The Ongoing Saga of a Girl and Her Scale
by Karin L. Nauber
As many of you know by now, I struggle with type 2 diabetes. Because of this struggle, I am always researching to try to find solutions. I am especially interested in finding foods that I can eat that won’t make my blood sugar spin out of control!
I recently found this article on Healthline Wellness Wire called the 17 Best Foods to Lower (or Regulate) Your Blood Sugar.
I don’t agree with all of the things on the list, because of other research I have done, but for the sake of this article, I will include all 17 and add my opinion on them when it seems appropriate.
Here are some of the highlights.
1. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts (raw or lightly steamed)
According to research, this plant has “powerful anti-diabetic effects” and helps enhance insulin sensitivity which is something that is lacking in many with diabetes.
Seafood provides a “valuable source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may help regulate blood sugar levels.”
Dr. Neal Barnard who has written a book on reversing diabetes would say that seafood is a no-no.
3. Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds
These are packed with fiber and antioxidants. According to the article, “pumpkin is used as a traditional diabetic remedy in many countries like Mexico and Iran.”
Hmmm... I may have to rethink this one. I do not enjoy pumpkin pie...but I think I could eat the seeds.
The story says, “A 2018 study in 40 people found that consuming 2 ounces (65 grams) of pumpkin seeds reduced post-meal blood sugar by up to 35%, compared with a control group.”
That sounds promising.
4. Nuts and nut butter
“A review found diets emphasizing tree nuts at an average daily intake of two ounces (56 grams) significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a marker of long-term blood sugar control, compared with a control diet, in people with type 2 diabetes.
5. Okra “Okra is a fruit that’s commonly utilized as a vegetable. It’s a rich source of blood-sugar-lowering compounds like polysaccharides and flavonoid antioxidants.”
“In Turkey, okra seeds have long been used as a natural remedy to treat diabetes due to their potent blood-sugar-lowering properties.”
Hmmm... There may be something to eating nuts and seeds...
6. Flax seeds
“Flax seeds are rich in fiber and healthy fats and well known for their health benefits. Specifically, flax seeds may help reduce blood sugar levels,” according to the article.
7. Beans and lentils
“Many other studies have shown that eating beans and lentils not only benefit blood sugar regulation but also possibly can help protect against the development of diabetes.”
8. Kimchi and sauerkraut
“A study in 41 people with diabetes demonstrated that following a traditional Korean diet rich in fermented foods like kimchi for 12 weeks led to greater reductions in HbA1c than a control diet.”
By the way, kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables (most often napa cabbage and Korean radish).
9. Chia seeds
I like chia seeds. I add them to a protein shake along with flax seeds. I also use them in a steel-cut oats breakfast.
I like kale if it is mixed in a salad. It is a “superfood” because it is loaded with good stuff that helps to decrease blood sugar levels like fiber!
Berries have tons of fiber and other helpful things that make them a great choice for helping control blood sugar.
“A 2019 study found that eating 2 cups (250 grams) of red raspberries with a high carb meal significantly reduced post-meal insulin and blood sugar in adults with prediabetes, compared with a control group,” according to the article.
Numerous studies have shown that avocados may help reduce blood sugar levels, however, according to the article, “many studies that have investigated the effects of avocado intake on blood sugar levels were funded by the Hass Avocado Board, which could have influenced aspects of the studies.”
13. Oats and oat bran
Soluble fiber! Need I say more?
14. Citrus fruits
I know a lot of people who say we shouldn’t eat fruits or many fruits because of the high sugar counts, but I say, carbs in and of themselves are not the enemy.
“Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are packed with fiber and contain plant compounds like naringenin, a polyphenol that has powerful anti-diabetic properties.
“Eating whole citrus fruits may help improve insulin sensitivity, reduce HbA1c, and protect against the development of diabetes,” according to the article.
15. Kefir and yogurt
“Kefir and yogurt are fermented dairy products that may help regulate blood sugar. Research has linked kefir and yogurt intake to improved blood sugar control,” the article contends.
Dr. Barnard would disagree as his research has shown that dairy and animal products add the unhealthy fats that “gum” up the system and don’t allow the glucose to enter our muscles and do their job.
One day eggs are good for you and the next they are not. Dr. Barnard suggests not eating them at all.
The Healthline article, on the other hand, says, “Eggs are an exceptionally nutritious food, providing a concentrated source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some studies have linked egg consumption to better blood sugar control.”
The article went on to say, “What’s more, during a 14-year follow up study in 7,002 Korean adults, frequent egg intake of two to less than four servings per week was associated with a 40% lower risk of diabetes, compared with eating eggs one time or less per week, in men but not women.”
Again, soluble fiber! Apples are full of it.
“Furthermore, a study in 18 women found that eating apples 30 minutes before a rice meal significantly reduced post-meal blood sugar, compared with eating rice alone,” according to the article.
The bottom line is that you need to have balance. Your overall dietary intake including the amount that you eat, your activity level, and body weight are all a part of your overall health and blood sugar control.