These foods and dietary supplements can help you keep diabetes under control
08/15/2020 / By Skye Anderson / Comments
These foods and dietary supplements can help you keep diabetes under control

More and more people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes each year, and the numbers are increasing at an alarming rate. Just last year, more than 460 million people were living with the disease, according to the International Diabetes Federation, and 4.2 million were confirmed to have died because of it.

Because of the staggering statistics associated with diabetes, researchers and health experts are now calling for immediate action, and health agencies worldwide are scrambling to find a solution.

Diabetes and what causes it

We all know that diabetes is caused by high blood sugar, and our blood sugar reaches abnormal levels when we eat too much sweets. Foods loaded with carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and white rice are also among the usual culprits.

Normally, blood sugar levels go up temporarily after each meal; in fact, studies show that because people metabolize nutrients in an individualized way, some experience higher blood sugar spikes than others. But despite them reaching the prediabetic or diabetic range, these people are still healthy and remain non-diabetic at the end of the day.

So what sets them apart from people with diabetes? The answer lies in how their bodies respond to insulin, as well as their bodies’ ability to produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that signals cells to absorb glucose from the blood. When the body produces very little of this chemical signal, sugar from the foods you eat get stuck in your bloodstream and build up, and this can be damaging to your organs.

The same thing happens when cells become less sensitive to insulin. No matter how much insulin you produce, your cells just won’t take up sugar and use it as fuel. This condition is called insulin resistance, and it can result from a number of things, like chronic stress, an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle, being obese or a having a diet that’s high in carbs, sugar and calories.

Foods that don’t add to your blood sugar count

Because of the huge impact diet has on blood sugar levels, people with diabetes are advised not to eat sugary and high-carb foods. By avoiding these foods, which are notorious for causing blood sugar spikes, those with diabetes can keep their blood sugar at normal levels. This limits the damaging effects of diabetes on tissues and organs.

Diabetic-friendly foods are determined based on their glycemic index (GI). GI is a ranking of carbohydrates in foods based on how they affect blood sugar levels. People with diabetes are encouraged to eat foods with low GI scores and avoid foods with high GI scores. According to experimental studies, people with diabetes should aim for a daily average GI of 45 or less. A mid average of 46 to 59 is still quite acceptable, but anything 60 and above is considered too high.

If you’re living with diabetes, here are the foods you should have in your diet. You should know that these low GI foods can help you lose weight, which is a definite plus. (h/t to

  • Rolled or steel-cut oats
  • Barley and bulgur
  • Butter beans (lima beans) and peas
  • Non-starchy vegetables (e.g., artichoke, asparagus, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, baby corn)
  • Milk
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Fresh fruits (e.g., grapefruit, cherries, pears, apples, oranges)

A useful bit of info about milk: According to a study by Canadian researchers, drinking high-protein milk for breakfast can give people with diabetes better control over their blood sugar. High-protein milk not only lowers blood sugar levels after eating, it can also decrease appetite. This will ensure that you don’t overeat or get tempted to eat something you shouldn’t.

Animal milk like cow’s milk or grassmilk contain more protein and calcium than plant milk. But nutrition experts suggest alternating between these two types to get the most of their nutritional value. For those with diabetes, the best plant milks to drink are soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk and flax milk.

Supplements for better blood sugar control

Eating low GI foods and drinks isn’t the only dietary remedy for diabetes. In case you were wondering about supplements, there are plenty of dietary supplements on the market that also help with blood sugar management.

Royal jelly, for instance, has shown blood sugar-lowering properties in several studies. Royal jelly is that gelatinous substance honey bees produce to feed queen bees and young bees. This natural product is composed mainly of water, proteins and fatty acids.

Nutrition-wise, royal jelly is a great source of B-vitamins. It also contains vitamins A, C, D and E, and minerals like calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, silicon and sulfur. Royal jelly is credited with a variety of health benefits, and regulating blood sugar is one of them.

In a recent study, researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada reviewed published reports about royal jelly and how it affects the glycemic responses of healthy and diabetic adults. Glycemic response refers to the change in blood sugar levels following consumption of carbohydrates.

The researchers found that people who took royal jelly supplements had lower fasting blood glucose levels, healthier insulin levels and faster glucose clearance than before the experiment. These results were consistent across multiple studies, and participants reported very few (and only minor) side effects.

Because of the strength of the evidence they found, the researchers were convinced that royal jelly is a good supplement for people with diabetes. Besides lowering their blood sugar levels, the researchers also noted that royal jelly helped with other symptoms of diabetes, such as oxidative stress, inflammation and impaired wound healing.

Besides royal jelly, those with diabetes who wish to try natural remedies can also rely on herbal supplements. Here are the best botanical-based supplements for better blood sugar control: (h/t to

  • Curcumin — A compound found in turmeric, curcumin can stabilize blood sugar levels and even help prevent diabetes in healthy people.
  • Ginseng — A traditional Chinese medicine, this often-called “herb of immortality” can lower blood sugar and improve sensitivity to insulin.
  • Fenugreek — This Middle Eastern spice has proven itself useful for controlling blood sugar in animal and human trials.
  • Psyllium — A dietary fiber often used as a laxative, psyllium not only improves digestion, it also reduces blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.
  • Cinnamon — Despite its sweet smell, cinnamon is an age-old remedy for diabetes, capable of improving blood sugar, blood cholesterol and even blood triglycerides levels!
  • Aloe vera — Known for its healing properties, aloe vera is also helpful for diabetes patients. Specifically, aloe vera’s  juice and sap can decrease the amount of glucose in your blood.
  • Bitter melon — A popular vegetable in Asia (despite its unpleasant taste), bitter melon is also widely used to control blood sugar.
  • Milk thistle — A well-known Mediterranean herb, milk thistle is often used by diabetes patients who also suffer from liver disease to reduce insulin resistance.
  • Holy basil — Known for increasing insulin production, this medicinal herb can also lower fasting blood sugar and blood sugar levels after a meal.

There are plenty of dietary supplements that can influence your blood sugar levels in a good way. Supplements that contain natural products like royal jelly, curcumin, ginseng and other medicinal herbs offer better blood sugar control, especially when combined with a low-GI diet, regular exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits. On the other hand, our bodies respond differently to many things, supplements and diets included. So to get the best natural diabetes management plan for you, consult with a natural health practitioner regarding proper nutrition, exercise and dietary supplement use.

Sources: 1 2

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles