Top 10 Foods For Controlling Your Blood Sugar Level
Being healthy is not as easy as simply switching to a fruit and vegetable-based diet, especially when you are trying to control your blood sugar level, or are at risk of developing diabetes and other heart problems.
Figuring out the best foods and meal plan for you can be very challenging since foods have varying nutritional values. Foods also have a different glycemic index (GI); this value measures how slowly or quickly a certain food causes your blood glucose levels to increase. Foods with a lower GI are a better option to help you manage your blood glucose levels. But what kinds of foods should you be shopping for?
Here are the best food choices if you want to control your blood sugar level or are simply looking to boost your meal plan with a low-sugar diet. Incorporating the items on this list into your meals will improve your overall health.
1. Fish rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It cannot be denied that fatty fish is one of the healthiest food choices around. Types of fatty fish include sardines, salmon, mackerel and anchovies, to name just a few. They are rich in omega-3, which is vital for people with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Not only are they rich in selenium, but fatty fish also contain high levels of EPA and DHA, which are known to shield and protect the blood vessel lining. It is also acknowledged that they can reduce triglyceride levels and inflammatory markers that may lead to long-term diseases such as cardiovascular disorders and heart ailments.
2. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are a low-GI food, and are an excellent substitute for carbs. Peanuts, for instance, have a GI of just 7, while cashews have a GI of 27. If consumed regularly, nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts are proven to reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels.
Aside from being packed with proteins and fiber, flax seeds and most types of nuts also contain lignans, antioxidants, omega-3, and alpha-linolenic acid (converted into omega-3). All of these elements have been proven effective in the prevention of various heart diseases.
Beans, known as the magical fruit, are rich in fiber and are an excellent source of protein. Various studies have shown that consuming a cup of beans daily resulted in better blood glucose levels and reduced blood pressure.
A half serving of cooked beans provides at least 9 grams of fiber, which can prevent spikes in blood sugar levels and lower your risk of acquiring ‘first-time stroke’. Other varieties of beans include black beans, kidney beans, white beans, lima beans, pinto beans, and garbanzo.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
When listing healthy and nutritious foods, it is impossible to forget greens. Known to be low in calories, they are also low in digestible carbs, which are responsible for raising glucose levels in the body.
Most leafy greens such as kale and spinach provide more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamins A and K. They are also rich in potassium, known to help manage blood pressure.
5. Non-fat dairy foods and Yogurts
Probiotic-filled yogurts are more than a healthy treat.
Yogurts and cheese are an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, which help promote healthy bones and teeth, as well as good blood vessel function. Studies have shown that these foods also help prevent type 2 diabetes. It is theorized that the probiotic bacteria found in yogurt and some cheese lowers cholesterol and produces a particular type of vitamin. The vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium content of these foods causes a synergistic effect with probiotics, thereby preventing the complications triggered by increased blood sugar levels.
6. Cruciferous vegetables such as Broccoli
Together with brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and bok choy, broccoli is rich in sulfur-containing compounds such as glucosinolates. Aside from helping prevent cancer, glucosinolates play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Cruciferous foods also contain more vitamin C per 100 grams than an orange, and are powerful antioxidants due to their high beta-carotene content.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of the powerful antioxidant lycopene. As well as helping prevent cancer, tomatoes are rich in carotenoids and bioflavonoids that combat inflammation and can help lower the risk of heart disease.
It’s important to note that cooked, canned and pre-packed tomatoes are easier for the body to absorb and contain seven times more lycopene than fresh ones. So why not grab a pack of this healthy food from your favorite grocery store and incorporate it into your dishes right away.
These juicy, brightly colored fruits are also rich in anthocyanins, which improve insulin resistance, lower blood glucose levels, and counter unwanted inflammation that may lead to the development of chronic diseases.
This bulb has great medicinal value, and it is one of the most famous flavoring agents in cooking.
Evidence indicates that consuming garlic also helps lower blood glucose and LDL cholesterol levels. It is also known to help prevent development of atherosclerosis, which can lead to various heart diseases and even stroke.
10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Of all the types of fat, olive oil is most significant in terms of reducing the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil contains oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, shown to improve triglyceride and HDL levels. It also contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which reduce inflammation and protect the blood vessel lining.
There are many food options that offer the same advantages as those included on the list. These healthy foods can be grabbed anytime, and are perfect as a snack, as an alternative to your unhealthy or dull meal, or as an addition to any sweet or savory dishes. And once you get the hang of fixing and eating a healthy diet, you can eventually relax and savor a wide variety of nutritious and delicious food choices.