Last updated on October 15th, 2023
More than half a million individuals are suffering from diabetes today. The estimate suggests it will cross the billion mark in less than 30 years. In today’s hustle and bustle, one thing we often forget to pay attention to is our blood sugar levels. But guess what? It’s a big deal! With the rise in diabetes and other health issues, watching our blood sugar has become super important. And what can help? Yep, your diet! One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by carefully choosing nutritious foods that lower blood sugar. By including different types of sugar control food in your meals, you can harness the power of nature to aid in stabilising blood sugar levels. This article delves into a comprehensive compilation of 15 foods to lower blood sugar. These foods have garnered attention for their potential to lower blood sugar levels. These foods aren’t just blood sugar heroes; they’re also packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and fibers that do wonders for your overall health.
Best Foods & Fruits That Lower Blood Sugar
Here is a list of foods that reduce blood sugar levels.
1. Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils can be a fantastic addition to the diet of diabetes patients. They are low in glycemic index, which means they have a slower and more incremental influence on blood sugar levels. Beans and lentils come in the list of best foods for diabetes control.
This helps in preventing spikes and crashes in glucose levels, which is crucial for managing diabetes.
Beans and lentils are good sugar control food as they are rich in fiber and protein. Consuming them contributes to a feeling of fullness and can help control appetite and weight – both important factors for diabetes management. Studies have shown that including foods like black beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas with white rice reduced sugar levels in diabetes patients in comparison to consuming rice alone. The fiber in beans and lentils also slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs. This further assists in keeping your sugar levels in check.
Varieties like black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, urad dal, green whole moong daal, etc., are excellent choices. They’re not only nutritious but also versatile, making them easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes.
Broccoli is one of the best food for diabetes control for multiple reasons. This green veggie is famous for its high fiber content, low glycemic index, and its anti-diabetic properties. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a kind of isothiocyanate which helps reduce blood sugar. Some studies conducted on animals and humans indicate sulforaphane in broccoli brings a considerable drop in blood sugar and oxidative stress on subjects consuming it regularly.
Also, foods to lower blood sugar, like broccoli, have compounds such as glucosinolates that promote. And enhance insulin and its sensitivity. Broccoli is packed with essential nutrients like vitamins C and K and antioxidants that support overall health.
For enhanced sulforaphane absorption, we suggest cooking broccoli in less oil or just boiling it. When consuming cooked broccoli, remember to add myrosinase sources such as mustard seeds to increase its effectiveness.
Read More: 16 Best Fruits Juice For Diabetes.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains are next on the list of best foods that lower blood sugar instantly. They are beneficial for diabetes patients for multiple reasons. These grains have a lower glycemic index, and secondly, they can help stabilise your sugar levels. Refined grains like white flour (maida), on the contrary, have comparatively higher glycemic profiles. Therefore, they impact badly on blood sugar levels. And as they lack dietary fiber in them, they shoot your blood glucose rapidly.
On the other hand, sugar control food like whole grains is often recommended due to their slower digestion. And impact on blood sugar levels. Opt for options like brown rice, bajra, quinoa, whole wheat, etc. However, one thing you should keep in mind is the carbs you intake while consuming these foods. Whole grains have a significant amount of carbohydrate content. And should be included as part of your daily diet. Consuming this sugar control food in unregulated amounts can cause more harm than good.
Berries are among the top fruits that lower blood sugar. There are many reasons to include berries in foods that lower blood sugar. Firstly, fruits like berries can satisfy the sugar craving of a diabetes patient due to their sugary taste. Secondly, berries contain many essential nutrients like vitamin C, antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytochemicals. These help improve insulin sensitivity. Thirdly, there is a high amount of fiber content in berries. A cup of this sugar control food has about 3.55 g of dietary fiber.
Moreover, a 2019 study conducted an experiment making prediabetes patients intake 2 cups of berries along with a high-carb meal. The results revealed a fall in blood sugar levels in patients compared to others. Another study showed raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc., can also help enhance insulin and boost glucose discharge from blood.
You can include berries in breakfast or as a midday or evening snack. Indian berries like jamun, rasbhari, strawberry, phalsa, etc., are excellent fruits that lower blood sugar due to their low carb and sugar and high fiber content.
Cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, kale, etc., are generally considered good choices for managing blood sugar levels. These veggies are some of the best food for diabetes control for many reasons. The fiber content can slow down the absorption of glucose, helping to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels after meals. Additionally, certain compounds in cauliflower, like sulforaphane, have been studied for their ability to enhance insulin sensitivity. And tackle inflammation.
A 2011 study of Diabetes Care found that a high-fibre diet rich in vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower was associated with improved blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes patients. As cauliflower is widely available in India, it can be incorporated in multiple forms into a diabetes diet. Cauliflower sabji, stuffed roti/parantha, and cauliflower stir fry are some ways to include this veggie in your meals.
