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If you’re diabetic or prediabetic there are some foods that will affect blood sugar immediately after eating. Some will increase your blood sugar levels, but others can actually lower them. If you’re one of the 35 million people with diabetes in the United States, knowing which foods work with your diet makes for better diabetes management.
So which foods are best with a prediabetic/diabetic diet? It depends on your individual diet, but these superfoods can enhance the effects of insulin and help you manage your blood glucose levels overall.
So much more than a children’s joke, beans may produce some gas, but these little vegetables do have magical properties. Beans of any variety (black, pinto, cannellini, navy) slowly raise blood sugar. They are high in protein and fiber, with a third of your daily intake in a ½ cup of beans. And they are low on the glycemic index. They’ve also been shown to help reduce heart disease, but it’s recommended that you eat low-sodium or dried beans to reduce sodium consumption.
Mediterranean diets rich in olive oil may hold the key to reduce the stresses of diabetes. Olive oil has been known to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
In fact, one study found that the rise in blood sugar levels was much smaller after the meal with extra virgin olive oil than after the meal with corn oil. The findings are consistent with previous studies, which have linked extra virgin olive oil to higher levels of insulin, making it beneficial if you have Type 2 diabetes.
Using olive oil in a salad with spinach and beans is a recipe for progress.
Spinach is a non-starchy veggie, which means it does not have much effect on blood sugar levels.
It’s also a rich source of fiber, which doesn't digest easily and won’t cause immediate spikes in blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber is, in fact, responsible for reducing blood glucose levels and controlling diabetes. Each cup of cooked spinach is said to have about four to five grams of fiber.
Spinach is also rich in magnesium, potassium and zinc. Another bonus is that spinach and its leafy green cousins are low in carbohydrates and have few calories, so you can enjoy the green delight as much as you want.
These vegetables are a good replacement for regular potatoes if you’re searching for a healthy side. They are rich in vitamin A, low on the glycemic index like beans, and contain few carbohydrates.
Low in carbohydrates and calories and low on the glycemic index, oranges are also a great source of vitamin C. An easy way to eat more oranges without actually eating them is by infusing your water with oranges.
It’s important to listen to your body and take care of it, and you can start with these superfoods for blood sugar. Be sure to do more digging and ask your doctor to help you put together a meal plan for your prediabetic or diabetic lifestyle. If you have any questions about managing your blood sugar, talk with your doctor.
But diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. Physical activity is also an important part of controlling high blood sugar levels. Our guide to the “Updated Physical Activity Guidelines” will help get you on the path to being more active.