Diabetic Diet: Controlling Your Blood Sugar
Exercising and maintaining your optimum weight will help you to control your blood sugar, but the foods you eat on a daily basis can play just as big a part. Some foods are helpful in diabetes management because they prevent your glucose levels from getting out of control, some can even keep you from overeating by making you feel fuller.
Foods with Color
Anthocyanins are beneficial in regulating blood sugar. They are colorful, water-soluble pigments with antioxidant properties. Because of this, they’re useful in combatting blood sugar swings. Foods containing them include:
- Red wine
- Red cabbage
- Olive oil
Eating dark or tart cherries has been found to lower resistance to insulin, especially in women.
In one study of diabetic and pre-diabetic patients, some were given a drink of four teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of saccharine in eight teaspoons of water before a starchy meal. Other patients were given a placebo. The participants who drank the vinegar had significantly lowered blood sugar levels, demonstrating its value in dealing with high carb meals. Recipes for how to use apple cider vinegar vary widely. Some people use honey or Stevia instead of saccharine while some people use no sweetener at all.[respa]
It is believed that in consuming vinegar before a meal or with the first bite of a meal, the acetic acid in it inhibits the action of some of the enzymes in the stomach, and, therefore, limits the ingestion of some starches. The dietary fiber in vinegar is also thought to play a role in lowering glucose levels. Research also indicates that taking apple cider vinegar at bedtime gives better fasting glucose levels in the morning.
Since the acid in the vinegar may tax the liver and bones of some people, it is suggested that you talk with your doctor before taking apple cider vinegar on a regular basis.
Fenugreek is a spice that is used by people in India and other nations in South Asia. It lowers glucose absorption because the fiber in it is slows your body’s digestion of carbohydrates. In addition to using it as a seasoning, it can be consumed as a tea or taken as a pill.
Although testing isn’t entirely conclusive, it hasn’t been shown to adversely affect people with diabetes. As with all self-administered treatments, consulting your doctor to see how fenugreek will interact with your dietary needs and medications is recommended.
Consuming monounsaturated fats has been proven to lower your body’s resistance to insulin. They are found in:
- Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans and other nuts
- Oils such as olive, peanut and canola
- Peanut butter
- Sunflower, sesame and other seeds
Be aware of your consumption of nuts because they are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation.
There is some evidence that as little as 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon daily may reduce blood sugar levels. However, talk to your doctor before consuming large amounts of it. Some have suggested that Saigon cinnamon may be dangerous.
Foods that are high in fiber can help control blood sugar levels by making you feel fuller
and by slowing the rise in blood sugars after a meal. Some high fiber foods to eat include: dried beans, peas, air-popped popcorn, artichokes, broccoli, oatmeal and barley, berries, avocados and lentils.
As a diabetic, you have many varieties of foods to choose from that will contribute positively to your health. Eating shouldn’t be boring, but it doesn’t have to be harmful.