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Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid for Blood Sugar Management


June 27, 2018 | Published by

Diet is a vital part of blood sugar management. If you aren’t eating properly, you’re not going to be able to get your blood sugar under control. In this blog we’re providing lists of foods to eat, and those to avoid, to help better manage blood sugar.

Foods to Eat for Blood Sugar Management

Greek Yogurt – Plain Greek yogurt naturally contains both carbohydrates and protein, which is a perfect combination to help control hunger levels and blood sugars.

Beans and Lentils – Dry beans and lentils are a combination of plant protein and soluble fiber that can help boost feelings of fullness and help manage blood sugar levels. Lentils are rich in something called resistant starch: a type of carb that has a very minimal impact on your blood sugar levels because it passes through the body undigested and ultimately ends up feeding the healthy bacteria at the bottom of your digestive tract.

Wild Fish – Wild-caught, sustainable fish is a healthy protein source that helps maintain blood sugar balance without adding unhealthy fats.

Kale – Kale is called a superfood for good reason! Rich in fiber—with 16 grams, or over 60 percent of your daily recommended intake, of the digestion-slowing nutrient in just one cup—and low on the glycemic index, kale can help improve blood glucose control.

Cinnamon – According to numerous studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adding a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon to a starchy meal (like oats) could help stabilize blood sugar, ward off insulin spikes, and decrease fasting blood sugar. Experts believe that the spice’s powerful antioxidants, known as polyphenols, are at work; these active compounds have been proven to improve insulin sensitivity and, in turn, your body’s ability to store fat and manage hunger cues.

Berries – Berries are nature’s candy, so consider them your go-to when your sweet tooth strikes. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are all low on the glycemic index and are great choices for those with blood sugar issues.

Avocado – Not only are they creamy, delicious and versatile, they can help you maintain healthy blood-sugar levels. Avocados contain a significant amount of healthful fats and dietary fiber, which help slow carbohydrate digestion and absorption.

Almonds – Almonds make a great snack since they don’t raise blood sugar levels and are a great source of magnesium, a nutrient that improves insulin sensitivity.

Whole-Wheat Bread – You don’t have to cut all carbs to manage your blood sugar through diet. Be mindful of portion control and choose the right kind of carbs, and you’re good to go. Complex carbs, such as 100% whole wheat bread, which are higher in vitamins, minerals, and blood-sugar-managing fiber than their simple, refined counterparts. Word of caution: read the label before buying. Some breads marketed as whole-wheat contain unnecessary sweeteners.

Asparagus – Because asparagus is rich in folate—just four spears contain 89 micrograms of the nutrient, or roughly 22 percent of your recommended daily value—it’s a great carb for those with blood sugar issues.

Foods to Avoid for Blood Sugar Management

Pastries – Pastries like donuts, muffins, and cinnamon rolls can taste heavenly, but these treats are full of saturated fat and sugar. There’s a reason you feel flat afterward.

White Bread and Pasta – These refined-flour foods can significantly increase blood sugar levels. They also contain little fiber, which helps slow down the absorption of sugar.

Deep-Fried Meats – Most deep-fried meats are a triple threat to health. The meat (typically unhealthier types) is coated in white flour then fried, which adds calories and fat.

French Fries – French fries are high in simple carbs and fat, which is a tough combination. It will raise blood sugar quickly and keep it high for a long time because the fat takes a while to digest.

Fruit Smoothies – These may seem like a good idea (it’s just fruit!), but the sugar count in these can be through the roof.

Lard, Butter, and Margarine – One of the easiest ways to keep yourself safe is to limit your saturated fat intake. Things like lard, butter, and margarine should all be consumed in moderation.
Peanut, safflower, olive, and sunflower oils are healthier alternatives.

Soda, Sports Drinks, and Coffee – This may seem like a no-brainer, but people tend to underestimate how damaging these high-sugar drinks can be. Some “fancy” coffee drinks can have as much as 60-70 grams of sugar (!).

Frozen Dinners – Salt is often overlooked aspect of managing blood sugar through diet. Dialing back on salt can help lower your blood pressure, as well as your overall health.

Artificial Sweeteners – Contrary to popular belief, artificial sweeteners are not a healthy alternative for people with blood sugar issues. According to a study conducted by Harvard’s School of Public Health, participants who drank artificially-sweetened drinks had a 47 percent higher increase in BMI over the course of 8 years compared to those who did not. Experts believe the reasoning is because artificial sweeteners are anywhere from 180-20,000 times sweeter than table sugar. Frequent consumption can cause an alteration in your sweet taste bud receptors, which makes vegetables and even fruits taste more bitter than they actually are. This causes you to neglect those foods and go after foods that satisfy that desire for sweetness.

Potato Chips and Pretzels – It may seen innocent enough to have a handful of chips or pretzels, but these snacks are a two-pronged danger. They tend to contain lots of sodium, which we mentioned is not good for those trying to keep blood sugar levels in check. These snacks are also made of simple refined carbs that can cause a spike in blood sugar.

Sources: Eat This, Not That. “26 Best and Worst Foods for Diabetics.”


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