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Diabetes

Learn about a host of diabetes-related topics such as how many Americans suffer from this disease to how to easily adjust to a new diet after diagnoses. This section will provide you with the information you need to make informed dietary decisions regarding diabetes.

50 Foods That Won’t Spike Blood Sugar

Blood sugar (or blood glucose) is most dependent on carbohydrate sources. But since carbohydrates embraces a wide variety of foods (whole grains, produce, milk, pastries, etc.), controlling blood sugars may be confusing and complex to manage. And with the effects of high blood sugar being harmful to health, regulating them takes high precedence.

50 Foods That Won’t Spike Blood Sugar


Effects of High Blood Sugar

Though blood sugar spikes are oftentimes inevitable, they should not be a consistent phenomenon. Initial signs of high blood sugar (also known as hyperglycemia) consist of increased thirst and frequent urination. But constant and long-term spikes can create much bigger consequences and include cardiovascular (heart) disease, nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy) or failure, damage to the retina's blood vessels (diabetic retinopathy), poor blood circulation to the feet (potentially leading to infections or amputations), mouth and skin infections and non-healing wounds, along with bone and joint complications. More severe complications require emergency attention and include diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome.

How to Control Blood Sugar Spikes

As mentioned above, constant high blood sugar and spikes can startle and damage the body and its systems. The glycemic index (GI) measures how foods affect blood sugars, based on a one to 100 number scale. Low GI foods have a mild effect on blood sugars while high GI foods have a much greater impact. So to keep blood sugars unshaken, stray away from highly sweetened items and go for non-carbohydrate or lower GI foods.

Non-Carbohydrate Foods

Meats, fats and oils are essentially absent of carbohydrates. Importantly, be mindful of the preparation method as breaded and battered meats will mostly contain some sort of carbohydrate in the form of flour and breadcrumbs. Additionally, allow a lean protein to be the main star of the dish rather than heavy portions of rice and potatoes. Healthy fats and oils, such as olive oil, actually has shown to improve blood sugar levels as well! For higher fat meats and oils, it still remains critical to monitor their intake, as they will still contribute to total calories.

1. Chicken
2. Turkey
3. Beef
4. Pork
5. Tilapia
6. Salmon
7. Eggs
8. Olive Oil
9. Coconut Oil

Low Glycemic Index Foods

Though considered a carbohydrate source, the following foods have a low GI score (less than 55) and display a minimal to moderate impact on blood sugars.

Grains, Breads, and Cereals

10. Barley
11. Bulgur
12. Quinoa
13. Corn Tortillas
14. Wheat Tortillas
15. 100% Whole Grain Bread

Starchy Vegetables
Yet still considered a vegetable, starchy vegetables mostly contain a higher carb count compared to non-starchy vegetables. Sticking to serving and portion sizes will keep carbohydrate moderated.

16. Carrots
17. Corn
18. Peas
19. Pumpkin
20. Zucchini

Non-Starchy Vegetables
Nutrient-rich and low in calorie, these non-starchy vegetables average a low GI score of 15.

21. Asparagus
22. Broccoli
23. Cauliflower
24. Celery
25. Cucumber
26. Kale
27. Lettuce
28. Mushrooms
29. Onions
30. Red Bell Peppers
31. Spinach

Fruits
Despite fruits being a pure carbohydrate source, the natural sugars are complimented by fiber and additional nutrients. When choosing fruit, stick with its whole form for a couple of reasons: One, canned fruits (such as peaches) may be soaking in syrups, thus increasing sugar content and the glycemic index score. Two, fruit juices are often loaded with sugars and lack that precious fiber found in the peels and skins of fruit.

32. Apples
33. Avocadoes
34. Bananas
35. Cherries
36. Grapefruits
37. Oranges
38. Peaches
39. Pears

Beans and Legumes
Though such products do supply carbohydrate to the body, they are a plant-based protein and healthy fat source as well. Since most nuts and seeds are energy-dense (or heavy in calories for a relativity small volume), stick to recommended servings or portions, generally one-ounce or a small handful.

40. Cashews
41. Beans (Black, Kidney, etc.)
42. Peanuts
43. Soybeans
44. Hummus (prepared with chickpeas)

Dairy
Cow's milk and its associated dairy products do contain carbohydrates in the form of lactose, a naturally-occurring sugar. Despite lactose's existence, consuming these calcium-rich products will not spike blood sugars in their minimally processed form. It is, however, important to eliminate dairy products with added sugars such as a sweetened yogurts and ice creams. Choosing skim or part-skim milks and cheese can help reduce fat content, too.

45. Milk
46. Cottage Cheese
47. String Cheese
48. Cheddar Cheese
49. Mozzarella Cheese
50. Low-Fat Yogurt

Find out more information on controlling blood sugar and the glycemic index here.

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