These 11 Foods Have Been Found By Science To Lower Blood Sugar

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These 11 Foods Have Been Found By Science To Lower Blood Sugar
These 11 Foods Have Been Found By Science To Lower Blood Sugar. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Photo © AdobeStock 37936052 (under license)

Diabetes is a major problem that affects almost 30 million people in the USA alone. Ten percent of these people are undiagnosed, living without knowing that they are affected with a metabolic disorder. The WHO estimates 1.5 million deaths worldwide were attributed to diabetes in 2012. These numbers should be the cause of worry by everyone – not just people affected by or have a familial history of diabetes. [1][2]

Aside from avoiding foods high in sugar, you can also add the 11 food we have listed (together with links to the scientific reports) to lower your blood glucose levels.

1. Avocado

Avocado has a pretty bad rep because of its high fat content. However, avocado provides our body with naturally occurring fat, meaning it’s different from the dangerous fat found in fast food and processed food items. The fat from avocados is easily stored and processed our body. Not only that, a study on the oil extract from avocados suggest that the fruit is able to lower blood glucose, as well as other metabolic health markers like triglycerides and cholesterol. [3]

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a popular choice because of its status as the “healthy oil”. Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs are considered a healthy dietary fat, according to the Mayo Clinic), olive oil has the ability to prevent cardiac disease. A recent study revealed that consumption of extra-virgin olive oil after a meal immediately lowered post-prandial (after eating) blood glucose and low-density lipoprotein, also known as “bad cholesterol”. [4][5]

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are not just an excellent fruit to add to your oatmeal or shake. They are fruits high in phenols, a compound that is an excellent antioxidant. In a study published in 2013 suggests than high blueberry intake (of at least 75 grams) could improve post-prandial glucose levels by increasing uptake by the cells. [6]

4. Cinnamon

A study published in the American Diabetes Association’s journal Diabetes Care in 2013 suggests that Cinnamon intake of one to six grams per day can reduce serum glucose (“blood sugar“), triglyceride, and cholesterol levels, particularly bad cholesterol – all risk factors that contribute to diseases that affect the heart and the body’s metabolism. A more recent study in 2014 had the same results showing cinnamon’s anti-diabetic activity. [7][8] NOTE: Be sure you are using real cinnamon – much of it isn’t: here’s a quick tutorial on how to tell real cinnamon from fake.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are known for their high protein and low-fat content, but they have also been increasing in popularity for their contributions to fighting diabetes. Including chia seed in your diet can reduce insulin resistance and preventing hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia, thereby protecting the heart and the liver. [9][10]

6. Herbs And Spices

Some herbs and spices are able to reduce post-prandial blood glucose levels by as much as 31 percent, in a recent 2015 study. A blend of black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, oregano, paprika, rosemary, and turmeric was used for this study. This effect can be attributed to the antioxidant properties found in most spices, which promote glucose and lipid uptake by the body’s cells after a meal. [11]

7. Vinegar

Vinegar or acetic acid in geek terms, is rising in popularity for its ability to improve the uptake of glucose and improve blood flow in people affected by impaired glucose tolerance. Vinegar intake after a high-glucose meal improves blood flow in the body, making glucose absorption by the cells faster, reducing hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin in the blood) and hyperlipidemia (too much lipids in the blood). [12]

8. Mango

Diabetic people are often told to avoid fruits because they raise blood glucose exponentially, especially in people affected by diabetes. However, a 2014 study would beg to differ. Apparently, a substance found in mangoes called mangiferin has been studied to have a role in managing diabetes. It is able to improve glucose tolerance, improve insulin production, and has protective effects on the pancreas. [13]

9. Cherries

Cherries have potent antioxidant properties that make them ideal for detoxing. A new study also revealed that cherries can also help fight diabetes. The results showed that cherries significantly reduce blood sugar levels and improve creatinine clearance by the kidneys, especially in people affected by diabetes. [14] For best results, eat fresh organic cherries which have been shown to have higher antioxidant levels.

10. Eggs

Eggs are a good source of protein, especially in an energy-restricted diet. A 2011 study showed that eggs improved glycemic and lipid profiles, making it a great food choice for people struggling to manage their blood sugar levels. [15]

11. Garlic

Garlic is popular for its cardioprotective ability, fighting high blood pressure and improving cardiac vessel elasticity. However, it also has abilities that can contribute to the prevention of diabetes and other metabolic diseases. It can lower blood glucose and lipid levels – characteristic factors of diabetes. [16]

Please note (as usual) that this article is not medical advice nor a substitute for professional medical evaluation.

References:

[1] American Diabetes Association (2014). Statistics About Diabetes. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/

[2] World Health Organization (2015). Diabetes. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/

[3] Carvajal-Zarrabal, O., et. al. (2014). Avocado oil supplementation modifies cardiovascular risk profile markers in a rat model of sucrose-induced metabolic changes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24719499

[4] Hensrud, D. (2014). If olive oil is high in fat, why is it considered healthy? http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/food-and-nutrition/faq-20058439

[5] Violi, F., et. al. (2015). Extra virgin olive oil use is associated with improved post-prandial blood glucose and LDL cholesterol in healthy subjects. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26192450

[6] Blacker, B., et. al. (2013). Consumption of blueberries with a high-carbohydrate, low-fat breakfast decreases postprandial serum markers of oxidation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22935321

[7] Khan, A., et. al. (2003). Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215.full

[8] Im, K., et. al. (2014). Effects of the polyphenol content on the anti-diabetic activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum extracts. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25051315

[9] Chicco, A., et. al. (2009). Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18492301

[10] Poudyal, H., et. al. (2012). Lipid redistribution by α-linolenic acid-rich chia seed inhibits stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 and induces cardiac and hepatic protection in diet-induced obese rats. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21429727

[11] McCrea, C., et. al. (2015). Effects of culinary spices and psychological stress on postprandial lipemia and lipase activity: results of a randomized crossover study and in vitro experiments. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25592751

[12] Mitrou, P., et. al. (2015). The role of acetic acid on glucose uptake and blood flow rates in the skeletal muscle in humans with impaired glucose tolerance. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25626409

[13] Wang, H., et. al. (2014). Mangiferin facilitates islet regeneration and β-cell proliferation through upregulation of cell cycle and β-cell regeneration regulators. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24033319

[14] Lachin, T. (2014). Effect of antioxidant extract from cherries on diabetes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24447011

[15] Pearce, K., Clifton, P. & Noakes, M. (2011). Egg consumption as part of an energy-restricted high-protein diet improves blood lipid and blood glucose profiles in individuals with type 2 diabetes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21134328

[16] Sher, A., et. al. (2012). Effect of garlic extract on blood glucose level and lipid profile in normal and alloxan diabetic rabbits. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23457127

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