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Foods To Keep Your Blood Sugar Level Steady (Surprisingly, But Not Just For Diabetics!)
Monitoring your blood sugar levels is not just for diabetics. It’s important for everyone to be aware of what their blood sugar level is and why it’s important to maintain it, what side effects you can have from your blood sugar being too high or too low, and what you can do to keep it stable. Your blood sugar level is one of the factors that determines when your body signals to you that you are hungry. When your blood sugar levels drop, your body tells you that it needs a fresh supply of glucose, sugar, and therefore sends the signal to tell you to eat.
These signals may not always be right on par though. Sometimes blood sugar levels drop or rise due to other factors besides that you’re hungry or that your body needs more nutrition. Diabetics know the issues with this far too well. To regulate your blood sugar, it is important to eat a certain amount of foods that are known to be low on the glycemic scale – meaning that they have very little impact on the blood sugar levels of an individual. The lower the number of the food item on the scale, the better it is for your blood sugar.
Blood sugar is important to maintain because too high levels are associated with diabetes, loss of sensation as the sugar damages blood vessels and other problems. Too low levels of blood sugar can lead to shakiness, sweating or chills, dizziness or lightheadedness and confusion or delirium among other symptoms. It is very important to keep your blood sugar steady and one of the ways to do that is to enjoy foods that are low in sugar. Here are a few foods that you can enjoy without worrying about your blood sugar levels.
One of the lowest foods on the glycemic scale, kale is also high in potassium, fiber, iron and Vitamins A and C. It is also low in calories and makes a great meal or snack. Enjoy it in a salad or bake in the oven for easy kale chips that everyone will love.
Hummus ranks almost as low as kale on the scale, but it should be eaten in moderation since in large quantities it can cause gastrointestinal issues. Made from chickpeas, olive oil and salt/pepper, hummus can be a quick snack food to eat with other vegetables. If you buy a premade version, make sure that it doesn’t include a lot of additives or extra sugar.
This vegetable is known to wrinkle children’s noses, but it is rich in vitamins and minerals that are vital for the body. Scientists have now found that an ingredient in broccoli, sulforaphane, actually lowered the blood sugar levels of mice in lab studies. This ingredient is also present in other cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli is great enjoyed raw with dressings or in salads and also cooked in various dishes.
This vegetable is high in antihyperglycemic properties that make it ideal to add to your meal plan for those looking to balance their blood sugar. Cabbage has similarly been shown in studies to help reduce blood sugar levels and some say that it can help you beat diabetes for good. The vegetable is low in calories and has been used in many popular diets. Include it in your diet by preparing simple salads with it as sides for your meals.
While not all varieties are edible or contain the same amount of nutrients, mushrooms can be quite beneficial in helping you regulate your blood sugar levels. Most mushrooms contain a form or soluble fiber which can help to reduce blood sugar. A few studies have been done on mushrooms and their effect on blood sugar, the most recent of which showed that participants drinking mushroom powder drinks had gradual decline in their glucose levels.
If you’re not allergic, these nuts are a great snack that won’t spike your blood sugar. Peanuts contain healthy fats and have been shown to be particularly effective at controlling blood sugar if eaten in the morning. If you’re eating foods high in sugar or on the glycemic scale, pair it with peanuts and your blood sugar won’t spike as much. Peanut butter has also been shown to be effective, just make sure you don’t buy a brand that’s high in sugar.
Similar to broccoli, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable with many nutrients and helpful properties. It has been more widely accepted recently as the keto diet relies heavily on the vegetable for substitutes for pizza, rice, and potatoes. Low in calories, cauliflower can be eaten raw as a snack or in various dishes that call for vegetables, especially stir-fry’s and vegetable medley sides.
Tomatoes do cause a slight increase in blood sugar, but it is minimal and the vegetable still ranks quite low on the glycemic scale. The increase in blood sugar is slow and stable with tomatoes which is why they are considered safe to eat even for diabetics with blood sugar imbalances. Tomatoes can be eaten raw in salads or in cooked dishes, but generally it is better to stay away from too many tomato-based products as they have a lot of added sugar.
