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What are Different Foods That Lower Blood Sugar?

Jessica Ellis
Updated Jan 26, 2024
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Blood sugar is a common term that refers to the amount of glucose in the blood and is essential for the proper metabolism of food. People with chronically high blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, are at risk for developing several health problems, including organ damage throughout the body. People with high blood sugar or those who are at a risk for developing hyperglycemia may try to maintain glucose stability by eating foods that lower blood sugar and avoiding foods that can raise glucose levels. Foods that lower blood glucose can play an important part in maintaining a normal blood sugar level.

One way to identify possible foods that lower blood sugar is through glycemic index analysis. The glycemic index measures food based on how much and how quickly it raises blood sugar on a scale from 0-100. Foods that score lower on the glycemic scale may decrease chances of blood sugar spikes, as well as help maintain normal glucose levels overall.

Certain nuts, such as almonds and Brazil nuts, are considered excellent snacks that help lower blood pressure. Low in carbohydrates, which quickly convert to sugar, these nuts also provide a healthy dose of unsaturated fat, which can help the body feel fuller longer. Since one of the keys to avoiding blood sugar spikes is regular, evenly spaced meals, snacking on a few almonds can help stem cravings and avoid spikes caused by big meals. It is important to remember that most nuts have a lot of calories, however, and should be eaten with moderation.

Sweet potatoes and yams are often lauded as being excellent foods that lower blood sugar. In addition to having a relatively low glycemic index score, these root vegetables are packed with antioxidants and fiber that help regulate digestion and improve overall health. Preparation is important, however — sweet potato fries, or sweet potatoes that have been doused in butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows will likely do more harm than good.

It might seem strange that some sweet foods can reduce glucose levels, but apples and berries are two excellent examples of foods that lower blood sugar. Berries contain powerful antioxidants to boost health and the immune system, while apples contain a large dose of fiber for proper digestion. Adding an apple or a serving of blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries to a daily diet can help keep sweet foods on the menu without harming blood sugar levels.

Two food additives getting a lot of attention for blood sugar busting components are vinegar and cinnamon. Thanks to natural compounds in cinnamon, some studies have shown that it can not only lower blood sugar levels, but may actually help reduce high cholesterol as well. Apple cider vinegar may contain enzymes that help process carbohydrates, reducing the amount of sugar created in the digestive process. While these effects are still being studied, some health experts are tentatively recommending adding a small amount of both vinegar and cinnamon to a daily diet.

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Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGeek. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By amypollick — On Apr 30, 2011

@anon170735: I understand where you're coming from. I've been diagnosed Type 2 since 2008. However, with medication and diet, I maintain pretty normal blood glucose (blood sugar) levels.

You should look mostly for a balanced diet, low in sugars and simple carbohydrates and higher in protein, fiber and other nutrients.

There is no *one* definitive list of foods proven to lower blood sugar levels for every person. This is because everyone is different, and what works well for one person may not work for another person.

My suggestion to you is, if you don't already have one, buy a glucose meter and test your BG levels two or three times each day, minimum. Your blood sugar didn't go up overnight and it isn't going down overnight. But, when you start seeing a downward trend, you know you're on the right track.

Do concentrate on lean protein, whole grains, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, cheese and similar foods. Good luck!

By anon170735 — On Apr 27, 2011

I'm looking for a list of all the foods I am able to eat. I don't want to eat just oatmeal and nuts for the rest of my life. please help.

By mutsy — On Dec 23, 2010

Latte31- This is a great diet to lower blood sugar. I know that the South Beach Diet cookbook offers a lot of recipes that are quick and easy to put together and taste great.

For example, there is a cheesecake recipe that tastes great. You need to use low fat ricotta cheese, vanilla extract and Splenda or another sugar substitute.

You scoop out about half of a cup of ricotta cheese, place about a teaspoon of vanilla extract and combine it with a teaspoon of Splenda and it does taste like a rich dessert. You can also buy the sugar free Jell-O puddings for desserts on the first two weeks of the program.

The most positive change aside from the weight loss is the increased energy that you receive. You also do not feel hungry because it takes longer for the lean protein to work through your system which is why you feel fuller longer.

By latte31 — On Dec 21, 2010

Moldova- I agree. I think that the South Beach Diet is great diet to lower blood sugar levels. It works loosely on the glycemic index because sugar in the blood prevents weight loss which is why most diets prevent consumption of sugar.

A Miami cardiologist whose patients were also suffering from diabetes created the diet. Since diabetes and heart disease are often linked, this doctor wanted to create an eating program that allowed a person to lose weight in a format that improved their heart function and controlled their diabetic impulses.

The first two weeks reduce blood sugar levels fast. There is no sugar allowed and there is even of restriction of no fruits on the first two weeks of the program.

There is only lean protein, vegetables, and sugar free foods. After the first few days, you will feel a lot of energy and will actually experience a more satisfied state much sooner than before.

Most people lose about 10 pounds their first two weeks of the program. The next phase reintroduces the fruits that were eliminated in the first two weeks, but does limit consumption of the sugary foods.

By Moldova — On Dec 20, 2010

Anon132037- I think the writer introduced the glycemic index because it shows you the sugar level in foods. Diabetic diets often follow the glycemic index because it tells them what foods they are able to eat safely and what foods should be avoided.

For example, an apple may have a glycemic index of 23, but a slice of watermelon may have a glycemic index of 60. The higher the glycemic index number in the food, the more sugar is in that food.

Foods like lentils lower your blood sugar levels and even adding cinnamon to your coffee will also lower blood sugar naturally.

Eating foods rich in fiber and lean protein while avoiding processed foods and foods rich in carbohydrates really makes a difference and will lower your blood sugar. Oatmeal, nuts, beans, and vegetables all lower blood sugar fast and offer high fiber as well. Daily exercise also helps to lower your blood sugar.

By anon132037 — On Dec 05, 2010

Not at all helpful. I needed to know what foods lower blood sugar. This article ran me in circles and never gave me a list of foods.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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