8 Foods That Reduce Blood Sugar Levels Over Time If You’re Pre-Diabetic

Here's a closer look at foods that reduce blood sugar, according to an RDN.

Whether you have prediabetes or not, knowing what blood sugars are and how they work is important, as prolonged high blood sugars can lead to chronic illness. The food you eat will metabolize to glucose, or sugar, which fuels your body’s cells to function properly. However, issues occur when the concentration of glucose in the blood is higher than the body’s needs. The key to maintaining steady blood sugar levels is to choose the right foods.

While there are no foods that will cause blood sugar levels to drop dramatically, there are foods that reduce blood sugar average readings over time and will help you avoid drastic spikes. Let’s take a look at some of those foods.

Beans and Lentils

Legumes like beans and lentils are a great choice for those trying to manage their blood sugar levels. Not only are they full of fiber, but they also have a low glycemic index, both of which help to slow the spike in blood sugar after eating. This study showed the effectiveness legumes had on glycemic control while also emphasizing the positive effects they have on blood pressure and other cardiac disease risks, a common comorbidity of diabetes.

Quinoa

An incredible substitute for white rice, quinoa helps your body better control blood sugar response from many angles. It is loaded with protein and fiber. These two nutrients slow down digestion, causing a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream. Learn how to cook quinoa, then explore our quinoa recipes.

Garlic

Garlic is one of those “superfoods,” as it’s full of hundreds of compounds that are good for our health. This study reports that three of these compounds have been known to help increase insulin levels in the blood, reducing blood sugars by bringing glucose into the cells. That’s not all—another study found garlic to help lower fasting blood glucose levels across over 500 subjects.

Avocado

A source of heart-healthy “good fat,” avocado can have a meaningful impact on your blood sugars in the long term. With over 80% of the total carb in avocado coming from fiber, it will be digested more slowly, giving a steady blood sugar response. Also, avocado will leave you feeling satisfied for longer, helping you steer clear of unhealthy, potentially sugar-spiking snacks. Don’t miss our delicious and healthy avocado recipes.

Onion

Onion, like garlic, is full of many healing chemical compounds. In fact, some of those compounds have been found to potentially help those on diabetes medication to lower their dose or even wean off completely, when consumed long term. Learn more about the different types of onions and how to cook with them.

Salmon

Full of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon provides a protective one-two punch against high blood sugars. Not only is salmon basically free of carbohydrates, the omega-3s it contains helps to reduce bodily inflammation and help lower cholesterol, a common concern of those with prediabetes. Look through our easy salmon recipes to get started.

Oats

Oats are a smart whole grain option for those watching their blood sugars. High in soluble fiber and low on the glycemic index, oats will evoke a dulled blood sugar response. Swap out your regular breakfast cereal for a bowl of oatmeal, using one of our favorite oatmeal recipes.

Nuts

Providing little carbohydrate, but lots of healthy fat and fiber, nuts are a great choice for people with prediabetes. They’re the perfect snack food, as they won’t cause your blood sugars to spike while also helping to protect your heart health.

These foods will help reduce blood sugar levels over time and are great go-to’s when making dietary changes. Eating them in place of not-as-healthy snack choices is an easy step in the right direction when managing your prediabetes. Just make sure you’re not incorporating any of these foods into your prediabetic diet plan.

We recommend trying one of these healthy recipes for people with diabetes:

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Christina Manian, RDN
Christina Manian is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist based out of Boulder, Colorado. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, she has been involved with the nutrition departments of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mass General Hospital. She completed her nutrition education at the Mayo Clinic with a focus on medical nutrition therapy and most recently practiced clinical nutrition at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. While her background has largely been in the clinical setting, Christina embraces and is shifting her focus towards wellness nutrition as the backbone to optimum health.