Diet is one of the most important routines in the life of a person with diabetes because just getting this one thing right alone can help cure diabetes naturally with little or next to no medication. Any foods that reduce blood sugar quickly should be a part of the daily diet.
Diabetes happens when the body stops making insulin i.e. type 1 diabetes (found mostly in children & adolescents) or when the body cannot properly use the insulin that’s made to control the monitoring of glucose i.e. type 2 diabetes.
As a general rule, any food that takes time for our bodies to digest fully should be consumed more as they do not cause the blood sugar levels to fluctuate more than they should.
An index known as the GI (glycemic index) is used to measure the effects of certain foods on blood sugar
This GI can be treated as a scoreboard with scores from 1-100. All foods that rank up on GI or with scores of 70 or above in GI, should be avoided by all diabetes patients.
Here’s our list of 10 best foods that reduce blood sugar quickly
Whole Wheat Bread (Pumpernickel Bread):
Most bread tends to cause a spike in the blood sugar levels since they tend to be high in carbohydrates and cannot be featured in the list of foods that reduce blood sugar quickly. Pumpernickel bread & 100% grounded wheat flour bread, on the other hand, have ranked up very low on the GI index.
Any processed pieces of bread will tend to have either white flour and less fiber which don’t get digested in the body easily.
Some of the other diabetes-friendly bread brands that are worth checking out are:
- Pita Pockets Made With Wheat & Flax: Remember pita pockets? Add those to your diet. Those delicious Mediterranean loaves of bread don’t have added sugars and contain a perfect balance of fiber & carbs. We recommend Joseph’s Flax & Wheat Pita Breads.
- Sprouted Grains Bread: Protein, loads of fiber & about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Sprouted grain bread by Foods For Life, tastes great and is a good way to start your day. Some of Food For Life’s other products like diabetes-friendly waffles, pasta & pita pockets are also worth checking out.
- Sprouted Wheat Multi-Grain Bread. Missing a little sugar? Think of a beautiful combination between sweet molasses and honey in your next bread. These organic slices of bread are amazing and made fresh by Alvarado St. Bakery (California). They have a HUGE selection of similar bread-y products that can easily be added to your daily diet without worrying about sugar levels spiking up. Check out their amazing selection here.
Fruits With GI Score Of Less Than 55
According to studies, type-2 diabetes can be avoided altogether if you include certain fruits that are known to have anti-oxidant properties like blueberries, grapes & apples. These fruits feature on our list of foods that reduce blood sugar quickly because of their extremely low GI scores.
Btw, anyone that told you fruit juices is fine for you in diabetes was probably wrong because there are only 8 well-known fruits that diabetics can safely consume and they are mentioned below:
- Ranks low on GI
- Rich in antioxidants, vitamins & fiber
- ADA categorizes berries in diabetes superfoods
- Suggested intake: 3/4th cup of berries
- Nutritional Value: 62 calories, 16 gm. of carbs
- Tart Cherries
- Ranks low on GI
- Packed with anti-oxidants
- Helps in fighting inflammation
- Eat raw tart cherries. Avoid processed or canned ones.
- Nutritional Value: 78 calories, 19 gm. of carbs
- Glycemic load of only 4
- High in potassium
- High in Vitamins A, C
- High in fiber
- Boosts metabolism
- Nutritional Value: 39 calories, 10 gms of carbs
- Ranks low on GI (31/100)
- High in Vitamin A
- High in fiber
- Nutritional Value: 48 calories per 100 gms., 11 gms carbs per 100 gms.
- Ranks low on GI (38/100)
- High in fiber
- Great source of Vitamin C
- The skin has a lot of anti-oxidants
- Nutritional Value: 52 calories per 100 gms., 14 gm carbs per 100 gms.
- Ranks low on GI (44/100)
- High in Vitamin C
- Boosts immunity
- Folate & potassium help lower blood sugar
- Nutritional Value: 47 calories per 100 gms., 12 gm carbs per 100 gms.
