Foods That Lower Blood Sugar: So Many Choices! 

Nutrition advice can be confusing and sometimes contradictory. How do you know what to believe? I've looked at many recommendations of nutritionists and dieticians to find the  foods most often recommended for diabetics and people monitoring their blood sugar.

The best foods they've found to lower your blood sugar:

  • Green Vegetables - Broccoli and green beans are suggested most often. Avocados (technically a fruit) are also an excellent choice for lowering insulin production.

  • Leafy greens including spinach, kale, and collard greens. These are essentially leaves! Primates eat more leafy greens than anything else.

  • Fruit - Apples, lemons, cherries, blueberries and strawberries are suggested most often. Cherries can lower insulin production by nearly half!

  • Cold water fish (limited to twice a week) Salmon, mackerel, herring, or sardines are the best choices. These contain good fats called Omega 3 fatty acids while containing the less mercury and heavy metals than in larger, older fish.

  • Whole grains - Barley and oats are mentioned most often, but also whole grains like spelt, kamut, brown rice, and quinoa.

What are whole grains?

Whole grains are just that, "whole". Nothing is removed or added, so you get all the nutrients and fiber in the grain.

When grain is processed, the outside shell of the grain is removed. This makes the food softer to chew and faster to cook. Think of white bread, white rice and pasta. Eating the whole food provides more nutrition than the sum of its various parts.

If you are monitoring your blood sugar, whole grains and whole foods containing the most fiber are what you want to eat most. The problem with processing food this way is that most of the nutrients are found in the outer covering of grains. Removing  the shell means losing most of the nutrients.

  • Legumes - Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas

  • Nuts - Pecans, walnuts, and almonds have been praised the most.

  • Seeds - Flax seeds are the most recommended seeds. These are among the highest in Omega 3 fatty acids of plant-based foods. Make sure to grind flax seeds before eating. If you don't, the seeds with go right through you without getting digested. You can keep a small batch refrigerated for up to two weeks.

  • Cinnamon - Eating just  1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon a half hour before a meal helps to keep your blood glucose in check. It's delicious, spicy, and a sweet substitute for sugar.

  • Eat good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats). Find these fats in avocados, coconut and coconut oil, fish, flax seeds, olives and olive oil, nuts and nut butters. Eat only a small amount of oils and avoid cooking or frying foods in oil.
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