High blood sugar levels can be detrimental for your health. If not properly controlled, you could be putting yourself at serious risk for developing complications, such as diabetes and heart disease. Incorporating some everyday foods in your diet may help you regulate and control high blood sugar levels.
I didn’t give sugar much thought until I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. The news stunned me. I’d never had diabetes and I didn’t have a bad diet by any means. I felt scared and nervous after learning the news and realized I knew nothing about blood sugar.
I soon discovered that gestational diabetes is incredibly common and women carrying twins are more likely to develop it due to the added stress on the pancreas and liver. Per my doctor’s order, I logged my meals, measured my blood glucose levels multiple times a day, and learned how to control my insulin through diet. It was a lot of work, but (thankfully) I avoided further complications during pregnancy and was able keep my blood sugar levels balanced.
I learned a lot during this time. Primarily, I discovered the damaging effects that high blood sugar levels can have on your body and that you may be able to control or reduce high levels through diet. In a way I’m grateful I had this experience because it taught me so much about my body.
Since I’ve had gestational diabetes (FYI, it goes away when you give birth) I’m more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes later in life. As a precaution, I have a blood glucose test done each year and so far my levels have been optimal.
Maybe you pre-diabetic, maybe you are pregnant, or maybe you just understand the dangers of too much sugar in your diet. Today I want to share some of my favorite everyday foods that have been found to help lower and control blood sugar levels. They are easy to incorporate into your everyday meals.
Cinnamon – I could write a whole post about how much I love cinnamon. I use it on everything. It can easily be added to smoothies, oatmeal, berries, and nuts. I even add it to my coffee. Research shows it is a great way to control blood sugar levels when taken in moderate amounts.
Garlic – As if we need a reason to consume garlic. Let’s put it on everything, K? In addition to lowering blood-sugar levels, garlic may also help control levels of cholesterol and fat in the blood. It’s also helpful for your immune system and can speed recovery from illnesses, sich as the common cold.
Lemons – The acid and fiber found in lemons slows digestion. Slower digestion = a steadier blood sugar levels. Throw a slice in your water. Squeeze it over cooked veggies or a salad. Add it to your smoothie.
Tart cherries – Yes, fruit should be limited when you are concerned about blood sugar, but if you need something sweet, they are a great choice. Tart cherries (not to be confused with sweet cherries – there is a big difference in the amount of sugar and the glycemic indexes) are great at regulating sugar. They have an added benefit of speeding recovery after workouts. Look for frozen or dried tart cherries without any added sugar.
Fermented vegetables – Some examples include sauerkraut and pickled veggies. Fermented foods are pre-digested which helps improve pancreatic function. They also lower glucose levels by slowing down the digestion process. Kim chi is a great choice!
Avocados – Quality fats are a great way to balance blood sugar levels. Nuts are a great choice, too. Anything topped with an avocado is a good idea (eggs, salad, tomatoes, meat) or eat it on its own with a little salt and lime.
Coffee – You’re welcome. Coffee contains anti-oxidant properties as well as anti-carcinogenic elements. Mineral magnesium found in coffee has been shown to lower type 2 diabetes. Drink moderately.
For other ways to balance blood glucose levels, check out these articles:
I love to know your thoughts. Anyone else have gestational diabetes?
What’s your favorite use for cinnamon?