- Glycemic load of 5
- Excellent source of potassium, fiber & Vitamin C
- Nutritional Value: 61 calories per 100 gms., 15 gm carbs per 100 gms
Sweet Potatoes & Yams
We all love potatoes in various forms like fries, mashed potatoes, etc. but if you want to control your blood sugar, the safest form of potato is the sweet potato. And this too in limited quantities.
Yam and sweet potatoes don’t rank up too high on the glycemic index. Both of them are known for their high nutritional value. Even though many studies suggest that sweet potatoes can help lower blood sugar levels quickly, there is no conclusive evidence that it does so.
Having said that, they are a much better alternative to potatoes because of their high fiber content in the skins.
Whole Oats & Oat Bran
Oats are the first thing we recommend to diabetes patients when it comes to fixing a regular diet. They have a GI score of less than 55 which makes them a wonderful option to avoid any fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
A lot of people might not be aware of the B-glucans that oats have. B-glucan is a type of fiber and is usually found in seaweed, algae, nuts & oats and bran. They are primarily known to have the following benefits on the body:
- Reduces glucose response after meals
- insulin sensitivity increases
- glycemic control gets better
- leads to a reduction in blood lipids (fats)
The effect of oats on type-1 diabetes patients is still not known. But for type-2 diabetes, plenty of studies confirm its benefits of glucose control and lipid profile.
Nuts of Most Kind
Known to be an amazing source of dietary fiber, nuts of any kind are worth including in your diet if you have diabetes. The GI score of most nuts is less than 55.
Nuts have very carbs and don’t raise blood sugar levels. They are also high on plant proteins, unsaturated fatty acids & other important nutrients like antioxidant vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals like potassium & magnesium which help with well being of an individual.
As the age-old saying goes, excess of anything can be harmful, the same case is with nuts. Dieticians and health experts around the world have agreed that there are 5 types of nuts that a diabetic person can count on:
- Almonds: A study from 2011 made clear that almonds tend to help manage glucose levels in a diabetic person. Oxidative stress is a huge factor responsible for diabetes. It takes place because of an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s capacity to neutralize it with antioxidants. This oxidative stress gets managed well just because of almonds in a regular diet. A single serving of a handful of almonds is good enough for completing your body’s magnesium requirements. The best way to consume them is by soaking them in water overnight and having it with breakfast in the morning. Avoid salted almonds altogether and use raw almonds only.
- Walnuts: Walnuts might be high on calories but they do not significantly increase weight. Studies show that having walnuts makes you feel full & reduces cravings for sugar-related foods. It is best to consume walnuts with their skin intact.
- Pistachios: Pistachios are a superb source of energy and are also high in protein & good fats. Blood sugar levels among diabetics have shown significant improvement with the consumption of pistachios.
However, salted pistachios do not cause the same good effects and should be avoided altogether by diabetes patients. The maximum number of nuts that one should consume every day are 30 ideally with salad or a fruit bowl for best effects on the body.
- Cashews: Cashews have over the years been trusted as the nuts that help with cardiovascular diseases & lowering blood pressure. They have lesser fats as compared to other nuts. A handful of these every day is recommended.
- Peanuts: Efficiently known to help with the management of weight & risk of cardiovascular diseases, peanuts are an excellent source of fiber & protein. Prediabetics can enjoy its benefits the best as it can altogether stop the chances of further development of diabetes. The recommended eating portion is about 25-30 peanuts a day.
Legumes like beans, peas, chickpeas, etc.
Legumes are the fruits or seeds of a plant family called Fabaceae. The most common varieties of legumes beans, adzuki beans, black beans, soybeans, Anasazi beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans and lima beans.
These are extremely high in protein and carbohydrates but quite low in fat.
Certain products available now claim they have legumes and any products like extra sugars or starches like syrups, sauces, etc. should be avoided.
Garlic is used heavily in traditional medicines for diabetics as the compounds can help in the reduction of blood sugars by improving the management of insulin in the body.
