High blood sugar has been linked not only to diabetes, but also weight gain, insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, fatigue, and memory problems. While blood sugar levels are directly related to how one’s body creates and uses insulin, the amount and types of foods eaten also have a direct impact in controlling blood sugar levels.
Research shows those who consume large amounts of dairy products are 70 percent less likely to develop insulin resistance. The proteins and enzymes found in dairy foods help to control blood sugar by slowing the conversion of foods to glucose. Because full-fat dairy foods typically contain high amounts of saturated fat, low-fat dairy products are the best choice, especially for those who want to lose weight.
Low Glycemic Load
Foods low in Glycemic Load contain slow-acting carbohydrates. These types of carbs have the least impact on blood sugar levels and only cause a slight increase in blood sugar after consumption. Foods low in Glycemic Load are typically fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean proteins.
Waiting too long between meals causes blood sugar levels to dip incredibly low. Eating small meals every 3 to 4 hours prevents blood sugar from dropping and providing the body with food every few hours helps to reduce the risk of overeating, which can cause spikes in blood sugar.
Protein and Fiber
When eating carbohydrates, it’s important to eat carbohydrate foods that are also contain adequate amounts of fiber and protein or combine a complex carbohydrate with a lean protein at mealtime. Protein naturally lowers the Glycemic Index of a carbohydrate, and both fiber and protein slow the absorption of glucose, decreasing the possibility of insulin spikes.
Foods and Beverages to Consume in Moderation
When trying to control blood sugar, it is best to avoid those foods and drinks that create sudden increases in blood sugar and insulin. Foods and beverages that should be consumed in moderation include sugary soft drinks and juices, doughnuts, sugary breakfast cereals, cakes, cookies, and candy.
While eating a healthy, balanced diet helps to control blood sugar, weight loss, getting enough sleep, and exercise also play an important role in keeping blood sugar under control.