High blood sugar occurs when a person has high accumulation of glucose in the blood as a result of inability of the body to produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot use insulin correctly. Blood sugar can be best controlled by consuming foods and drinks that the body absorbs slowly since they do not cause rise and fall in levels of blood sugar.
The glycemic index (GI) measures the effects of some foods on levels of blood sugar. Foods with low or medidum GI scores will help control levels.
Below are some of the best foods for people looking to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Yam and Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes and yams have low scores and are healthful. According to some research, the flesh of the sweet potato contains more fiber than the skin, meaning those diabetics can benefit from it. Regular potatoes can be exchanged for sweet potatoes or yams in different dishes.
Oats are less likely to cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels because they have a GI score of 55 or lower. Oats also contain B-glucans, which can help improve insulin sensitivity, maintain glycemic control, reduce blood fats, and reduce glucose and insulin responses after meals.
Whole wheat or pumpernickel bread
Most bread contains high levels of carbohydrate and quickly raise blood sugar levels. However, pumpernickel and stone-ground whole wheat breads have lower GI scores than regular whole wheat bread because the ingredients undergo less processing.
Processing removes the fibrous outer shells of grains and cereals. Fiber slows digestion and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Legumes have very low GI scores and they are a good source of nutrients that can help maintain healthy levels of blood sugar. These nutrients include protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Beans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils are good examples of legumes with low GI. Avoid legume products that contain added sugars and simple starches, such as those in syrups, sauces, or marinades.
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Most fruits have low GI scores of 55 or less apart from pineapples and melons. This is because most fruits contain lots of water and fiber to balance out their fructose. The GI scores of fruits increase as they ripen. Fruit juices also have very high GI scores because juicing removes the fibrous skins and seeds.
Nuts are very rich in dietary fiber and contain a GI score of 55 or less. Nuts also contain high levels of plant proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, and other nutrients, including:
- phytochemicals, such as flavonoids
- antioxidant vitamins
- minerals like potassium and magnesium
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The risk of type 2 diabetes may be reduced by consuming plain yogurt every day. Researchers are still uncertain as to why yogurt helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, plain yogurt is generally a low-GI food. Most unsweetened yogurts have a GI score of 50 or less.
Garlic is used in traditional medicines for diabetes and a wide variety of other health conditions. The compounds in garlic may help reduce blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity and secretion.