Best Foods to Eat for Blood Sugar
While there are many foods that can be beneficial for blood sugar, there are certain ones that have a knack for helping to keep it nice and steady.
Ceylon cinnamon can help control blood sugar and insulin levels by lowering them. (15,16,17) Cinnamon is effective at balancing blood sugar because of the presence of antioxidants, which help improve hormonal communication and improve proper glucose storage and use.
While there are two kinds of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon is the one that has the best health benefits. Cassia cinnamon is most commonly found on grocery store shelves, so be sure to find one that is explicitly labelled “Ceylon.” Health food stores and online markets are usually the best source.
Salmon reduces the markers increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease thanks to the presence of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids. Blood sugar problems can spark inflammation within the body, but they can also develop due to the presence of inflammatory foods, like those that are rich in Omega-6 fatty acids or trans fats. Omega 3’s, like those found in salmon, work to counterbalance the inflammatory problems and restore normal glucose usage in the body.
Salmon is rich in protein and healthy fats, so it won’t spike blood sugar. While some may struggle to eat it, especially if they’re not “fish people,” recipes like the Salmon Burger with Mango Slaw are a good way to introduce fish to your diet without being overwhelmed with that fishy taste.
Rich in protein and healthy fat, eggs are a quick and easy food that makes a good meal or snack. They promote fullness and have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. They also promote the good kind of cholesterol, which defends against inflammation and chronic health problems. Eggs are rich in folate, B12, selenium, and a host of other nutrients that promote stable blood sugar thanks to a balance between protein and fat.
One of the best (and tastiest) ways to add eggs into your diet is to eat them with avocado, like the Guacamole Deviled Eggs. Avocado and eggs share similar nutrient profiles, and increase satiety, which promotes balanced blood sugar long after you’ve finished eating.
While most tree nuts can be beneficial for diabetes, blood sugar, and overall health thanks to their protein – walnuts have some extra benefits.
Walnuts promote healthy insulin levels and weight loss thanks to their high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These PUFAs, as they’re referred to, can help decrease fasting insulin levels by improving hormone communication and glucose usage. Walnuts are also rich in B vitamins, which nourish the nervous system and promote a balanced mood, as well as minerals like zinc, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Walnuts have a distinctly nutty taste and may not be the preferred snacking nut, but you can work them into your diet painlessly by adding them to a delicious chicken salad.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking apple cider vinegar before meals can improve the body’s ability to take glucose into the cells by increasing muscular blood flow, reducing insulin resistance.
Drinking ACV before bed can also improve the next morning’s fasting glucose thanks to better blood flow to muscles, which can be dramatic for anyone battling type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
To work apple cider vinegar into your meals, try this Sweet Apple Basil slaw paired with some salmon or a grass-fed burger. You can also boost your dietary probiotics by making your own sauerkraut, which can naturally help to lower blood sugar.
6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are high in fiber and low in the carbs that raise glucose, making them a perfect blood sugar friendly food. They also contain almost six grams of protein in a single ounce. Chia seeds are an abundant source of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and natural antioxidants.
Chia seeds can help address insulin resistance by improving hormone communication and helping the body better regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. This makes them an ideal food for the prevention and reversal of this hormone problem.
Worst Foods for Blood Sugar
While adding specific foods to your diet can benefit your blood sugar, you’ll also want to cut the worst offenders that can spike glucose and stimulate insulin resistance.
1. Excess Sugar
Added sugars might be the most obvious culprit here for increasing blood sugar, but what most people might not realize is that even Paleo sweeteners like honey and maple syrup can contribute to the problem. Sodas and high-fructose foods are other major contributors to insulin resistance.
Following a Paleo diet that is low in processed foods and which focuses on meats, vegetables, fruits, fats, nuts, and seeds, will result in a natural avoidance of added sweeteners. Those who are trying to balance glucose or reverse insulin resistance will want to strictly limit or avoid baked goods, even Paleo ones, that add sweeteners and use higher-starch flours like cassava.
Grains aren’t Paleo because of the phytates and lectins that they contain, otherwise known as anti-nutrients, that can cause digestive upset or contribute to health problems. Whether it’s white rice, quick oats, or refined wheat, grains are more likely to spike blood sugar than the carbs in vegetables or nuts. This is partially because grains don’t have much protein or fat to slow the digestion of glucose.
3. Foods Fried in Hydrogenated Oils or Trans Fats
Whether it’s fast food, French fries or anything fried in hydrogenated oils or trans fats, these foods increase inflammatory markers, mess up the good bacteria balance in the gut, and increase fat tissue, while altering the way that the liver and other detox organs work. Trans fats also alter the way that insulin works in the body, leading to further problems.