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The Best Foods to Lower Blood Sugar
Updated on August 16, 2022
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Diet / Weight Loss
The Best Foods to Lower Blood Sugar
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Your body breaks down the carbohydrates in food into glucose. Blood transports the glucose (sugar) to the rest of your body, where they are used for energy.  

Certain foods can drastically increase how much glucose goes into your blood. That’s not a good thing because it can cause health problems. 

Just as there are foods that can increase your blood glucose and health risks, there are also foods that can keep you healthy by lowering blood sugar levels. 

The Best Foods to Lower Blood Sugar 2

Why A Stable Blood Sugar Is Good For You

Everyone needs to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. This benefits your health by:

  • Fighting fatigue  
  • Preventing skin problems 
  • Providing a constant energy supply
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight

When you control your blood glucose, it lowers your risk of diabetes, hypertension, kidney damage, and heart disease.1 

If you already have diabetes, regulating your blood sugar may help you prevent complications. Some of which include hypoglycemia, nerve damage, and vision loss.2

What is A Normal Blood Glucose Reading?

A normal blood glucose level depends on your current health. Other factors such as your food intake and age may also affect its rise and fall.

Healthy people usually have blood sugar levels that are below 100 mg/dL before meals. It may increase slightly after eating. But it should not go above 140 mg/dL.

People with diabetes need to keep their blood glucose between 70 to 130 mg/dL before eating. After meals, it shouldn’t surpass 180 mg/dL.3

You have high blood sugar levels if your reading goes beyond the normal.

Low-Glycemic Foods That Control Blood Sugar

The glycemic index (GI) categorizes food depending on how they affect blood sugar. The standard GI values are:4

  • Low GI — 1 to 55
  • Medium GI — 56 to 69
  • High GI — 70 and higher

Low GI foods don’t cause drastic changes on your blood glucose. They keep it stable even after eating. Doctors encourage you to eat foods with low GI. 

Examples include apples, carrots, potatoes, and brown rice.5

More Foods That Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

Low GI foods are great. But you can do more to regulate blood sugar levels. Scientific evidence shows that certain foods can reduce how much glucose goes into your blood. 

Here are some foods that you can try:

Nuts and Seeds

When paired with a low-carbohydrate diet, eating almonds and peanuts throughout the day can reduce blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.6

Consuming at least 2 ounces of pumpkin seeds daily is also good for type 2 diabetes. It decreases blood glucose and HbA1c, which suggests long-term blood sugar control.7

Okra 

Several Asian and African dishes contain okra. Some cultures also use it as a natural remedy for diabetes. Trying out easy okra recipes may help you control your blood sugar. 

Studies show that okra contains compounds that help lower your blood glucose level.8 With your doctor’s support, it may help with diabetes management.

Garlic 

Garlic is a popular spice for its rich flavor and potential health benefits. It also helps you regulate the amount of glucose in your blood.

The results of a 2013 study show that garlic causes blood sugar levels to fall after meals.9 You can incorporate garlic into your meals for better results. 

Kale 

Kale is popular among health and fitness enthusiasts, largely because of its goldmine of nutrients. Adding raw, sautéed, or steamed kale to your diet can help you manage blood sugar. 

One study reveals that kale can reduce your blood glucose after eating a high carbohydrate meal.10 It contains chemicals that increase your insulin sensitivity. 

This helps your body utilize the sugar in yourblood for energy. 

Oats

Oatmeal is a popular low GI food for diabetics. It helps lower blood sugar levels because it contains a soluble fiber called β-glucan.

β-glucan helps your body use glucose by boosting your insulin response.11 It can also increase your insulin sensitivity. These combined effects help reduce your blood sugar.

Citrus Fruits 

Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits have a low GI. That makes them great for controlling your blood sugar. 

Citrus fruits also contain fiber and plant compounds that promote blood glucose regulation. These chemicals lower HbA1c and increase your sensitivity to insulin.12 

Beans and Lentils 

Beans and lentils are rich in soluble fibers and starches. They slow food digestion and give your body ample time to adjust. 

This can prevent your blood sugar from spiking, especially after eating high GI foods such as white rice.13

Meal Planning for Diabetes

Foods that lower your blood sugar are important for any healthy diet. A stable blood glucose ensures you get a constant supply of energy without the ‘sugar crash.’

It also prevents your blood glucose from spiking, reducing your risk for diabetes and other health issues. But for people with diabetes, adding these foods to your diet may not be enough.

This is why you need to plan your meals in advance. It allows you to control your portions, and make sure you’re eating the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Meal planning apps make it easier for you to manage your diabetes. We recommend Klinio, an all-around diabetes management app that can plan your meals. It can:

  • Track your blood sugar levels
  • Monitor your calories and macronutrient intake
  • Offer diabetic meal plans by nutrionists
  • Give you ready-made shopping list with healthy ingredients
  • Suggest simple exercises that you can do at home
  • Provide health tips and other relevant information

Klinio is the perfect assistant for diabetics. It’s packed with features so you can manage your condition and safely lose weight.

Resources

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  1. Controlling Blood Sugar is Important for Heart Health.” CardioSmart.
  2.   “Diabetes.” Mayo Clinic.
  3. Goals of Treatment.” Diabetes Education Online.
  4. Glycemic index diet: What's behind the claims.” Mayo Clinic.
  5. What Is the Glycemic Index?” Cleveland Clinic.
  6. A Randomized Controlled Trial to Compare the Effect of Peanuts and Almonds on the Cardio-Metabolic and Inflammatory Parameters in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  7.   “Addition of pooled pumpkin seed to mixed meals reduced postprandial glycemia: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.” PubMed.
  8. The Effect of Abelmoschus Esculentus on Blood Levels of Glucose in Diabetes Mellitus.” PubMed
  9. Antihyperglycemic, antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory and adenosine deaminase– lowering effects of garlic in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with obesity.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  10. Intake of kale suppresses postprandial increases in plasma glucose: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  11. The effect of oat β-glucan on postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  12. Antidiabetic Properties of Naringenin: A Citrus Fruit Polyphenol.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  13. Glycemic Response to Black Beans and Chickpeas as Part of a Rice Meal: A Randomized Cross-Over Trial.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Jennifer Anyabuine
Jennifer Anyabuine
Content Contributor
Jennifer Anyabuine is a content writer with KnowYourDNA. She has a B.S. in Biochemistry. She has been writing for 2 years. Her focus is women’s health, fitness, mental health, and general wellness.
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