Carrots are a tricky vegetable when it comes to the glycemic scale – although they raise the blood sugar levels very quickly, they drop just as fast because carrots contain few carbohydrates. In that way, they are higher on the glycemic index than the previously mentioned foods but they have a small glycemic load which means that they’re still safe to eat for those with blood sugar control issues.
The first fruit on this list, cherries are still higher up on the glycemic index but with a number lower than 55 which is still considered low. The fruit contains chemicals that help to boost insulin levels in the body which is how your body controls the sugar in the blood. These fruits can be enjoyed raw or in desserts and are easy to grow yourself as well.
Although quite sweet, peaches are low on glycemic index because of their high nutritional content including a whole alphabet of vitamins. They also contain high doses of magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. They are quite high in carbohydrates though so just one peach per sitting should be the limit for those looking to level their blood sugar.
A food high in fiber and mineral, lentils are quite versatile and are used as a substitute for meat in many vegan and vegetarian meals. Lentils keep you feeling full for a long time which basically translates to that they stabilize your blood sugar. Although high in carbohydrates, about one third of that comes from fiber, which still makes this a safe food for those with blood sugar problems.
Low on the glycemic scale, milk is a good option for blood sugar levels but it has been a bit controversial lately. Contrary to popular belief, both whole and skim milk are equal on the glycemic scale and aren’t any different other than that skim milk has had the fat removed. If you are lactose intolerant, stick to plant-based milks but stay away from sweetened varieties – or better yet, make your own at home.
A milk product, it’s no surprise that yogurt ranks just above milk on the glycemic scale. With all the same properties and then some, yogurt contains good-for-you gut bacteria. Yogurt is a powerhouse when it comes to snacks. One word of caution – stick to the plain flavor or lightly sweetened ones as extra sugar in yogurt can defeat the purpose of eating it for blood sugar levels.
Apples are quite high in sugar, although still under the recommended 55 number on the glycemic scale, but their sugar content is balanced by the high amount of fiber they contain. Generally, the more tart the apple, the lower sugar content they have so they will affect your blood sugar less. Apples are always good as snacks and can be eaten raw or by themselves or with other blood sugar reducers such as peanut butter.
Peas are high in carbohydrates compared to other non-starchy vegetables and thus diabetics are usually told to stay away from them, but don’t let that make you think that peas are an enemy to your blood sugar. The high fiber and protein content in peas also makes them safe to eat even for diabetics because fiber and protein balance the sugar levels. Peas also have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties so they are a good bet to add to your diet no matter what.
Right there with peas on the glycemic index, beans are known to be a good regulator of blood sugar because of their high fiber content. Chickpeas and lentils have a known low glycemic index, but other beans are in this category. Kidney beans, great northern beans, black beans and pinto beans among others are a good addition to meal rotations and will help to keep you full and satisfied.
You might not have thought you would see pears on this list since they are known to be quite sweet, but their high fiber content means that the sugar is absorbed slowly by the body and doesn’t cause a sugar spike. Most of the fiber is contained within the skin of the pear so don’t peel the fruit before eating it. Also, stick to raw fruit instead of canned varieties since the canned ones almost always are packed in syrup heavy with sugar.
There are many varieties of grapes, but all of them come in right under the low limit on the glycemic scale. The carbohydrate content of the grapes is also just under the allowable limit for diabetics so one serving of grapes is fine to eat. They are great raw and in fruit salads, just make sure that no sugary syrup is added.
Sugar is balanced in the body by fiber, proteins and fats and coconut has a good amount of fat to balance blood sugar. Using coconut oil to bake and cook with can also help to balance your blood sugar when you eat something else that increases your blood sugar. This makes it a great addition to baked goods. Drinking coconut milk also helps to balance your blood sugar and is a good option for those that are lactose intolerant.
These twenty foods are all safe for diabetics to eat in moderate quantities and will even help to balance your blood sugar. Also, even if you don’t suffer from diabetes, balancing your blood sugar is important to do and is one way to stay healthy. Most of these foods will also help you lose weight. Maintaining your blood sugar is important and adding the above foods to your diet will help you do just that.