Millions of Americans take medication to manage diabetes and prediabetes to avoid a heart attack, stroke, dialysis, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, and even blindness.
But out-of-control blood sugars can be reined in and regulated by eating the right foods. Some are even as effective as medication for many people.
“Eating light and eating often can help regulate blood sugar levels throughout the days," says Tara Gidus Collingwood, team dietitian for the Orlando Magic NBA team and author of “The Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies. "Eating three meals and two snacks daily can prevent the rollercoaster effect, when your blood sugar plummets if you leave too many hours between meals and goes up when you finally provide nutrition.
“Carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body and can be found in grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables,” she explains. “Aim to make half your plate non-starchy vegetables, a quarter grain, and a quarter protein. This will help you balance your diet and control your blood sugar.”
Here are four foods that have been clinically proven to lower blood sugar.
Cinnamon. A study in the Journal Diabetes Cure showed that this aromatic spice causes muscle and liver cells to respond more readily to insulin. Eating a mere ½ teaspoon daily for 20 days is enough to improve your insulin response and lower blood sugar levels up to 20 percent.
Chia seeds. These ancient gluten-free grains may be small, but they pack a mighty wallop. Chia seeds stabilize blood sugar, manage the effects of diabetes, improve insulin sensitivity, and help deal with imbalances of blood pressure, cholesterol, and extreme rises in blood sugar after meals.
Long maligned in nutritional circles, eggs have made an extraordinary comeback and are now considered nutritional powerhouses. “They contain protein and healthy unsaturated fats,” says the expert. “This combination of protein and healthy fats help increase the feeling of fullness and maintains sugar levels in the body.”
Cherries. These sweet fruits contain naturally occurring chemicals called anthocyanins which could help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that anthocyanins reduce insulin resistance by as much as 50 percent. Cherries may also protect against heart disease and cancer, say experts.
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