Eating Right for a More Balanced Lifestyle
This article will discuss the best foods for lowering blood sugar, to help you balance your lifestyle. Some excellent treatment options include Ozempic® (semaglutide), an injectable prescription medicine used to improve blood sugar (glucose) in adults with type 2 diabetes, and Jardiance (empagliflozin), a medication used in the management and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Best Foods for Lowering Blood Sugar
Below you’ll find a list of foods with a low glycemic index rating (GI Rating) that are great for people who need to manage their blood sugar or just anyone looking to eat healthier.
1. Chickpeas and Beans
GI Rating: Approximately 36.
In 2017, a study was published in the Nutrients peer-reviewed journal that found chickpeas and beans both have a significant impact on lowering blood sugar. These two foods are nutrient-rich, making them a great addition to any balanced diet.
GI Rating: 15.
Broccoli is another nutrient-dense food. It is rich in chromium, which has been found to help reduce blood sugar. As this 2020 article on broccoli from Food & Scientific Report highlights, “if a person’s blood sugar is on borderline, chromium can help control it.”
GI Rating: 0,
Salmon is a great protein for keeping blood sugar low because it is full of omega-3 and is proven to reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol. Lower cholesterol also helps with lowering blood pressure. Salmon is a superfood.
GI Rating: 0 to 25, depending on the type of nut.
Nuts are a great food for lowering blood sugar because they are filled with healthy nutrients. There have been many studies on the effectiveness of nuts like almonds in reducing blood sugar and blood pressure. They are great for heart health if you eat them raw or roasted.
GI Rating: 0 to 35, depending on the type of seed.
A 2021 study found that seeds like sunflower and flax seeds can be used to lower blood sugar and treat type 2 diabetes. More specifically, the chlorogenic acid found in them can help with insulin resistance.
GI Rating: 55.
Oats have the highest low glycemic index rating on this list. However, it’s whole grains like oats that have a higher level of carbs but are still okay for your blood sugar levels. You just need to make sure you eat whole-grain oats and avoid instant oats and additives to your oats.
GI Rating: 2 to 4.
Leafy greens like kale are great because they are nutrient-dense and have almost no carbs. Kale is often called a superfood because of its benefits, and one of those benefits is that it is another food that helps prevent glucose spikes in your blood.
GI Rating: 40.
Seen as one of the healthiest fats out there, avocados are surprisingly delicious and filling. They are also high in fiber and don’t affect your blood glucose levels. They are a great way to keep you full, especially if you’re struggling with a craving for some unhealthy food.
GI Rating: 53.
Blueberries have an anti-diabetic effect, which means they can help prevent insulin resistance in the body. This means that they reduce glucose levels and help with high blood sugar. Blueberries are also full of antioxidants and help reduce hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.
GI Rating: 10.
Finally, the traditional Korean fermented vegetable dish called kimchi is proven to be great for managing blood sugar, among many other things. A 2013 review found that kimchi can reduce insulin resistance in the body and increase insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetic people. This same study also found that it helped decrease blood pressure.
Balance Your Blood Sugar with a Healthy Balanced Diet
Problems with blood sugar are a bigger issue than you may think. Roughly 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes. Of that number, 1 in 5 of those people don’t even know they have diabetes. Those are some scary numbers, and that’s why it’s so important to eat a balanced diet that can prevent blood sugar from rising too high or dipping too low to either manage diabetes or prevent it.
The best way to lower and balance blood sugar is by following a low glycemic index diet and eating balanced meals of protein, carbs and fats. Low glycemic foods have little or no carbohydrates and can have a smaller effect on your blood sugar levels. Low glycemic index foods are foods with a carb load rating of 55 or lower.
According to Harvard University’s Nutrition Plate, it’s best to eat meals that are 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% healthy proteins and 25% whole grains. It is also essential to keep in mind that anyone following a low-glycemic diet should try to eat no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates in one day. Those carbohydrates should also be whole grains and not empty carbs like refined sugars.
Although it can sometimes be daunting to change your diet for health reasons, there are some very clear benefits to doing so. This is just a small sample of the vast list of foods great for reducing and managing your blood sugar levels. Happy eating!