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Diabetic diet: 16 foods that help regulate blood sugar

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Diabetes can be sneaky, with symptoms that are not always obvious but that cause lasting damage. Prevent problems by incorporating these 16 foods to regulate your blood sugar levels.

Diabetes can be sneaky, with symptoms that are not always obvious but that cause lasting damage.

Prevent problems by incorporating these 16 foods to regulate your blood sugar levels, as recommended by Healthline and WebMD.

Protein

Protein is a great food choice for diabetics because it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. It also creates a feeling of fullness while it builds and repairs your body. Protein sources to consider for blood sugar control include Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs and lean meats.

Vegetables

Whether you prefer them raw, cooked or roasted, vegetables do more than just add color to your plate. Choose diabetic-friendly, low-carb veggies like mushrooms, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and zucchini.

Low-carb greens

Popeye had it right. Spinach, chard and kale are powerful foods with a low-carb punch. Pack your diet with these time-tested foods, and you will bring real power to the fight against high blood sugar.

Sour cherries

Fruits are sometimes frowned upon in the diabetic community, but there are some with a low glycemic index. Food with low GI scores won’t raise blood sugar and can prevent a spike. Sour cherries have a low GI and a chemical called anthocyanins. The National Institutes of Health has shown that anthocyanins may reduce your risk of developing diabetes and obesity. Anthocyanins inhibit some digestive enzymes and slow down digestion. They also help reduce blood sugar spikes following starch-rich meals.

Blackberries and blueberries

Sour cherries aren’t the only fruits you can add. Blackberries and blueberries won’t raise blood sugar levels as much as their fruity friends. These berries are high in fiber and have the highest concentrations of anthocyanins.

Low-calorie drinks

While water is your dietitian's drink of choice, spruce it up by infusing it with nutrients from vegetables and fruits. Add lemons and cucumbers to water for flavor and to slow your reach for sugary drinks.

Apple cider vinegar

Healthline.com recommends drinking 20 grams of apple cider vinegar in 40 grams of water before a meal to prevent blood sugar spikes. The acetic acid in it reduces certain enzymes in the stomach and can improve insulin sensitivity after meals.

Eggs

Eggs get a bad rap because of their link to high cholesterol. However, eggs can provide satiety and curb cravings without raising blood sugar levels. Both prediabetics and diabetics can benefit from the protein and nutrients.

Whole grains and high-fiber

Fasting insulin rates after eating whole grains are 10 percent lower, according to a report by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The high content of fiber, phytochemicals and nutrients found in whole grains work to regulate blood sugar.

Beans

Legumes like dried beans, peas and lentils help you feel full longer while providing a low-glucose alternative. Soft-style beans can be combined as a dip with other vegetables to add variety.

Healthy fat

While the wrong kind of fat can be harmful, good fats are essential. Some good fat choices are olive oil, avocado and fish (salmon, halibut, albacore tuna, mackerel and trout).

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids

Polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids improve insulin sensitivity. These fatty acids trigger feelings of satiety while positively impacting blood pressure and inflammation levels. Avocados, peanut butter, other nuts and seeds are sources of monounsaturated fatty acids.

Garlic

A study shows how garlic can lower blood glucose levels. Garlic supplements, raw or cooked garlic, or aged garlic can all help.

Chia seeds

They may be small, but chia seeds are loaded with healthy fats, omega-3s, calcium, fiber and antioxidants. They help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Cacao

Cacao is a foundational ingredient for chocolate and cocoa butter. High in antioxidants and a flavanol called epicatechin, cacao seeds help control blood glucose production by activating key proteins. Cacao also balances blood sugar — even in those who already have diabetes.

Almonds

These tasty, protein-rich nuts help control blood sugar levels following meals. Consuming 2 ounces of almonds per day lowers levels of fasting glucose and insulin.

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