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Natural foods to manage blood sugar!

Posted on 26-12-16

While it is common knowledge that it is necessary to avoid certain foods, such as, white and refined breads, pastas, fried, fatty and processed food, it is important to know some diabetes-friendly food sources and their impact on blood sugar. Numerous nutrition and diabetes experts have singled out the following power foods because they are packed with 4 essential nutrients (fibre, omega-3s, calcium, and vitamin D) and are exceptionally versatile for use in various recipes, as add-ons to meals, or stand-alone snacks.

Now you can see how to include these in your daily diet to lower your blood sugar and fight belly fat naturally.

1. Oats

Like barley and beans, oats are a diabetes power food because of their fibre content—a half cup of instant oats provides 4g of fibre. Research shows that oats can also lower total and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and improve insulin resistance. The soluble fibre in oats slows the rate at which your body can break down and absorb carbohydrates, which means your blood sugar levels stay stable.
How to eat it: The easiest way is to ingest it is a breakfast cereal. There are several instant masala oat brands available in the market. You can also sneak oats into all kinds of recipes, from oat dosas to meat loaves to cookies and oat upma.

2. Barley

One of the healthiest grains around, barley is rich in a specific kind of soluble fibre called beta-glucan. Research shows that beta-glucan can lower total and LDL cholesterol by preventing the body’s ability to absorb it. It has been found that consuming just 3 grams a day—about the amount in a single barley serving—can lower cholesterol by 8%. Its high fibre content also helps steady blood sugar levels while filling you up! The grain also has a modest amount of calcium. How to eat it: Soak the grain overnight before cooking, then add to soups, stews, or rice or just use it instead of rice in pulav and other rice dishes.

3. Berries

Berries are nature’s candy—but unlike sugary confections, they’re loaded with fibre and antioxidants called polyphenols. A cup of blackberries provides 7.6 g of fibre, blueberries contain 3.5 g. Berries’ antioxidants are also good for the heart; a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that people with heart disease risk factors who ate berries for 8 weeks observed a drop in blood pressure and a boost in ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
How to eat it: Berries are just as tasty when stirred into oatmeal, ice cream, or even salads, as they are when eaten alone. Fresh berries freeze well, and can thus be stored in the freezer for later use.

4. Beans

Beans have more to boast about than just high fibre content (plant compounds that help you feel full, steady blood sugar, and even lower cholesterol). They’re also a good source of calcium, which has been shown to help burn body fat. In half a cup of white beans, you’ll get almost 100 mg of calcium—about 10% of your daily intake. Beans are also an excellent protein source.
How to eat it: Add them to salads, soups, or even to every-day Indian snacks like upma. They can also be prepared as bean gravy to go along with wheat rotis. There are so many different kinds of beans that you could possibly have a different variety every day.

5. Dairy

There isn’t a better source of calcium and vitamin D—a potent diabetes-quelling combination—than dairy foods like milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt. A study has shown that women who consumed more than 1,200 mg of calcium and more than 800 IU of vitamin D a day were 33% less likely to develop diabetes than those taking in less of both nutrients.
Although, there are other foods that have these nutrients, none combine them like dairy does.
How to eat it: Drink milk with some meals instead of soda or sugary juices. Have yogurt or cottage cheese as a snack or dessert, and use milk to make oatmeal or thicken certain soups. Stick to fat-free or low-fat versions of your favourite dairy foods because ‘regular’ dairy products have a lot of saturated fat.

6. Fish – Tuna and Salmon

Tuna is amazingly healthy with a 3-ounce piece containing 1,300 mg of omega-3s and a substantial amount of vitamin D. Nutritionists almost always recommend this healthy fish – Tuna. It’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that reduce the risk of heart disease, trim the waistline, reduce inflammation, and improve insulin resistance. Salmon is also one of the best non-dairy sources of vitamin D.
How to eat it: Make tuna salad sandwiches, spread onto whole wheat crackers as a snack, or throw steaks on the grill instead of burgers. Add salmon to salads, omelette and sandwich.

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