes great on a whole-grain bagel, but for a heartier alternative, try it with scrambled eggs. The beneficial fats and protein in salmon and eggs will help delay the digestion of carbs, preventing blood sugar spikes. (8)
Avocado: Another decadent morning option is avocado mashed over wholegrain bread with a poached egg. Avocado, like salmon, has healthful fats that help keep blood sugar levels stable. Furthermore, avocados are high in fiber and contain several essential vitamins and minerals (9).
After we’ve covered breakfast, what about lunch and dinner? To begin, there is no reason why you cannot employ any of the above recommendations for a nutritious lunch. Other suggestions include the following:
Include protein at every meal: Protein slows the absorption of sugar into the circulation, hence stabilizing blood sugar levels. Protein also helps you feel fuller for longer. Protein-rich foods include lean meats, fish, nuts, beans, and lentils. Don’t forget to add both oily and white fish.
Include fiber with every meal: Fibre also slows digestion and the rate at which blood sugar levels increase. It makes you feel filled longer and is also healthy for your ‘good’ gut flora (10). Fibrous vegetables are the greatest source of fiber, although fruit and entire grains are also good sources. There are plenty of veggies to pick from, so you will never be bored. If you dislike the taste of some veggies, such as cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach, try disguising them in stews, casseroles, soups, and curries. Lentils and chickpeas are very high in fiber.
Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is vital for general health and critical for blood sugar regulation. Drinking water aids in the removal of excess glucose from the body through the kidneys. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day (11).
Cinnamon: This spice has been demonstrated to boost insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels (12). Sprinkle a teaspoon of cinnamon on top of fruits, desserts, or coffee.
Chia seeds: These tiny seeds are high in fiber, which may help decrease the absorption of sugar into the circulation, control blood sugar levels (13) and minimize insulin resistance (14). Chia seeds may be used in smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal or used to create homemade energy bars.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar has been demonstrated to aid diabetics and individuals who do not have the ailment reduce their blood sugar levels. Taking it every day for few months will also help lower your Hba1c blood sugar test result. This is most likely because the acetic acid in vinegar slows carbohydrate breakdown (15). As a consequence, apple cider vinegar may be an effective tool in controlling blood sugar levels. It is not the most pleasant drink, so combine one tablespoon with a big glass of water. Drink it before each meal and before going to bed.
Blood sugar regulation does not have to be complicated. You can assist in maintaining your blood sugar levels in a healthy range by including some of the meal options, foods, and beverages into your diet.
- Statistics About Diabetes https://diabetes.org/about-us/statistics/about-diabetes
- 9 Health Benefits of Eating Oats and Oatmeal https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-benefits-oats-oatmeal
- Are eggs an option for people with type 2 diabetes? https://www.diabetes.ca/managing-my-diabetes/stories/are-eggs-an-option-for-people-with-type-2-diabetes-
- Wholegrains and diabetes https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/carbohydrates-and-diabetes/wholegrains-and-diabetes-
- Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/
- Yogurt and Diabetes: Overview of Recent Observational Studies https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/147/7/1452S/4743682
- Fruit juices and smoothies https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/what-to-drink-with-diabetes/fruit-juices-and-smoothies
- High intake of fatty fish, but not of lean fish, improved postprandial glucose regulation and increased the n-3 PUFA content in the leucocyte membrane in healthy overweight adults: a randomized trial https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28606215/
- Avocados https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/avocados/
- What Are Prebiotics? https://www.verywellhealth.com/prebiotics-and-ibs-1944748
- Water and Diabetes https://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/water-and-diabetes.html
- Cinnamon: Potential Role in the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2901047
- Health Benefits of Chia Seeds https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-chia-seeds
- Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalizes hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18492301/
- Diabetes Control: Is Vinegar a Promising Candidate to Help Achieve Targets? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954571/