Dietary intervention is an important component of diabetes treatment. The diet of a person diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes should include foods that help to lower the blood sugar level. Most of these foods work by reducing rapid absorption of sugar from the food by slowing down the speed of digestion.
By delaying digestion, they keep you full for a longer time, thereby curbing hunger pangs, a common bothersome symptom of high blood sugar. Your blood sugar level may also be reduced by consuming foods that aid insulin production. Certain vegetables and spices can stimulate the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas to increase insulin secretion. While planning a blood sugar lowering diet, make sure that all the nutrients are properly balanced.
Best Foods to Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Whole Grain Products
Whole grain breakfast cereals such as oatmeal, brown rice and brown bread contain soluble fibers. Dietary fibers are slowly digested. As a result, sugar from food is gradually released in the bloodstream, thereby keeping the blood sugar at a lower level after meals. Replacing refined grain products with complex carbohydrates prevents the blood sugar from spiking to abnormal heights.
All types of non-starchy vegetables help to keep the blood sugar level under control. Compared to the starchy vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, peas and winter squash they contain fewer carbohydrates. They contain dietary fibers that prevent abnormal rise in the blood sugar level.
In addition, they contain a variety of minerals, vitamins, plant compounds. Common non-starchy vegetables include artichoke, asparagus, beet, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, eggplant, cucumber, okra, turnip, zucchini, leafy greens and mushrooms.
Sprinkling cinnamon on your breakfast cereal everyday can help to reduce your blood sugar level. Several clinical trials have documented the blood sugar lowering property of cinnamon. According to studies, consuming 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon daily causes significant reduction in the blood sugar level.
When taken with a carbohydrate rich food, cinnamon reduces the blood sugar raising effect of the food. The hypoglycemic property of cinnamon is attributed to plant compounds called polyphenols and chromium. Cinnamon polyphenols improve sensitivity to insulin. Chromium plays an important role in regulating insulin signaling.
Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd, can cause significant reduction in the blood sugar level. By repairing the insulin producing pancreatic beta cells, bitter melon boosts insulin production. It also improves sensitivity of the body cells to insulin.
Garlic can lower the blood sugar level by increasing sensitivity to insulin.
Moreover, garlic can protect diabetics from oxidative stress and metabolic syndrome. To keep your blood sugar level under control, consider eating a clove of fresh garlic daily.
Green tea is beneficial for people susceptible to high blood sugar. By improving glucose uptake stimulated by insulin, green tea helps to decrease sugar level in the blood. The hypoglycemic property of green tea is primarily attributed to the plant compound called epigallocatechin gallate.
According to an Arizona State University East study, taking two tablespoons of vinegar before a meal prevents the blood sugar level from rising. Vinegar may damage the tooth enamel and irritate the throat and esophagus. To avoid the adverse effects of vinegar, it should be diluted with water.