Making healthy food choices and keeping track of your eating habits can help you manage your blood sugar. A high level of blood sugar can damage your organs such as the eyes, kidney and the heart. Avoiding a high-calorie diet is the first step towards regulating your blood sugar. Adding some specific foods into your daily diet could also go a long way in controlling your blood sugar levels.
High Fiber Foods
Dietary fiber found in plant foods plays a major role in the health of your body. Fiber is divided into two types; soluble and insoluble. Sources of insoluble fiber include peels of fruits, such as grapes, apples and blueberries. The soluble fiber on the other hand is absorbed in water and forms a gel–like substance in the digestive tract. The University of Maryland explains that this inhibits the intestines from absorbing sugar and starch. This means a high-fiber diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and lowers insulin and blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber can be found in the soft parts of fruits, peas and dried beans, for example.
According to Worlds’ Healthiest Foods, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol are the three essential oils that give cinnamon its unique therapeutic properties. Using cinnamon to season a high-carbohydrate food lessens its impact on your blood sugar levels. A study by the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” that was published in 2007 showed that adding cinnamon to food high in carbohydrates lowered the rate of gastric emptying. This significantly lessened the rise of the blood sugar levels after a high-carbohydrate meal. A paper published in “Diabetes Care” in 2003 shows that a daily consumption of 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon reduces blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
A study by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada published in August 2011 in “Diabetes Care” found that a daily intake of 2 ounces of mixed nuts improves blood sugar and lowers bad cholesterol levels. Moreover, nuts are ideal for increasing vegetable oil and protein intake in the diet of patients with type 2 diabetes. Mixed, unsalted, raw or dry roasted nuts control the levels of blood glucose and blood lipids and help prevent weight gain in such patients.
A study by researchers at Arizona State University published in the January 2004 issue of “Diabetes Care” found that vinegar slows down the usual rise of blood sugar after a meal. It contains a biologically active constituent called acetic acid, which inhibits the activity of several active carbohydrate-digesting enzymes. Some sugars and starches are therefore not digested. As a result, this has less impact on blood sugar.