Good Foods for Managing Blood Sugar

Credit: Unsplash
Keep that sweet fuel in check.

I don’t have diabetes, but I’m always worried about developing it. I was a major sugar fiend as a child and still have quite the sweet tooth, and while scientists haven’t entirely nailed down what causes people to develop the condition just yet, I’d still like to play it safe and keep an emergency “what to do if I get diabetes” checklist handy. The very first item on that checklist is assembling a list of good foods for keeping one’s blood sugar under control.

When you have diabetes, your body has trouble processing glucose, the substance that allows your body to turn sugar into energy. When your body has too much glucose, your blood sugar levels rise, which can damage your blood vessels and eventually lead to nerve damage in severe cases. Without your body’s natural glucose management abilities, you need to pull double shifts in keeping your body chemistry leveled.

The first thing you need is fiber. Studies show that increased fiber levels help to prevent glucose spikes after meals. The best source of diabetes-compliant fiber would be carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and grains. Beans, whole wheat bread, and brown rice are all solid candidates for your fibrous needs.

Credit: Unsplash

Lean protein is also vital. When your body has a steady supply of clean burning protein, it can direct some of that excess glucose toward powering muscle building instead of just letting it float around freely. Again, beans are a good source of lean protein, and you can also eat fish that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Speaking of omega-3, higher levels of unsaturated fat can improve your body’s ability to properly utilize insulin. Insulin is the body’s main weapon against glucose oversaturation, and a lack of it is the cause of type 2 diabetes. With unsaturated fat, again from certain kinds of fish, your body can better use the insulin it has.