10 Healthy Food Swaps That Will Help Control Blood Sugar, Diabetes

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people with prediabetes or diabetes they must be extremely careful about their eating habits. As such, it can sometimes be tricky to determine which foods and drinks are the best options. But don’t worry, here are 10 picks from Dr. Ganesh Kadhe, Associate Director, Nutritional Medical & Scientific Affairs, Abbott, that will ensure your blood sugar levels are always kept.

Beans (of any kind)

Lentils, beans, black beans or chickpeas are low glycemic index foods. It means that your carbohydrates are released gradually and are therefore less likely to cause blood sugar spikes. They’re so beneficial that a recent study found that eating a daily cup of beans for three months as part of a low-glycemic diet reduced HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c) levels by half a percentage point.

Try it: Swap out your regular dal for rajma from time to time.

apples

You might think that there is no place for fruits in a diabetic meal plan, but apples are also low on the glycemic index. Aiming for foods that have a low or medium glycemic index is one way to control blood sugar levels. eating a Apple a day has its benefits: they are high in fiber, vitamin C and contain no fat! Not to mention an easy, portable snack option.

Try it: Toss an apple into your lunch bag or grab one between meals. Try baking them with a touch of cinnamon for hot treats when you have a dessert craving.

almonds

These crunchy nuts are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps the body use its own insulin more effectively. Try adding more almonds to your diet to get your daily dose of this blood sugar balance mineral. Additionally, almonds are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, and fiber, making them a great way to help control blood glucose levels.

Try it: For a healthy snack on the go, pack 30g servings of almonds in individual containers.

A quick and easy snack and a great source of magnesium. (Photo: Pexels)

Spinach

This leafy green vegetable has just 21 calories per cooked cup and is packed with blood sugar. magnesium and fiber. In addition, you can enjoy raw spinach, sautéed with olive oil, in your favorite palak paneer or even blended, making it a versatile option!

Try it: Toss a handful of baby spinach into your next smoothie or use it in place of lettuce in a salad.

spinach healthy food Find new ways to add spinach to your diet. (Photo: Pexels)

chia seeds

Losing or managing your weight is one of the best things you can do to improve your blood sugar level. chia seeds can help with that. In one study, people with diabetes who added about an ounce of chia seeds to a calorie-controlled diet for six months lost four pounds and trimmed an inch and a half off their waists. In addition to being packed with fiber, these gems also contain protein and provide 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium.

Try it: Combine a quarter cup of chia seeds with a cup of skim or 1 percent milk and a half cup of chopped fruit. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy for breakfast the next morning.

Add a diabetes-specific formula

Along with lifestyle modifications and regular exercise, adding a diabetes-specific formula to your diet plan is recommended. Look for a formula designed with special ingredients like complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and antioxidants to help control the steady release of glucose. Ideally, the formula should be included in your breakfast, lunch, or dinner as a partial meal replacement in one of your modified meals, helping to maintain Blood glucose and weight under control.

Try it: Carry a portion of the formula in your blender (to be consumed with water) so you’ll always have a healthy snack on hand, no matter how busy your day gets.

blueberries

Blueberries contain compounds that have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve the way the body uses insulin. One study showed that eating the equivalent of about 2 cups of blueberries a day improved insulin sensitivity in people who were overweight and insulin resistant. They are also a great source of fiber and other nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants.

Try it: Take a half cup of fresh blueberries (or frozen and thawed blueberries) and pour over plain unsweetened yogurt. You can even add a cup of blueberries to your smoothie.

fruit Blueberries are also a great source of antioxidants. (Photo: Pexels)

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is not only good for your heart, it can also benefit your blood sugar level. Like apples, steel cut oats and rolled oats have a low glycemic index. However, while steel cut and rolled oats are great options, highly processed instant and quick oats tend to have a higher glycemic index, so they’re not as blood sugar friendly.

Try it: Opt for rolled oats or cooked oatmeal with masala for a savory option and with blueberries for a sweet option and enjoy a hearty breakfast.

Turmeric

This golden spice contains curcumin, a substance that helps keep your pancreas healthy and prevent prediabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes.

Try it: Add turmeric to your daily cooking.

camomile tea

Chamomile tea has long been used for a variety of ailments. Existing research shows that it has antioxidant and anticancer properties, and a recent study found that it may help control your blood sugar levels too. When study participants drank a cup of chamomile tea after meals three times a day for six weeks, they showed a reduction in blood sugar levels, insulin, and insulin resistance, said Dr. Kade.

Try it: Replace an after-dinner cocktail with a cup of freshly brewed chamomile tea. Add a slice of lemon for flavor and an extra dose of vitamin C.

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