High blood sugar levels can cause many health problems, including heart disease. It happens in the event when our body does not produce the necessary insulin to break down blood glucose. The best way to control blood sugar levels is by controlling what you eat. The ideal choice for controlling the blood sugar level is by eating plant-based foods and drinks that are absorbed slowly into the body.
The effects of certain foods on the blood sugar level are measured by the glycemic index (GI). For controlling your blood sugar levels, you need to choose plant-based foods that have low GI scores. Here is the list of plant-based foods that helps to lower blood sugar levels.
Most fruits contain naturally occurring sugar called fructose. However, they do not have high GI scores because of the high amount of water and fiber present in them. A study conducted in the year 2013 showed that eating fruits like apples, grapes, and blueberries will lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It is important to note that the GI scores will increase when the fruits are ripe.
The GI scores of oats are 55 or lower. That makes them less likely to cause an increase in blood sugar levels. The beta-glucans present in oats helps to reduce the insulin and glucose response after meals, reduces blood lipids, improves insulin sensitivity, and helps to maintain glycemic control. A review of 16 studies revealed that oats will potentially help in controlling the level of glucose together with the lipid profiles in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The GI scores of legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, and peas are very low. They contain nutrients like protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber that helps in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. A study conducted in 2012 showed that adding more legumes in your plant-based meal will improve glycemic control and lower the risk of coronary heart disease in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Nuts are highly rich in dietary fiber, proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and several minerals. A study conducted in 2014 has proven that eating more nuts is very beneficial for people with diabetes. It is important to avoid the consumption of unprocessed nuts because they have higher GI scores.
Sweet potatoes are another plant-based food on the list. Unlike regular potatoes, they have a lower GI score. Some animal studies are showing that consuming more sweet potatoes lower certain markers of diabetes.