10 Foods and Drinks to Help Manage Blood Sugar

10 Foods and Drinks to Help Manage Blood Sugar

10 Foods and Drinks to Help Manage Blood Sugar
10 Foods and Drinks to Help Manage Blood Sugar
10 Foods and Drinks to Help Manage Blood Sugar

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Diabetes-friendly food options needn't be boring! The right nutrition for you is easy to achieve, the key is in the planning. When you have diabetes, a healthy diabetes meal plan is key to managing your blood sugar.

Better blood sugar management is in the bag with these tasty foods and drinks!

1. Beans
Beans are a low-glycemic index food, whether lentils, kidneys, pinto, black, or garbanzo. Their carbohydrates are gradually released, so they're less likely to cause blood sugar spikes. They're so beneficial that one study found that eating a daily cup of beans for three months as part of a low-glycemic index diet lowered HbA1c by half a percentage point1.

Try it! Swap in beans for half the meat in tacos or your favorite chili recipe

2. Apples
You might think that there's no room in a diabetic meal plan for fruit, but apples are low glycemic. Aiming for foods like apples that are low or medium on the glycemic index is one way to manage blood sugar levels. And eating an apple a day has its benefits – they are high in fiber, vitamin C, and fat-free! Not to mention a portable and easy snack option.

Try it! Toss an apple in your lunch bag or grab one between meals. Bake them and add cinnamon for a warm treat.

3. Almonds
These crunchy nuts are rich in magnesium, a mineral that may help your body use its own insulin more effectively2. Try working more almonds into your diet — one ounce (about 23 whole nuts) supplies nearly 20 percent of your daily dose of this blood sugar-balancing mineral. Plus, nuts like almonds are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, and fiber, making them a great way to help manage blood glucose levels.

Try it! Pack one-ounce portions of almonds into single-serve containers for healthy snacking on the go.

4. Spinach
This leafy green has just 21 calories per cooked cup and is filled with blood sugar-friendly magnesium and fiber. Plus, you can enjoy spinach raw, sautéed with olive oil, cooked, or even blended, making it a versatile choice too!

Try it! Toss a heaping handful of baby spinach into your next smoothie or use it in place of lettuce in a salad.

5. Chia Seeds
You might have heard that losing or managing weight is one of the best things you can do to improve your blood sugar. Chia seeds can help with that. In one study3, people with diabetes who added about an ounce of chia seeds per 1,000 calories a day to a calorie-controlled diet for six months shed four pounds and trimmed an inch-and-a-half from their waistlines. Aside from being packed with fiber, these gems also contain protein and provide 18 percent of your recommended daily calcium intake.

Try it! Combine a quarter-cup of chia seeds with one cup of one-percent or nonfat milk and one-half cup of diced fruit. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy it for breakfast the following day.

6. Glucerna® Ready-to-Drink
It can be challenging to eat right when you're having a hectic day. Glucerna® Ready-to-Drink can make things easier. Made by Abbott, it is specialized nutrition that features a unique blend of ingredients, clinically proven to help manage blood sugar, reduce cardiovascular risks, and maintain a normal weight.

Try it! Stash a few Glucerna® Ready-to-Drink in your car or desk drawer so you'll always have a healthy snack on hand — no matter how busy your day. Its formulation comprises a low glycemic index, a slowly digested carbohydrate system, and a unique heart-friendly fat blend rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. It may be used as a meal replacement or part of a diabetes management plan.

7. Blueberries
Another fruit option: the evidence of the health benefits of eating blueberries is pretty compelling. Blueberries contain compounds that have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and help improve how your body uses insulin. One study showed4 that eating the equivalent of about two cups of blueberries daily improved insulin sensitivity in overweight people with insulin resistance. They're also a great source of fiber and other nutrients such as vitamin C and antioxidants, and blueberries are a fantastic way to get your fill.

Try it! Take a half-cup of fresh blueberries (or defrosted, frozen blueberries) and spoon over plain, unsweetened yogurt. Or add a cup of blueberries to your smoothie.

8. Oatmeal
Oatmeal isn't just good for your heart. It can benefit your blood sugar too. Steel-cut and rolled oats have a low-glycemic index and are a better choice than foods such as white bread, bran flakes, or corn flakes. Just keep in mind that while steel-cut and rolled oats are great picks, highly processed instant and quick oats tend to be higher on the glycemic index, so they're not as blood sugar friendly.

Try it! Opt for steel or rolled oats cooked oatmeal with blueberries for a hearty, hot breakfast.

9. Turmeric
This golden spice contains curcumin, a substance that may keep your pancreas healthy and prevent prediabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes.

Try it: Curry powder is filled with turmeric. Sprinkle some into your next veggie stir-fry for a curcumin kick, or talk to a health care professional about using a supplement.

10. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has long been used for a variety of ailments. Existing research shows that it has antioxidant and anticancer properties, and a recent study has found that it may help you manage your blood sugar levels as well.

Try it! Replace an after-dinner cocktail with a freshly brewed cup of chamomile tea. Try adding a slice of lemon for flavor and an extra dose of vitamin C.

Effect of legumes as part of a low glycemic index diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial - PubMed (nih.gov)

Serum magnesium and the risk of prediabetes: a population-based cohort study - PubMed (nih.gov)

3  Salba-chia (Salvia hispanica L.) in the treatment of overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes: A double-blind randomized controlled trial - PubMed (nih.gov)

Bioactives in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in obese, insulin-resistant men and women - PubMed (nih.gov)

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Glucerna® is the number 1 selling diabetes nutritional supplement in the Philippines*. It contains 35 nutrients, slow-release carbohydrates and 4x more inositol vs previous formulation, that delivers a dual action for tight blood sugar control.

* NielsenIQ Retail Index, Dietetics-Adult Segment-Diabetes Subsegment, July 2020 – June 2021