5 Foods to Lower Blood Sugar for Better Health
Begin your Health Journey in the Kitchen…Not at the Doctor’s Office!
You need to make habit changes to lower blood sugar. We’ve all heard that certain food — delicious foods — should be avoided if we have high blood sugar. Let’s talk about favorite foods that actually lower blood sugar! Instead of feeling sad about those donuts or treats your doctor worries about, let’s feel happy about the delicious food in your kitchen that belongs to a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re looking for homemade health behaviors, these healthy, great-tasting foods may help.
The Healthy Lower Blood Sugar Kitchen
Set the scene in your kitchen. Take 5 minutes to look at your fridge and food pantry. Make room for at least one complete shelf dedicated to foods that do not spike your blood sugar. I like having my most healthy items in a colorful bin that is labeled “Go-To Foods”. Maybe that would work for you?
I tell my health coaching clients in Colorado that deciding to manage their blood sugar has to be followed up with ACTION. If you’ve decided to manage your blood sugar for better health, create a space for foods you can count on every day. Set yourself up for success!
What to Eat to Avoid High Blood Sugar Complications
High blood sugar happens for several reasons. The basic explanation is that some people cannot move sugar (glucose) from their blood into their cells. So, their blood sugar stays high. Other people do not produce enough insulin, or cannot utilize insulin, so glucose accumulates in their blood. Over months, years, and decades, high blood sugar damages the body in very serious ways.
If your doctor told you that high blood sugar is something you need to change, begin your health journey in your kitchen. Understand how the foods in your new Go-To Foods bin can help you! This is a Focus on the Good strategy. When you think about the foods you enjoy and eat for blood sugar control, you’ll more easily ‘crowd-out’ the 50 Shades of Sugar foods that you already know are horrible for your health!
Do I have to skip all the carbs?
Carbs that meet certain criteria are definitely bin-worthy. The glycemic index is a helpful measure of how food affects blood sugar levels. The number assigned to food in this index teaches us how fast our bodies will convert the carbs into glucose. It’s like a short cut to understanding the fiber included in each carb.
Did you know? Two foods containing the same amount of carb can have very different glycemic index (GI) ratings. For instance, 15 grams of carbs can look like 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream or it can also look like 1-1/4 cup of whole strawberries. In this case, both foods have the same amount of carbs, different GI ratings, and VERY different nutritional benefits. [You can learn more about Glycemic Index here]
Consider these proven health-promoting food options
Enjoy them however you like them, including in all kinds in recipes, as a dip like hummus, or as a side dish.
The healthy fat in avocados (as well as in olives and walnuts) help us better use insulin to move glucose out of the blood and into cells. My clients love eating some avocado every day!
I like a crisp cracker. Always have and always will! Opt for rye crackers. If you’d like a crisp go-to bin item, follow this link to an EatingWell resource for packaged crackers. I like a little hummus on my crackers!
Seeds and Nuts
Maintaining healthy eating is easier when we have raw nuts and seeds in our bin. Pumpkin seeds are packed with magnesium, which is a helpful mineral. Your ideal go-to bin should include raw nuts and seeds instead of any sugared or chocolate-coated options. I regularly grab a small palmful of raw cashews or walnuts around 3:00. Remember–the goal of your bin is to make this kind of conscious snack easy to grab!
The glycemic index chart I’m giving away online includes great info about fruit. Everyone with a sweet tooth seems to enjoy a little fruit as a go-to snack. If you add diced watermelon to your go-to bin, it has a GI index of 72. Compare that choice to a sliced apple, for instance, and you’ll be eating almost half the sugar! A small apple has a GI index of 38. Knowledge is power! Check out the Crash Course on Carbs today.