The blood sugar inside your body is your main source of energy. Also known as “glucose,” you get blood sugar from the foods you eat, and it’s transported to all of your cells. If blood sugar levels become too low or high, it can lead to a whole range of problems. Thankfully, there are some natural lifestyle changes, including foods, that help balance blood sugar.
If you have diabetes, you should talk to your doctor before making any serious lifestyle or dietary changes. That being said, people without diabetes can be impacted by fluctuating blood sugar levels, too. Eating a diet high in foods that constantly spike your sugar levels puts you at an increased risk of developing type II diabetes.
The Best Foods That Balance Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar is too high, it can cause symptoms like blurred vision, headaches, increased thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue. On the flip side, too-low blood sugar levels can lead to sweating, heart palpitations, weakness, trouble concentrating, hunger and more
The following foods may help you maintain more stable levels and promote better insulin sensitivity.
Nuts like walnuts, almonds and pistachios are full of healthy fats—especially walnuts, which contain plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.
Research has shown that, for some people, replacing refined carbohydrates with unsaturated fats (like those in nuts and seeds) might help improve insulin sensitivity. When insulin sensitivity is low, your body’s cells can’t absorb as much glucose, which can cause high blood sugar and increase the risk of type II diabetes.
2. Non-starchy Vegetables
Fiber is very important for preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. Colorful, non-starchy veggies provide plenty of fiber along with essential vitamins and minerals for good health.
Some of the best vegetables to eat include:
- Brussels sprouts
3. Leafy Greens
Of course, leafy greens are also vegetables—but they are important enough to get their own category. Leafy green veggies are high in fiber, low in calories and carbs, and packed with nutrition.
Focus on getting a lot of greens like spinach, kale, collard greens and Swiss chard in your diet.
Some of the best foods that balance blood sugar contain soluble fiber, which delays how long food takes to digest and helps prevent sugar spikes. Oats contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan. It has been associated with not only better blood sugar control but lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Berries are some of the lowest-carb fruits with healthy amounts of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals—making them good foods to help balance blood sugar.
6. Fatty Fish
Healthy fats are very important for helping to stabilize blood sugars and overall health. Plus, fish is high in protein, which does not impact blood sugar like carbohydrates.
7. Greek Yogurt
Lean protein sources help fill you up and feel satiated without eating excess carbs. Greek yogurt is a popular option because it’s protein-rich, calcium-rich, and easy to eat at any time of day—even while at work or on-the-go.
Being dehydrated can lead your body to make a hormone called vasopressin that stimulates your kidneys to hold onto water, which means they are not flushing out as much excess sugar. This may contribute to spikes in blood sugar.
So, make sure you are staying hydrated by drinking enough water.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important for your overall health, especially cardiovascular health. Besides eating healthy, whole foods, it’s also a good idea to eat regularly, manage your stress, and find daily exercises you enjoy.