Foods to lower (or stabilize) blood sugar: Fruits, nuts, and more

hands packing a wholegrain sandwich and apple into lunchbox contribution on PinterestConsuming less-processed grains can help blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Cavan Images/Getty Images We include products we think are utilitarian for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a humble commission. here ’ s our serve. The bodies of people with diabetes do not produce enough insulin or can not use insulin properly, causing glucose to accumulate in the lineage. Choosing low glycemic index ( GI ) foods is one means to help manage the condition.

For people with diabetes, foods and beverages that the body absorb lento are best because they do not cause spikes and dips in blood carbohydrate. The GI measures the effects of specific foods on blood sugar levels. People who are looking to control their blood sugar levels should pick foods with depleted or medium GI scores. People can besides pair foods with humble and high GI scores to ensure that a meal is balanced. Researchers suggest that low GI patterns of eating can improve a person ’ sulfur blood boodle reception over meter. however, there is no testify to suggest that eating a certain character of food can lower a person ’ randomness lineage boodle levels in a diabetes-related hand brake. Below are some of the best foods for people who are looking to maintain healthy rake boodle levels.

Stone-ground whole wheat or pumpernickel bread

many kinds of boodle have senior high school GI scores and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. so, for people with diabetes, many are worth avoiding. however, the consumption of whole grain foods has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Some breads are considered a dear way to consume whole granulate foods. Pumpernickel boodle and 100 % stone-ground unharmed wheat bread have depleted GI scores, at 55 or below on the GI scale. They have lower GI scores than regular whole wheat boodle because the ingredients go through less process. Processing removes the hempen forbidden shells of grains and cereals. Fiber slows digestion and helps stabilize lineage sugar levels. The researchers behind a 2020 test found that consuming less-processed grains caused an improvement in lineage sugar levels for people with character 2 diabetes. A separate 2020 study involving people with type 2 diabetes besides found that the particle size of the wholly grains in bread had an affect on blood sugar levels. This reflects their level of process. A 2021 review looked at the impression of millets, which have a low GI score. The researchers found that the regular pulmonary tuberculosis of millets, including sorghum, reduced average fast lineage sugar levels by up to 12 % and decreased post-meal blood sugar levels by up to 15 % .

Breads to eat

  • whole wheat, especially stone-ground whole wheat bread
  • pumpernickel
  • spelt
  • rye
  • rice
  • bread made with ancient grains, such as emmer and einkorn
  • bread made from less-processed grains

Breads to avoid

  • white bread
  • bagels
  • other breads made from refined or highly milled grains
  • breads with added sugar
  • fruit breads and raisin toast

Most fruits

Except for pineapples and melons, most fruits have low GI scores of 55 or below. This is because most fresh fruits contain lots of water and fiber to balance out their naturally occurring boodle, which is called fructose. however, as fruits ripen, their GI scores increase. Fruit juices besides have very high GI scores because juicing removes the fibrous skins and seeds. so, fresh fruit is best. A analyze from 2020 that followed around half a million people in China for 7 years found that those who ate fresh yield daily had lower rates of type 2 diabetes. besides, a large 2013 study found that people who consumed solid fruits — specially blueberries, grapes, and apples — had significantly lower risks of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers besides report that drinking fruit juices increased the risk of developing the condition .

Fruits to eat

  • apples
  • apricots
  • avocadoes
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  • peaches
  • plums
  • raspberries
  • strawberries

Fruits to enjoy in moderation

  • dried fruit
  • watermelon
  • pineapple
  • fruit juice
  • overripe bananas
  • dates

Sweet potatoes and yams

even potatoes have a high GI mark, but odoriferous potatoes and yams have first gear scores and are very alimentary. Some research indicates that the pulp of the sweet potato contains more fiber than the clamber, indicating that the hale vegetable could be beneficial for those with diabetes. Reporting the findings of an animal study, the researchers besides note that sweetly potato pulmonary tuberculosis may lower some markers of diabetes. Although there is hush no conclusive attest to suggest that sugared potatoes can help stabilize or lower blood carbohydrate levels in humans, they are undoubtedly a alimentary food with a gloomy GI grade. People can substitute sweet potatoes or yams for potatoes in a variety show of dishes, from fries to casseroles .

Potatoes to eat

  • sweet potatoes
  • yams

Potatoes to avoid

  • white potatoes
  • French fries
  • mashed potatoes

Oatmeal and oat bran

Oats have a GI score of 55 or lower, making them less likely to cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels. Oats besides contain β-glucan, which can :

  • reduce glucose and insulin responses after meals
  • improve insulin sensitivity
  • help maintain glycemic control
  • reduce blood lipids (fats)

The authors of a 2021 meta-analysis of 103 trials looked at how β-glucan affects blood sugar levels after a meal. They found attest to suggest that carbohydrate -based meals containing β-glucan were linked to lower blood boodle levels than those without. besides, a 2015 follow-up of 16 studies concludes that oats have a beneficial effect on glucose control and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes. Determining the impact of oat consumption on type 1 diabetes requires more research, however. One serve is peer to half a cup.