6. Dry Fruits and Nuts
Another top foods to lower blood sugar is dry fruits. Dry fruits come in a wide variety, and many of them are high in dietary fiber which helps in regulating blood sugar. USDA research shows that 100 grams of cashews provide 3.3 grams of dietary fiber, and 30 grams of almonds give 4 grams. Further, walnuts provide 6.7 grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams. In 2017 ADA conducted an observational study that included dry fruits like almonds and peanuts in meals of 25 diabetics. The study found a reduction in post-meal as well as fasting blood sugar levels in patients on dry fruit consumption. However, further research is needed in this regard. But we can call dry fruits and nuts as sugar control food.
In India, dry fruits come in many different varieties and are freely accessible. Since dry fruits are high in soluble fiber, we advise eating them in their unprocessed, raw state, free of salt, spices, etc. Dry fruits are a rich source of beneficial fats for people with diabetes. Therefore this sugar control food should be included in a well-planned diabetes diet.
Oats are the next sugar control food to join this list of foods that lower blood sugar instantly. Oats are a fiber-rich grain that can give diabetics their daily recommended intake of dietary and insoluble fiber. According to the USDA, 100 grams of barley provide 17.3 grams of fiber, while one cup, or 81 grams, of oats provides 7 grams. Oats contain beta-glucan, which has been shown to improve insulin function in addition to having other beneficial impacts on diabetes.
Several studies and research done on the impact of oats on diabetes suggest that oats significantly reduce HbA1c levels in diabetics. The fiber content in oats gives a feeling of fullness, making you feel less hungry. The best way to include oats is during breakfast and as an evening snack. Replace the sugary cereals with traditional rolled oats, or make oats roti. You can also eat oats in a smoothie.
Read More: Is Bottle Gourd Good For Diabetes?
8. Citrus Fruits
In the list of fruits that lower blood sugar, citrus fruits are among the top. They can be included in a diabetes-friendly diet due to their fiber and vitamin C content. Citrus fruits contain a good portion of dietary fiber. Fiber helps delay your rate of digestion, resulting in a slower release of sugar in the bloodstream. Citrus fruits also contain natural sugars but in limited quantities. They have a low or medium glycemic index. Citrus fruits like oranges, sweet lime, grapes, etc., contain a compound called naringenin, a polyphenol that has strong anti-diabetic properties. All these make citrus fruits a good sugar control food.
Citrus fruits contain a good amount of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and pain, along with decreasing oxidative stress in your body. Some studies, such as one published in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” suggest that vitamin C supplementation may have positive effects on glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Avocados are another top sugar control food. They can be beneficial for diabetes patients due to their highly soluble fiber and healthy fats. They have a low glycemic index, which means they result in a slower impact on sugar levels. The monounsaturated fats in avocados may also improve insulin sensitivity, thus making it the best food for diabetes control. A 2008 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that diets rich in monounsaturated fats gave better insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals. However, portion control is important, as avocados are calorie-dense.
Another study in 2018 in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism demonstrated that eating a meal with avocado resulted in lowering post-meal glucose levels compared to a control meal. Avocados also are known to control metabolic syndrome. A metabolic syndrome is a cluster condition of high B.P. (blood pressure) and high sugar. An interesting fact about the majority of studies conducted on avocados and diabetes is that the majority of them were funded by Hass Avocado Board. So remember to monitor your sugar levels when including avocados in your meals.
Green peas now join the list of foods that lower blood sugar. Peas are advantageous for diabetics as they are among the sugar control food high in soluble fiber. Half a cup of green peas has just 59 calories, 3.5 grams of dietary fiber, and 11 grams of carbohydrates, according to USDA data. Another excellent variety of peas good for diabetics is the yellow and split peas. Due to its high fiber content, green peas are a healthy Indian food ingredient for those with diabetes. Green peas can be found in many common Indian dishes, such as curries, salads, and parathas.
A study done in the UK brought out the nutritional benefits of peas. Peas for diabetes can be included in multiple meals of the day, starting from breakfast to dinner. But remember, the quantity of peas to consume daily will only be decided by your doctor.
Read More: Are Sugar-Free Biscuits Safe for Diabetics?
Eating fish can be advantageous for individuals with diabetes. Fish is full of lean proteins along with omega-3 fatty acids. In foods to lower blood sugar, fish, along with managing blood sugar levels, improves heart health and also decreases inflammation. Some studies say frequent consumption of fish can be associated with a lessening risk of diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish have been known to improve insulin functioning and reduce inflammation. Both are important for diabetes management.
For example, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that a considerable intake of omega-3 fatty acids could help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. The journal Diabetes Care study suggested that regular consumption of fatty fish was linked to a reduced risk of heart ailments in people with diabetes. Diabetes patients should definitely consume foods that lower blood sugar, like fish, as it’s a very filling meal. Consuming fish will make you feel full for a longer time, helping you curb your cravings.
When preparing fish, opt for healthier cooking methods like baking, barbeque, or steaming to avoid adding extra unhealthy fats. Also, consider pairing fish with non-starchy vegetables and whole grains will create decent sugar control food meals that will help you with your blood sugar.
