Foods that lower blood sugar are of interest to anyone dealing with diabetes or at risk of developing the condition.
The important thing to understand when creating a food plan for managing diabetes is that you do not need to eat differently than others, you can still enjoy common foods found in your local grocery store and you do not need to deprive yourself of all your favorite foods.
The key to eating healthy is adding variety and knowing how to pick the foods that lower blood sugar levels.
A good place to start shifting your food choices is to look at the glycemic index of foods. "The glycemic index measures how fast a food is likely to raise your blood sugar." (1) Foods with a lower glycemic index will raise your blood sugar at a slower rate and are therefore foods you will want to focus on for your diabetes food plan.
Low glycemic foods can be thought of as foods that require more effort for your body to breakdown, or in other words, foods that are more in their whole or unrefined form. Common low glycemic foods include whole fruits, non-starchy vegetables (think vegetables commonly seen on a salad), oatmeal or high-fiber cereals, nuts, legumes, and beans.
High glycemic foods are digested rapidly in your body and because of this can result in a spike in your blood sugar level. Avoid or limit high glycemic foods such as potatoes, white rice, white bread and refined candy and cakes.
A diabetes food guide should not only focus on low glycemic foods, in fact, a healthy diet consists of a variety of nutritious foods. Be sure to include grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, milk and non-fat dairy products, and a sprinkling of favorite foods to keep your diet interesting.
Water, though most people would not classify it as a food, is an important nutrient for the diabetic and drinking plenty of water can help just like other foods that lower blood sugar. Aim to drink 8 glasses of water a day to optimize your health.
Recent research points to certain herbs that can help drop blood sugar levels. These include ginseng, yarrow, huckleberries, and cinnamon for diabetes control.
As you can see the diabetic has many options for eating a healthy and satisfying diet. Aim to include a variety of healthy foods and you will find it easier to control your blood sugar levels.
(1) Diabetes Network (2007). How quickly do foods raise your blood sugar? Retrieved from http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_food_diet/glycemic_index.php#axzz0oIPgBWqL