Normal fasting blood sugar levels are 70-99 mg/dl for patients without diabetes and 80-130 mg/dl for those with the condition.
Your entire body uses blood sugar, also known as insulin, for energy. Not having enough of it can cause nasty symptoms, and 1.5 million people worldwide die from diabetes every year.
Diet and exercise are the main lifestyle factors that affect how your body uses and absorbs insulin.
Patients may underestimate how much the types of foods they eat can affect their risk of diabetes. It can also make the condition easier to manage if they've already been diagnosed.
When choosing what to eat, look for nutritional value, digestibility, customizability, and variety. Read on to learn 7 types of foods that will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and make delicious meals.
1. Beans and Lentils
When searching for types of foods to regulate blood pressure levels, you should always look for high fiber. Keep in mind that fiber comes in two varieties; soluble and insoluble.
Beans are rich in soluble fiber, which is proven to lower blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
There are several types of beans to choose from, including pinto, black, and red. They're all nutritious and delicious.
Lentils are a similar type of food that provides almost all the same nutritional benefits. They're another great choice for maintaining a healthy diet.
It's best not to buy beans or lentils in a packaged meal because they tend to come with added sugar and preservatives. Instead, get them fresh or from a can and create your own, healthy sauces and recipes to work them into.
2. Whole Grains and Whole Wheat
Whole grains contain insoluble fiber, the other type your body needs. It aids in digestion and helps you stay full longer.
With global health concerns increasing, there are also plenty of options to choose from in this category. There are whole grain and whole wheat options for cereal, bread, pasta, and more.
This variety makes these types of foods a great alternative to full-flower pasta or bread. They have a lower glycemic index which means they digest slower, satisfy you longer, and won't raise your blood sugar.
Nuts are high in protein and a great meatless alternative for vegetarians. They also provide several other important nutrients such as healthy fats and fiber.
Small handfuls of nuts are the perfect snack. Even a small portion can keep you full for a long time and reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods.
Some nuts have more fats and carbs than others. Cashews and almonds tend to have the highest fat content, so enjoy them in smaller portions.
Nuts can also help spruce up other recipes. Try putting walnuts on a salad or pistachios into yogurt to create an even healthier and more delicious meal.
4. Vegetable Oils
Despite what some diet gurus may want you to believe, fat is not the enemy. The body needs it as a source of fuel to power all its necessary functions.
Insulin resistance, a condition where the pancreas can't convert insulin into fuel properly, could be to blame if you're having trouble losing weight. This doesn't mean all sources of fat are created equally.
Saturated fats are difficult to digest, less nutritious, and can raise your blood sugar. That's why they should never make up more than 10% of your diet.
Most of the salad dressing you can buy at a typical grocery store ends up ruining the nutritional value of anything you put on it. It's loaded with preservatives and saturated fats.
Vegetable oils, particularly olive oil, have unsaturated fats that the body can process properly. Use them to dress salads and spruce up dishes instead.
If you can't find olive oil, try other vegetable-based options such as corn oil. As long as the brand is reputable and the ingredients are natural, it should be a healthy option for any meal.
5. Fatty Fish
Maintaining a healthy diet can be especially difficult for anyone who isn't a vegetarian or vegan because most red meats are high in saturated fats. While you can enjoy them in moderation, they shouldn't be consumed every day.
Fish provides healthier, non-saturated fats. Salmon and tuna are some of the best examples because they provide the highest amounts.
This delicious seafood also provides plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation while supporting brain and heart health.
Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are all low-carb fruit options. This makes them the best for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Berries can also help satisfy your sweet tooth without having you turn to candy or sweetened beverages. They contain a natural sugar called fructose, so they'll still give you that sweet sensation you're craving.
Due to their slightly higher sugar content, it's best not to eat berries in overly large portions. They're the perfect snack or addition to an otherwise bland recipe or dish.
7. Leafy Greens
There's a reason vegetables are considered an essential food group and why the green ones have a reputation for improving our health.
Examples to try include peas, broccoli, and lettuce. They're low in starch and carbs but high in several essential vitamins and minerals.
Leafy greens work on their own as a salad or can increase the nutritional value of another dish you create. Either way, they're a great option for anyone concerned about their health and diet.
Where Can I Get Healthy Food?
While there are no types of foods you should avoid at all costs, regulating your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. It'll keep your weight low and prevent dangerous conditions like diabetes.
Certain foods raise blood sugar quickly. Others provide long-lasting satisfaction while keeping levels stable. A few of the categories to focus on include beans and lentils, whole grain and whole wheat products, nuts, vegetable oils, fatty fish, berries, leafy greens.