Type-2 diabetes can make eating a big challenge. In fact, even those looking to avoid type-2 diabetes can have trouble deciding what to eat and what to leave on the shelf, menu, or plate.
The key to managing blood sugar is identifying foods that can boost it in a hurry, and those that don’t. At the very least, find those that supply a gradual, steady level of blood sugar.
Foods that are high in added sugars, as well as refined high-carbohydrate foods like white pasta, white bread, snacks, desserts, and even certain fruits, can lead to big-time spikes in blood sugar. Controlling the types of food — and carbohydrates, in particular — is essential to maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar.
Here are some foods groups that keep blood sugar in a healthy range:
- High protein food: Greek yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, whey, and lean meats are all great options to keep blood sugar down. Because they are all very low in carbohydrates—in many cases, they have none—blood sugar stays stable. For a snack, think along the lines of peanut butter or low-sodium beef jerky.
- Raw, cooked or roasted veggies: Vegetables are generally low-carb and feature fiber to help keep blood sugar in check. They can add texture, sweetness, and taste to any meal and are the perfect substitute for rice, pasta, or other high-carb sides or meal bases. Mushrooms, eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes are all excellent options. Dipping raw veggies in hummus, salsa, or guacamole can be a great snack.
- Melon and berries: These foods are super sweet and are very low carb. They are also high in antioxidants and fiber, giving them an added boost as a snack or additive to salads.
- Whole grains and other high-fiber foods: If you want carbs, whole grains are a good bet. They are digested slowly in the body to provide a slow-release of energy that avoids blood sugar spikes.
- Nuts: These high-fat, low carb, satiating snacks can help keep you feeling full while keeping blood sugar low. They also provide a decent dose of fiber to promote heart health.
Knowing how to control blood sugar is of growing importance as cases of metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes stay on the rise. Make the right food choices to manage blood sugar to help treat or reduce the risk of these conditions.