The Best Foods to Eat to Avoid Blood Sugar Spikes, Say Dietitians — Eat This Not That

You’ve probably felt the effects of a blood sugar spike. It’s not so much the peak that you feel, but what happens after: the crash. It makes you feel weak, lethargic, hungry. You may experience confusion, brain fog, or a headache. And you can get hungry with cravings for a sweet, high-calorie snack like a cookie, donut, or ice cream, because your brain tells you that you need more glucose.

The common analogy for this rapid rise and fall of blood glucose it’s a roller coaster. After you eat something, your blood sugar level rises. If you ate a simple carbohydrate, your body breaks it down into glucose very quickly and sends a surge into your bloodstream that accelerates you to the top of the roller coaster, just before free fall. So maybe even faster than the rise, you experience the rapid fall. On a roller coaster, your stomach seems to rise up to your chest. In a bath of blood sugar, your brain and stomach send you on a donut hunt. The blood sugar roller coaster is not much fun. If it happens often, over time it could lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

For many Americans, it must happen often given that one in 10 has diabetes and one in three, or 96 million, have diabetes. prediabetes. So what can you eat to get off the blood sugar roller coaster? Read on for a list of helpful foods to stabilize blood sugar and for more information on how to eat healthy, don’t miss out. The #1 Best Eating Habit That Kills Sugar Cravings, Says a Dietitian.

high fiber bowl of bran cereal with blueberries and bananas
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“When it comes to regulating blood sugar and avoiding spikes, high fiber foods are the place to start,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Ellen Albertson, RDN, PhDpsychologist and wellness coach TheMidlifeWhisperer.com.

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Fiber is the part of plant foods that we don’t digest; slows the absorption of sugars from food into the bloodstream, which prevents spikes in blood glucose. “Studies show that people who regularly eat Soluble fiberthe kind that interacts with water to form a gel, had lower levels of hemoglobin A1c,” says Albertson. The HA1c blood test is the most common and accurate test for diagnosing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes; it measures average levels of sugar in the blood during the previous three months.

Breakfast is a great time to stock up on fiber, especially if you enjoy a quick meal like hot or cold cereal. Oatmeal is a classic option, the sugar-free kind. A serving of stew steel cut oats contains 4 grams of fiber. But you can do much better with a cold cereal like Fiber One, which contains 18 grams of total fiber, including one gram of soluble fiber. Both soluble and insoluble fiber support insulin sensitivity to help prevent type 2 diabetes, but soluble fiber is even stronger at improving blood sugar control.

fruits, vegetables, beans and nutsfruits, vegetables, beans and nuts
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Most plant foods provide you with good amounts of dietary fiber, but some are more soluble than others. Beans are typically one of the strongest sources of soluble fiber. For example, a three-quarter cup serving of black beans contains 5.4 grams of soluble fiber, while the same serving of navy, pinto, and kidney beans contain about 3 grams. Chickpeas and hummus made with them are other good sources at 2 grams.

You’ll also get a little more than a gram from servings of broccoli, carrots, apples, kale, peaches, potatoes, grapefruit, plums, and prunes. Half an avocado contains 2.1 grams of soluble fiber. Then, avocado toast made on whole wheat bread is a delicious breakfast sandwich that won’t spike your blood glucose.

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“Although more research is needed, small amounts of cinnamon can help lower blood sugar by lowering insulin resistance,” says Albertson. Several studies suggest that the tasty spice can lower fasting blood sugar levels by 10 to 20 percent. In a study reported in Plant foods for human nutritionResearchers say that cinnamon inhibits enzymes in the intestine, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and reduces the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal. “In other words, a bowl of oatmeal with apples and walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top may be the best breakfast for keeping energy and blood sugar levels stable,” says Albertson.

READ MORE: The #1 Best Breakfast for Lowering Blood Sugar, Says a Dietitian

cheese and crackerscheese and crackers
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The best path to healthy blood glucose control is to avoid foods that are high in added sugars like candy, cake, ice cream, and soda, but what about those carbs that are clearly not candy or snack foods? We’re talking about rice, bread, pasta, crackers, and the like, which are prone to rapidly spiking blood sugar. based in Florida Su-Nui Escobar, RDNa registered dietitian nutritionist with Evolving Dieticiansrecommends combining carbohydrate-rich foods with some protein or fat. A snack of crackers (carbohydrates) and a small serving of cheese (proteins and fats) is a good example. Protein and fat will slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream to prevent the sugar spike, she says.

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Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries are among the The best fruits to lower blood sugar.. A study in the magazine. Food and Function suggests that phytochemicals and polyphenols in berries (also found in colorful vegetables) may be responsible for reducing the risks of several chronic metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that berries eaten along with or in combination with other foods lowered blood sugar levels blood after meals in overweight and obese people with insulin resistance.

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walnuts and almondswalnuts and almonds
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Nuts and seeds are fantastic snacks to stave off blood sugar spikes because they pack a macronutrient hat-trick: they contain high-fiber carbohydrates, protein, and (healthy) monounsaturated fats, all of which help slow down the conversion of carbohydrates and sugars to blood glucose. almonds and walnuts are particularly powerful anti-diabetic foods for another reason: they are high in magnesiuma nutrient that plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar.

A study in the magazine. Metabolism shows eating just 2 ounces of almonds can help reduce post-meal spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, says registered dietitian nutritionist Melissa Mitri, RDNwebsite contributor wellness edge. Low serum magnesium levels, a condition called hypomagnesemiacould worsen insulin resistance and lead to diabetes.

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Hypersweetened teas and sugary juices have a tremendous impact on blood sugar levels, so anything you can do to replace those drinks with sugar-free options will help you avoid blood sugar spikes. bone broth is a good choice because it’s often carb-free and sugar-free, plus it contains nutrients that improve gut health and “amino acids like glutamine, glycine, and proline that help balance blood sugar,” she says Samantha Presicci, RD, RHPa registered dietitian with bone broth FOND.

In addition to reducing blood sugar spikes, another effective strategy for preventing type 2 diabetes is losing weight, especially losing the fat that accumulates around the waist. To start losing pounds, try these Eating Habits to Lose Belly Fat as You Age, Dietitians Say.

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