When it comes to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, the food you eat can play a big role in doing so. Obviously, diabetes is much more complicated than simply eating well, but maintaining good blood sugar levels can help reduce your risk of complications.
In addition to eating low-carb foods, people with diabetes are recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and to take care of their mental health. Sticking to good habits in terms of eating, exercising, and reducing stress will help people with diabetes better control their blood sugar levels.
Today, I’ll be offering some tips specifically revolved around finding a balanced diet that works for you, including a list of some of the best (and most delicious) low-carb foods to incorporate more into your diet. But first, let’s discuss which carbs will actually raise blood sugar levels.
Which Carbs Raise Blood Sugar Levels?
Carbs that you find in plant-based foods are sorted into three categories. Two of the three, starch and sugar, do, in fact, raise blood sugar. Fiber, on the other hand, will not break down into glucose in the body, therefore not raising blood sugar levels.
Because of this, if you’re counting carbs, you can subtract any fiber carbs from the total number of carbs. This will leave you with a “net” carb amount.
For example, on average, an apple contains roughly 25 grams of carbs. But, nearly 4.5 of those grams are fiber carbs. So, the net amount of carbs consumed would 20.5 grams.
In fact, according to PubMed Central, prebiotic fiber, like inulin, can even help improve fasting blood sugar for those with type 2 diabetes.
While the overall net carbs will vary from food item to food item, this carb counter courtesy of Atkins is a good resource to check out if you’re looking to stay on top of your low-carb diet.
So, which foods are the best to eat if you’re looking to maintain healthy blood sugar levels?
Best low-carb Foods For People With Diabetes
Here is a list of low-carb foods that nutritionists recommend making the majority of your meals out of:
- Non-starchy vegetables, which include (in alphabetical order):
- Bean sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Salad greens
- Poultry (skinless)
- Olive oil
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Coconut oil
Food to Eat in Moderation
Here is a list of foods that most dieticians would recommend eating only in small portions and in moderation.
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Unsalted nuts
- Dark chocolate
Foods to Avoid
These are foods you should try and avoid, especially if you’re having trouble managing your blood sugar levels.
- Sweetened tea
Tips For Making Sure You’re Eating a Balanced Diet
Create Shopping List Before Going to the Grocery Store
One of the best ways to ensure you’re eating the foods you should be is by creating a thorough list before going out to the store. When we grocery shop without a clear objective, some more unhealthy foods are bound to end up in the shopping cart.
Write down a shopping list that breaks down everything you’ll need for the next week to two weeks worth of meals. This will help you ensure that you are getting plenty of low-carb foods and limiting yourself on what you buy when it comes to the foods in the “moderation” and “avoid” categories.
When Cooking, Choose Recipes That Have Less Saturated Fat
Whether you’re looking up recipes online or out of your favorite cookbook, look for options with ingredients that use less saturated fat.
If you’re interested in finding a new cookbook that only contains low-carb dishes, check out this awesome list of the 15 best low-carb cookbooks out there today.
Focus on Portions
Portion control is a great way to ensure that your diet is balanced. The American Diabetes Association recommends drawing an imaginary line down your plate. On one half of the line, you should fill the plate non-starchy vegetables like celery, broccoli, and spinach.
Split the other half of the plate and fill one of those sections with protein like fish, beans, eggs, or poultry.
Depending on the level of your blood sugar, the last section can be reserved for high-quality starch foods like pasta, brown rice, or a whole-grain roll. But, you should speak to your doctor before integrating those foods too much into your diet as those foods should be avoided if you’re having trouble keeping your blood sugar levels in your goal.
Create a Meal Plan to Try and Stick to Each Day
No one’s life is simple enough where you can choose when you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same exact time, every single day. But, creating a meal plan that you can try and stick to each day will help you keep your blood sugar levels where they should be.
According to Jan Elsten, RD, CDE, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator at Indiana University Health-Ball Memorial Hospital, one of the main things to focus on when it comes to your eating habits is your spacing of the meals and snacks throughout the day. The more consistent you are with eating meals, the better your blood sugar levels will be.
How I Can Help You Control Your Blood Sugar Levels
I understand how annoying it can be to make sure you’re keeping track of your blood sugar levels all the time. That’s why the Pops’ team came up with a solution that makes it easy.
Rebel (the meter) and I are the dynamic duo you’ve been looking for. Rebel, Pops’ integrated virtual diabetes management system, allows you to check your blood sugar levels anywhere and anytime. And, you’ll always be on top of your diabetes management with me, your personal virtual coach.
Chat with your employer about whether or not they offer Pops. If they do, you can download our app and enter your customer code to get started. If you’re not sure what your code is, send us a message and we’ll help you out!
We are all in this together.