When you’re diabetic and forced to give up some of your favorite foods, it’s frustrating. Heck, some days deciding what to eat can feel more like you’re navigating a minefield than making a choice about a meal.
But if you believe avoiding blood sugar spikes, and bringing your blood sugar numbers down, leaves you without any good choices at all, think again.
Because there are still plenty of mouthwatering foods that will tickle your taste buds without spiking your blood sugar. And as a bonus, some of those same foods can even target a few of the worst complications of the disease.
Top foods to lower blood sugar and stop spikes
Following are five foods that could help lower blood sugar and stop blood sugar spikes in their tracks.
Heart disease targets folks with diabetes twice as often as it does people who don’t have blood sugar issues. And that puts you at a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes too.
But wild-caught cold-water fish such as salmon could be your secret weapon against both blood sugar spikes and heart problems.
Salmon is a delicious source of healthy protein that won’t cause blood sugar spikes. Plus, since their high in omega-3 fatty acids, regularly eating fish may help…
- lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol
- reduce triglyceride levels
- raise HDL, or “good,” cholesterol
Which means your risk for heart disease, heart attacks and strokes could drop too. And omega-3s lower blood pressure and cool off disease linked inflammation.
Aim for putting diabetes-friendly fish on the menu twice a week. Other cold-water fish to try include mackerel, sardines, halibut, herring, albacore tuna and lake trout.
One of the most frustrating cravings you can have when you’re diabetic is for something sweet. But just because you’ve banned candy and ice cream sundaes in your house (which we all should do anyway), doesn’t mean you can’t nosh on a sweet treat.
Next time a sweet snack attack strikes opt for some delicious melon. Because while melons will satisfy your sweet tooth, they can also help manage your blood sugar at the same time.
A serving of fiber heavy melon will help fill you up so you don’t overeat. (Or worse binge on something that will send your blood sugar soaring.) And a cup of most melons has only a modest 15 grams of carbs.
Plus there many different melons to choose from, so you’ll never get bored. Make it watermelon and you’ll be getting getting an extra dose of heart and eye friendly lycopene. Or opt for some cantaloupe and you’ll be loading up on cholesterol battling vitamin C and macular degeneration busting vitamin A.
Pro Tip: Cube (or ball) your melons and freeze them. The frozen chunks are perfect to pop in your mouth when you’re looking for a sweet snack. Or drop a few frozen chunks into a serving of creamy, plain Greek-style yogurt for a delicious breakfast or dessert.
Raw almonds make a terrific snack whether you’re concerned about blood sugar or not. But they’re a perfect choice if you’re diabetic because they not only won’t spike your blood sugar, they’re also loaded with magnesium. And according to experts, magnesium improves insulin sensitivity.
Studies show eating almonds can help lower blood sugar and the insulin spike you get after eating a meal. A study published in the journal Metabolism found eating two ounces of almonds lowered fasting levels of both. And in other research eating the nuts improved insulin sensitivity.
Nuts are high in heart-friendly, monounsaturated fats. And researchers say folks who favor nuts as a snack have less heart disease than those who don’t eat them.
Stick to around an ounce, or 23 almonds, for a serving. Feel free to spread them out during the day, adding them to salads, yogurt and veggies.
Asparagus is incredibly low in blood sugar spiking carbs and calories. Which makes it a perfect side dish for folks who want to lower blood sugar.
A serving of asparagus… around five spears… rings in at around five grams of carbs and 20 calories. And at the same time if packs in two grams of spike fighting fiber.
Research has found asparagus can help increase insulin production and keep blood sugar levels in line. And this delicious veggie, which is high in blot clot battling vitamin K, is good for your ticker too.
The B vitamins in asparagus help fight off heart harming homocysteine. And the veggie’s high antioxidant content—including glutathione—curbs diabetes linked inflammation.
Apples are a great food for battling blood sugar spikes and bad cholesterol at the same time. Because while they’re relatively high in carbs, they’re also packed with over four grams of fiber and plenty of water.
The fiber slows down digestion and the absorption of carbs. And it helps fill you up so you’re likely to eat less. Plus researchers say the polyphenols in apples can reduce insulin resistance, slow down the digestion of carbs and lower blood sugar.
Apple skins are full of important nutrients, so make sure to eat your apples with the skin still on. And if you’re looking for a change try coring an apple, brushing on some melted butter, sprinkling it with some blood-sugar friendly cinnamon, and baking it at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Just because you’re diabetic doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying eating. You can lower your blood sugar, avoid blood sugar spikes and satisfy your taste buds all at the same time.
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