People with diabetes do not produce enough insulin or cannot properly use it, leading to glucose accumulation in the blood. It is, therefore, important for diabetic patients to eat foods that absorb slowly in their blood. These foods tend not to cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels.
Foods that absorb slowly in the body are also known as low glycemic index (GI) foods. People can also pair foods with a high GI and those with a low GI to create a balance. Here is a look at some foods you can add to your diet to control your blood sugar levels.
Many fruits, apart from melons and pineapples, have a lower GI. Most fruits contain a lot of fiber and water that help balance out the fructose in them. It is important to note that the GI of fruits tend to increase as they ripen.
On the other hand, fruit juices have a high GI score because the seeds and the fibrous part have been removed from them. It is, therefore, best to eat the whole fruit. Studies have shown that adding fruits to your diet daily can lower the rate of developing type 2 diabetes.
Research also shows that people who consume whole fruits such as grapes, blueberries, and apples are at a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The research also showed that drinking fruit juices increases the chances of developing the condition.
Pumpernickel Bread Or Stone-Ground Whole Wheat
Most bread has a high GI score and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, you should avoid them. However, if you want to eat bread, opt for whole-grain bread, which is associated with slow absorption. Whole-grain bread is considered a great way to consume whole grains.
The stone-ground whole wheat bread and pumpernickel bread have a lower GI score because they go through less processing. Processing wheat takes out the fibrous outer shell of the cereals and grains. Whole wheat fiber slows digestion, thus helping stabilize blood glucose levels.
Studies have shown consuming fewer processed grains can cause a considerable improvement in the blood sugar levels of patients with diabetes. Another study showed that the particle size of the whole grain affects blood sugar levels.
Some of the bread you can eat to regulate your blood sugar levels should be made from rye, spelled rice, bread made from less processed grains, and ancient grains such as einkorn and emmer.
Yams And Sweet Potatoes
Yams and sweet potatoes have a lower GI score than regular potatoes. On top of that, they are very nutritious. Research shows that the flesh of the sweet potato has more fiber than the skin, making it one of the most beneficial foods for people with diabetes.
Eating sweet potatoes also reduces some markers for diabetes. However, there is no conclusive evidence to show that sweet potatoes lower blood sugar but are more nutritious than regular potatoes and have a lower GI score. You can substitute regular potatoes with sweet potatoes and yams in various dishes to help control blood sugar.
Peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas have a lower GI score. These legumes are rich in nutrients and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. They are rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber hence adding them to your diet can help improve glycemic control and lower the risk of coronary heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes.
If you have diabetes, you may avoid legume products containing simple starches, such as sauces, syrups, and marinades. These often increase the GI score of the food.
Fish and other types of meat do not have a high GI score because they do not have carbohydrates. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that people who consume fatty fish often are at a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Some fish products you can add to your diet include cod, anchovies, salmon, sardines, and pollock. You should limit your intake of tilefish, swordfish, big-eye tuna, shark, and marlin.
A healthy, balanced diet is vital to maintaining blood sugar levels within the target range. You should talk to your primary health care provider and dietician to develop a proper eating plan to ensure your blood sugar levels do not spike or dip.