Eggs are regarded as one of the best food for diabetes control. Eggs are full of high-quality protein. Protein helps stabilise blood sugar levels and can also promote a feeling of fullness. This can aid in weight management, an important factor for diabetes control. A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” found that including eggs in breakfast meals helped improve glycemic control throughout the day in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The study suggested that the protein content in eggs contributed to this effect by slowing the absorption of carbs.
Eggs are rich in various nutrients, such as vitamins (A, D, E, and B vitamins) and minerals (iron, zinc, and selenium). These nutrients in this sugar control food can contribute to your prevailing health and well-being. “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” highlighted that individuals with diabetes who consumed eggs had a better overall nutrient intake compared to those who did not.
Read More: Are Peanuts Good for Diabetics?
13. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are next on our list of foods to lower blood sugar. Chia seeds provide a load of dietary fibre. The seeds contain 34.4 grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams, according to the USDA. It can lower blood sugar levels by delaying the digestion rate of carbs in your body. A 2020 study noted the effect of chia seeds on diabetic animals. The study found chia seeds help improve levels of insulin secretion and its sensitivity.
Along with helping reduce sugar levels. Another study found mixing chia seeds with sugar drinks reduces the level of blood sugar spikes in individuals. The seeds are black and have a smooth nutty flavour. Chia seeds can be used as a nutritious topping in oatmeal, salads, beverages, cereals, and more.
Among the fruits that lower blood sugar, apples can also be included for the following reasons. Apples contain a good load of dietary fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Apples contain compounds like quercetin, chlorogenic and gallic acids, polyphenols and flavonoids. All these compounds have been associated with reducing inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity.
Studies by “The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” suggest that the polyphenols in apple peels could have a positive impact on post-meal blood sugar levels. Apple peels do so by inhibiting carbs digestion. Some population-based studies, like the Nurses’ Health Study, have suggested that regular consumption of sugar control food like whole fruits, including apples, is associated with lessening the probability of developing type 2 diabetes over time.
Pair apples with other sugar control food like a source of protein or healthy fat. This will further stabilise your blood sugar levels. For example, enjoy an apple with a handful of nuts. However, apples contain natural sugars, including fructose. Some studies suggest that excessive consumption of fructose might impact insulin resistance. Therefore, eating apples in measured amounts with the consultation of a doctor.
Read More: Is Ghee Good For Diabetics?
Last but not least, spinach joins the list of foods that lower blood sugar. It is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense leafy green veggie that can be a fantastic addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. Spinach is a sugar control food as it has a very low glycemic index. This means it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Spinach is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, etc. It contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as magnesium and folate. Research in the “Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition” indicated that the antioxidants in spinach could positively impact insulin resistance, potentially improving insulin sensitivity.
Some studies have indicated that the nitrates in spinach might have a positive effect on blood pressure regulation. Managing blood pressure is important for individuals with diabetes. Spinach is widely used in Indian cuisines, so diabetics can easily include spinach in their meals. You can have vegetable soup, including spinach, and prepare its gravy. Or consume it as stir fry.
Read More: Top 10 Homeopathic Medicine For Diabetes.
Incorporating a variety of nutrient-rich foods into your diet can play a pivotal role in managing blood sugar levels. The carefully chosen selection of 15 foods that lower blood sugar discussed in this article, including beans, broccoli, whole grains, cauliflower, dry fruits, oats, fish, etc., offer a spectrum of benefits that contribute to blood sugar control. The fiber-rich food items slow down glucose absorption to foods abundant in antioxidants. And healthy fats in them enhance insulin sensitivity. Each item brings its unique advantages to the table. By embracing these dietary choices, you’re not only fostering better blood sugar management but also supporting your overall health. Remember, a balanced and mindful approach to eating can pave the way for a healthier future.
Read More: Top 10 Natural Remedies For Diabetes?
Q. What Foods Lower Blood Sugar Immediately?
A. Foods having a high amount of dietary fiber, lean proteins, and magnesium help lower blood sugar immediately. Sugar control foods like whole grains, beans, lentils, spinach, broccoli, citrus fruits, etc., are foods that lower blood sugar immediately. Incorporating the above foods as part of a diabetes-friendly diet can help regulate your blood sugar levels.
Q. What Foods Lower Blood Sugar Quickly?
A. Foods that can help lower blood sugar quickly include leafy greens (like spinach and kale), non-starchy vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower), lean proteins (such as chicken or tofu), and foods rich in soluble fiber (like oatmeal and beans). These choices have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels and can stabilize them effectively.
What Foods Are 100% Sugar Free?
How Can I control My Sugar Naturally?
There are a few steps that can help reduce or control your sugar naturally. Do regular physical workouts, incorporate foods that lower blood sugar, and monitor the carbs you intake. You should also try to drink ample amounts of water, and keep your stress levels in check. Incorporating these steps will definitely help control your sugar.
Which food is good for sugar control?
Which fruit is good for diabetes patient?
Berries and citrus fruits are the top fruits that lower blood sugar. Fruits like mixed berries, oranges, sweet lime, grapes, etc., contain a compound called naringenin, a polyphenol that has strong anti-diabetic properties. These fruits have a limited quantity of natural sugar and are low on the glycemic scale.
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