Diabetes: 8 Foods That Help Stabilize Blood Sugar

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Diabetes is a disease that requires increased monitoring of blood glucose levels. While no single food can stabilize blood sugar levels, certain products can still help manage it.

When we eat, the carbohydrates present in sugars and starches are mostly transformed into glucose. The increase in glycaemia in the blood is then detected by the pancreas which secretes insulin thanks to the islets of Langerhans: this is the key to allowing glucose to enter the body’s cells to provide them with the necessary energy. When a person has diabetes, they suffer chronic hyperglycemia, that is to say too high a level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It’s a disturbance of the assimilation, use and storage of sugars provided by food“, details the Federation of diabetics.

The patient should then change your habits and take lifestyle and dietary measures, before having recourse to “oral and/or injectable antidiabetic treatments whose effectiveness is only optimal if they are associated with a balanced diet and regular physical activity”. Although there is no definitive list of “good” or “bad” foods for diabetics, eating some of them can help prepare balanced meals to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.

Diagnosis: how do you know if you have diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes:

  • the one type 1 which affects approximately 6% of diabetics: it is linked to destruction of the islets of Langerhans, the causes of which are still poorly understood
  • the one type 2 which affects 92%: it generally appears in people over the age of 40, and is particularly linked to overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity
  • the remaining 2% concern other rarer types (MODY, LADA or diabetes secondary to certain illnesses or taking medication).

The diagnosis is made by a blood glucose test performed in a medical analysis laboratory. “Diabetes is established when fasting blood glucose is equal to or greater than 1.26 g/l twice or equal to or greater than 2 g/l at any time of the day.” Both types of diabetes need to be taken seriously and need to be treated effectively as there is no cure.

“Nuts are a common recommendation for people managing diabetes because they are an excellent source of mono- and polyunsaturated fats,” explained Kari Garner, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at EatingWell. “These heart-healthy fats not only help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, but also provide omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids to the diet.” Plus, nuts are low enough in carbs that this snack won’t spike blood sugar. They are also a great addition to meals because the fats and fiber slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.

“Peanut butter is rich in heart-healthy fats which, when combined with a carbohydrate, help slow the absorption of sugar [du glucide], thereby preventing a blood sugar spike,” said dietitian Rebecca Jaspan. “Spread peanut butter on a banana or apple, rice cake or toast for a quick and easy snack.”

“Berries are a great choice for people managing diabetes who are looking to enjoy fruit without compromising blood sugar control,” advises Kari Garner. Indeed, they are rich in fiber and lower in sugar than some other fruits. “Additionally, berries are rich in antioxidants that support cardiovascular and cognitive health.”

“This versatile food can be a great way to boost the protein content of a variety of recipes or foods to help reduce the impact on blood sugar,” says dietician Erin Palinski-Wade, diabetes specialist. . “Adding Greek yogurt to carbohydrate-containing meals, such as a fruit smoothie or mixed with oats can help reduce the glycemic load of the food and the overall impact on blood sugar.” For breakfast, it is best to mix the yogurt with the oats the night before… And why not add berries in the morning when eating?

“Chickpeas provide a good source of fiber and protein, which can not only balance blood sugar but also promote feelings of fullness for hours on end,” Palinski-Wade explained. “Chickpeas can be added to everything from stir-fries to soups, salads, chili, or even roasted for a crunchy snack.”

Chickpeas aren’t the only legumes that can help manage blood sugar. “Legumes are great for managing diabetes because they contain resistant starch which is not digested and therefore does not raise blood sugar,” Toronto-based dietitian and certified diabetes educator Justine Chan told EatingWell magazine.

“Chia seeds are high in fiber, an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, and they also provide protein,” said the registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Association of Diabetes Care and Education SpecialistsVandana Sheth. “The soluble fiber in chia seeds may help lower blood sugar due to slowing digestion.” They also help to feel satiety longer.

Dietitians advise eating non-starchy vegetables, but according to specialist Vandana Sheth, broccoli is one of the best choices because “it provides nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin C and plant compounds such as sulforaphane”.

Sources

9 Items to Add to Your Grocery List for Better Blood Sugar Stability, According to Dietitians, June 16, 2022, EatingWell

federationdesdiabetiques.org

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