Good ways to enjoy oats

  • stone-ground oats
  • rolled oats

Oat products to limit

  • processed oats
  • instant oats
  • cereal bars

Most nuts and seeds

Nuts are very rich people in dietary fiber and have GI scores of 55 or below. Nuts besides contain high levels of plant proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, and other nutrients, including :

  • antioxidant vitamins
  • phytochemicals, such as flavonoids
  • minerals, including magnesium and potassium

A 2014 systemic inspection concludes that eating nuts could benefit people with diabetes. As with other foods in this article, it is best to eat nuts that are as wholly and a unprocessed as potential. Nuts with coatings or flavorings have higher GI scores than plain nuts. One serve is peer to one-fourth of a cup .

Nut products to eat

  • raw almonds
  • raw cashews
  • raw walnuts
  • raw pecans
  • other tree nuts
  • raw peanuts
  • peanut butter
  • sunflower seeds

Nuts with higher GI scores

  • cashews
  • macadamia nuts
  • roasted or salted nuts
  • candied nuts


legume — such as beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils — have very low GI scores. even baked beans, which are not as preferable, however have a medium GI grade. Legumes are besides dependable sources of nutrients that can help maintain healthy blood carbohydrate levels. These nutrients include :

  • fiber
  • complex carbohydrates
  • protein

A 2012 study found that incorporating legume into the diet better glycemic master and lowered the risk of coronary thrombosis affection disease in people with type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes may wish to avoid legume products that contain add sugars and bare starches, such as those in syrups, sauces, or marinades. These additions can significantly increase a product ’ second GI score .

Legume products to eat

  • black beans
  • pinto beans
  • green beans
  • lima beans
  • navy beans
  • black-eyed peas
  • chickpeas
  • lentils
  • snow peas
  • hummus

Legumes to limit

  • any beans with added sugar


Garlic is a popular ingredient in traditional medicines for diabetes and a wide variety show of other conditions. The compounds in garlic may help reduce blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity and secretion. The authors of one 2017 study found that garlic supplements helped manage rake boodle levels, cholesterol, and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In a 2013 study, 60 people with type 2 diabetes and fleshiness took either metformin alone or a combination of metformin and garlic twice casual after meals for 12 weeks. Those who took metformin and garlic saw a more meaning reduction in their fast and post-meal lineage sugar levels .

Ways to add garlic to the diet

  • eating it raw
  • chopping it and adding to dips, savory spreads, and salad dressings
  • sauteing it with vegetables
  • adding it to cooked meals
  • taking garlic capsules

Fatty fish

pisces and other meats do not have GI scores because they do not contain carbohydrates. however, consuming pisces containing the omega-3 fatty acid fatso acids docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid may help manage or prevent diabetes better than other types of kernel. The researchers behind a 2021 study found that people who consumed buttery pisces developed type 2 diabetes at lower rates than those who did not. besides, participants who ate batch of fatty pisces in a 2017 study showed better glucose regulation after a meal than those who avoided pisces. One 2014 study included data from 33,704 norwegian women over a 5-year time period. The researchers found that eating 75–100 grams of tease, saithe, haddock, or pollack day by day reduced the gamble of developing type 2 diabetes. however, the researchers were diffident if the reduction in risk was a direct result of eating the pisces or if other healthy life style factors, such as drill, could have influenced the findings. Researchers have not found attest of a associate between mercury and diabetes. however, experts recommend limiting fish high in mercury, particularly for pregnant people, those who are breastfeeding, and children .

Fish products to eat

  • anchovies
  • cod
  • haddock
  • herring
  • pollock
  • saithe
  • salmon
  • sardines
  • fish oil capsules

Fish to limit

  • bigeye tuna
  • king mackerel
  • marlin
  • shark
  • swordfish
  • tilefish


Eating plain yogurt day by day may reduce the gamble of type 2 diabetes. The authors of a big 2014 meta-analysis conclude that yogurt may be the only dairy intersection that lowers the risk of developing the condition. however, they besides note that other dairy products do not seem to increase a person ’ s risk. Researchers are still uncertain why yogurt helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. however, plain yogurt is by and large a depleted GI food. Most unsweetened yogurts have a GI mark of 50 or below. It is best to avoid sweeten or season yogurts, which often contain excessively much carbohydrate for a person who is looking to lower their blood boodle levels. Greek-style yogurt can be a goodly alternative.

Yogurt to eat

  • Greek yogurt
  • unsweetened yogurt

Yogurt to avoid

  • sweetened yogurt
  • flavored yogurt

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