According to many studies, type 2 diabetes patients have responded extremely positively with garlic in their diet. Garlic helps in reducing inflammation and helps control blood pressure among type 2 diabetes patients.
Garlic can be consumed in any form- salads, raw & cooked and cannot be missed on the list of foods that reduce blood sugar quickly.
Packed with health benefits in plenty of wild fish includes lean protein, iron, good fats, & Vitamin B along with essential minerals like magnesium and potassium. The best part is that fish or any other meats don’t have GI scores since they do not have carbohydrates.
However, certain fish in the diet like cold-water fishes are known to help with the self-management of diabetes better than other kinds of meats since it helps reduce blood sugar levels quickly.
Remember, fishes that have lean proteins are better for everyday nutrition. Fish coated in butter, bread or heavy oils should be avoided completely. Also, cold water or wild fishes tend to have next to zero levels of mercury, pollutants, and other pesticides as compared to farmed ones.
Recommended forms of fish that helps in the reduction of blood sugar levels are wild salmon, tilapia, tuna, and halibut. Feel free to bake it or cook it. Avoid frying them as most nutrients get lost in the process.
Plain yogurt is also an essential mention in the list of foods that lower blood sugar quickly. It ranks quite low on the GI index – 50 or less.
Studies suggest yogurt might be the only dairy product that helps reverse type 2 diabetes naturally. Scientists are not sure why this happens, but it does.
Sweetened or flavored yogurts are not included in the list of foods that helps diabetes patients, so beware of what you buy. Plain or plain greek yogurt are the only two healthy options.
Lean protein, high fiber, iron & potassium- lentils are an amazing source of foods that lower blood sugar levels quickly. When used correctly in dishes, lentils not only taste amazing, they are also very rich in antioxidants.
Most legumes will take some time to cook. Lentils can be soaked, cooked & ready to eat in 15-20 minutes max.
2 special lentils – red split and green- both have extremely low GI values of 21 & 22 respectively. A perfect staple for diabetes diet!
Wheatgrass has properties that help with detoxification and digestion. Since it sits quite low on the glycemic index, it has shown incredible results when it comes to lowering blood sugar.
On the contrary to what people might believe, wheatgrass comes from a grass which is not the same thing as the actual grain “wheat”. It is gluten-free, rich in amino acids, fiber, minerals, vitamins & even contains small amounts of chlorophyll (the substance that gives it the green color).
It can easily be used in smoothies or can be bought in the form of powder. Most users have suggested juicing it up since its the easiest & tastiest.
High in amino acids with almost 5 gm. of protein in every cup- spinach is one of the top recommendations by diabetes experts & doctors. It is extremely rich in minerals, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
The fiber helps lower blood sugar and insulin levels can be balanced very easily if included in everyday diet. Use it in salads, juices, entrees or smoothies, the choice is yours. The highest amount of nutrition among all other greens.
Just for context, it has the GI index score of only 1. Our top recommendation for foods that reduce blood sugar quickly.
Considered to be the king of superfoods – Avacado is just not a millennial trend. They are extremely rich in monosaturated fats which make them ideal for lowering blood sugar quickly.
It has loads of fiber, amino acids, vitamin B, magnesium & potassium. Its creamy texture makes it a perfect replacement for mayo or cheese. Use it in moderation and the results might just surprise you.
Contrary to what others might have you believe, eggs have to be on this list. Pastured, organic or non-GMO eggs, their high protein, healthy fats & vitamins B12 & D makes them foods that lower blood sugar quickly.
The best way to use them is to keep them boiled and stored in the refrigerator. If you feel a spike or a drop in your blood sugar levels, just have 1-2 of them and watch the levels stabilize effectively.
Moderation is the name of the game. If you’re still struggling with diabetes, then a good place to start is by balancing all of the above food items mentioned above.
The excess of any one of them will be harmful, but if the diet is planned carefully with the help of a professional dietician, all of the items can show significant improvement in overall blood sugar levels.
And yes, that means you can finally throw those heavy medications out and perhaps even get rid of insulin altogether.