Diabetes and Performance : 15 Foods to Reduce Blood Sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can be prevented (and sometimes, treated naturally). However, type 1 diabetes is still incurable and sufferers have to rely on insulin injections daily. Nevertheless, regardless of your type of diabetes, one of the best ways to improve your quality of life is by optimizing your diet. Hence, incorporate the following 15 foods to reduce blood sugar and improve your physical performance.
However, understand that these following foods are an additional step, they do not replace a diet heavily focused on vegetables, with enough protein (25 to 35% depending on your level of physical activity), healthy fats and very little carbs.
In other words, like any person that wishes to improve and/or maintain their health, a diabetic needs to take charge in the kitchen and cook to control the quality of his diet.
Now, let’s discover those 15 foods to reduce blood sugar and improve your diabetes and performance.
Important: If your type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed in the past 6 years, you may be able to reverse the damage! Several studies from Newcastle University have changed our view of type 2 diabetes and the medical world is catching up! (1)
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15 Foods to Reduce Blood Sugar
Apples are inexpensive and available all year around. Therefore, with a few Brazil nuts or almonds, they make an easy and healthy snack.
Moreover, apples have little calories and a lot of dietary fiber. Thanks to that combination, they will ease your hunger and reduce glucose spikes – or hyperglycemia.
10 daily grams of mango are enough to reduce your blood sugar.
However, mangoes are rich in fructose (aka sugar) – eating the whole thing in one sitting is not advised.
To dose it properly, add a few pieces to your morning oat or chia seed porridge (chia seeds are great to reduce your carb consumption while leaving you satisfied and full).
On top of being a good source of vitamin C, lemons are also rich in limonene and rutin (aka vitamin P or flavonoids).
Thanks to these acid components, lemons reduce the glycemic index of the other ingested foods and your cholesterol levels (the bad kind: LDL).
This delicious fruit slows down digestion and prevents glycemic spikes after meals. (2)
Additionally, avocados are rich in healthy fats (mono-unsaturated fatty acids) and make you feel full faster.
For instance, by consuming half an avocado before your lunch and diner, you will eat less and your blood sugar levels will be more balanced.
In addition, avocado is your friend for weight loss (good fats help you control the amount of food you eat)!
Berries are packed full with a natural component that reduces blood sugar levels: anthocyanin.
One of the many properties of anthocyanin is to stimulate the production of insulin (which is ideal when you struggle to produce your own)!
Thus, don’t hesitate to freeze them – that way you can eat them all year long!
Cherries are extremely rich in antioxidants (and also anthocyanin). Moreover, they are rich in fibers and contain little calories.
This delicious fruit can help you diminish your blood sugar levels, your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, one handful is enough!
Like most green and cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
In addition, broccoli contains chrome. This trace element balances blood sugar levels. Therefore, you can overindulge with broccoli every single day, it’s GREAT for you and it contains very, very little calories.
Legumes (chickpeas, red beans, kidney beans, lentils, etc.) are rich in soluble fibers, minerals and protein.
This combination is ideal to reduce blood sugar levels, reduce animal protein consumption and have lasting energy without those pesky crashes.
Pasta and rice, even the wholesome kinds, radically increase blood sugar levels. However, barley doesn’t – instead, it reduces the glycemic index of the foods your eating with it and your cholesterol levels too.
Oats are also good to reduce your blood sugar but heavy on carbs. Alternate with chia seeds or a salty (carb less) breakfast on the lazy days.
Often, we don’t give nuts the credit they deserve because of their calorific content. However, nuts contain excellent fats not unlike extra virgin olive oil, avocado, cold pressed coconut oil, organic butter, etc.
The fats contained in Brazil nuts, almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, pecan nuts, walnuts (etc.) reduce blood sugar levels and prevent snacking.
In addition, they are also very filling. As I said previously, just grab a handful of nuts and a fruit or a yogurt, and you will have a healthy and filling snack.
Here’s a staple that most of us have in their fridges (or out of it, depending on your local food regulations). Well, as it happens, eggs are incredibly nutritious and cheap. Science has now debunked the myth that eggs increase the risk of cardiovascular disease…
In truth, eggs are very healthy and contain all the essential fatty acids that we need. Moreover, those fatty acids will help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.
Therefore, don’t be afraid of eating them regularly but do try to get them organic and avoid cooking the yolk to preserve their nutritious goodness.
12. Olive Oil
That gorgeous Mediterranean oil is an excellent source of healthy fats. Fats that we need to function. Yes, I’m not kidding, our bodies NEED fat.
Also, olive oil belongs to the family of mono-unsaturated fats. These fats improve insulin resistance and prevent abdominal fat.
However, unlike extra virgin olive oil, saturated fats found in cold cuts and fast food are not healthy. Should you want to eat any of these, make it a once in a blue moon treat.
Who doesn’t like chocolate? Well, I have good news, cocoa can help you reduce blood sugar levels!
However, opt for raw cocoa or dark chocolate (70% and +).
For instance, cocoa is rich in antioxidants and flavanols, known to regulate the production of glucose (sugar).
Several studies have shown that cinnamon is useful to reduce blood sugar.
By eating it daily, you can reduce your blood sugar levels, your cholesterol and triglycerides.
In order to get those benefits, you should consume between 1 and 6 grams of cinnamon daily (supplements can do the trick).
15. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds, like many whole grains, can reduce cholesterol and triglycerides levels. (3)
Moreover, they are brilliant to stabilize blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance.
Extra: If you want to try a chia seed porridge, let them sit in milk or vegetable/nut milk overnight and add some stevia, cocoa and some berries for a guilt free delicious breakfast!
You have now discovered 15 foods to reduce blood sugar, continue reading us regularly to improve your health and your sexual life naturally!
(1) Translating aetiological insight into sustainable management of type 2 diabetes. Roy Taylor, Alison C. Barnes. Diabetologia. 2017.
(2) Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Mark L. Dreher and Adrienne J. Davenport. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013.
(3) Effect of whole grains on insulin sensitivity in overweight hyperinsulinemic adults. Mark A Pereira, David R Jacobs, Jr, Joel J Pins, Susan K Raatz, Myron D Gross, Joanne L Slavin, Elizabeth R Seaquist. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002.