Sugar is tasty! Sugar is GOOOOD!
We even call our loved ones by the name Sugar, Sweetie and Honey! Sugary treats are must during celebration of any happy occasion and people of all ages drool over sugary goods! Most of us cannot deny our love for sugar. I, personally love to pamper myself with chocolate treats whenever I feel like I’ve achieved something. But I also keep an eye on my sugar intake because the undisciplined consumption of sugar may lead to serious health conditions including diabetes.
According to WHO, the global prevalence of diabetes among adults above 18 years of age has nearly doubled since 2014 and it’s still on the rise. Every family I know has at least one diabetic patient in their house and this is an alarming condition that needs to be taken care of. The fact that there’s no ultimate cure for this disease also makes us more concerned about how we should avoid high blood sugar level and other problems. The answer is simple, “Healthy Diet.” But before we get into details about what food to eat to balance blood sugar, let’s first know about blood sugar.
What is Blood Sugar?
Many people confuse blood sugar with the diabetes itself. Blood sugar or glucose is our body’s main source of energy which comes from the food that we consume. The level of sugar in our blood changes throughout the day. The glucose directly passes from the digestive system into the bloodstream. Nevertheless, glucose can enter the cells only in the presence of insulin in the bloodstream. An imbalance or resistance of insulin causes diabetes. Diabetes is a condition with a high blood sugar levels.
So, How to Lower Blood Sugar?
Ok! Now the question is how to lower the blood sugar level without the medication or without avoiding the temptation of our taste buds. To be honest, there are no foods or drinks which ultimately lowers the level of sugar in the blood. Nonetheless, there are certain foods when consumed, will balance and control sugar level in the bloodstream.
Whole grain foods such as oats, brown rice, barley, maize, wheat, and products with bran, are the best options for people with diabetes, and also for those with fluctuating blood sugar levels. They are loaded with fibers, Vitamin B and E, and minerals like Magnesium and Zinc. The fiber in whole grains reduces the demand for insulin by slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates. However, products such as White bread, are made out of highly refined flour, and thus, contain little nutritional value and are turned into glucose by the body very quickly. They are, therefore, best avoided by diabetics. I always read the labels carefully and avoid wholemeal, granary, and multigrain, which can be confused with Whole grain or Wholegrain.
Yes! Drinking water is obviously the best option for everyone including diabetic person as it helps to reduce excess glucose through urine. Well drinking plain water all the time sounds boring? Then, you can create your own variety of tasty, low calorie and fun drink. Add fresh cucumbers, lemon, mint, cumin seeds or celery in your drink. Green tea, garlic tea and chamomile tea are loaded with antioxidants which keep your blood sugar in check. Low fat or fat-free milk is also very good alternative to control sugar level in the bloodstream.
Spinach, lettuce, kale, collards are full of fiber and nutrients like vitamin, magnesium and disease fighting antioxidants. Studies have revealed that including leafy greens in the daily diet reduces the likelihood of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent. You can make these leafy greens interesting by turning it into tasty salads, side dishes, sandwiches, green smoothies and hot soups for cold and rainy days. You can also easily grow these leafy greens in your home garden.
Go for the tasty nuts as your alternative for snacks rather than stuffing yourself with unhealthy crackers and sodas. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios and cashews are some of the nuts which are full of Vitamin E, magnesium and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. You can carry these healthy, tasty nuts in your hand bag or purse and nibble on them anytime, anywhere. However, portion control is also very important. Consuming too much nuts can still lead to weight gain.
Legumes are good source of fiber and protein. In the process of breaking down the food, our body also breaks down protein into glucose and uses it for energy. As legumes are digested slowly by our body, it helps to balance the sugar level in our bloodstream. You can make a tasty soup and curry out of legumes and enjoy it with oatmeal.
To sum up, eating the right foods will certainly help you control the blood sugar, preventing you from diabetes and other complications. So, next time you think of relishing sugary Ferrero Rocher or Mars, think about the sugar levels shooting up in your blood!
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