So what foods will help me lower my blood sugar?
We recommend including foods that are moderately low in carbohydrates and take longer to digest. This helps prevent your blood sugars from sky-rocketing from a large dose of glucose. The more fiber a food contains, the longer your body takes to digest it which is ideal! Blood sugar will slowly climb and back down instead of shooting straight up and straight down.Check out our list of foods and recipes to include with prediabetes:
- WHOLE GRAINSSteel-cut oats
DO:Choose old fashioned or steel cut oats (the less refined, the better!) Add flavor using cinnamon, nuts, nut butter, or fruit. Use low fat milk or water
DON'TChoose pre-packaged or sweetened oatmeal.Add too much dried fruit or sweetener(even natural sweeteners such as honey)Use creamStone-Ground Whole Wheat Bread
DO:Top with heart-healthy fat spreads like avocado or nut butterTop with fruits, veggies, and lean proteins like banana, tomato, or eggSpread your consumption throughout the day
DON'T:Use spreads like butter, sweetened jam and NutellaFill with highly processed foods like deli meats and cheesesEat a lot in one sitting
- NON-STARCHY VEGETABLESCarrots
DO:Add salt-free seasonings for some flavorRoast em', steam em', or air fry em'!Eat them raw with some hummusAdd them to your favorite dish!
DON'T:Deep fry themSauté them in butter or top them with cheese
Leafy GreensDO:Eat them cooked or rawBuy them fresh or frozenPack them into smoothies or make them into a pesto sauceSneak them into soups and stews or eat them as a side dish
DON'TSauté them in butter or animal fatsBoil them for too long- the nutrients in leafy greens are water-soluble, so if boiled for too long all of the nutrients will end up in the water!Use canned greens- these tend to have added seasonings and preservatives
- STARCHY VEGETABLES
Include winter and summer squashRoast, bake, or sauté using olive oilSeason with fresh herbs and spices
Sauté in butter or animal fatsSeason with excess amounts of sweeteners or salt
DO:Use dried beansUse canned beans (be sure to rinse them to get the excess salt off from the canning process!)Jazz them up by throwing them in a chili, making them into burgers, or making a dip
Use baked beans or refried beans Eat a large quantity at once, stick to a half cup portion at a time
- DAIRYGreek YogurtDO:Look for an unsweetened optionAdd nuts, seeds, or nut butterUse it as a base for a smoothie or sauceTop it with fresh fruitDON'T:Buy a pre-sweetened option Top it with sugary granola or cerealsMix in too many sweeteners, even natural sweeteners like honey
DO:Season with fresh herbs and spicesUse lemon to add a citrus noteBake, grill, or pan sear
DON'T:Cook with butterUse sugar-filled marinades or glazesDeep fry
EggsDO:Eat the whole egg- the yolk has more protein per weight than the white does, so the whole egg is a great source of lean protein!Use cooking spray to prevent the eggs from sticking to the pan
DON'T:Use butter or an excess of oil while cooking
NutsDO:Look for a raw or roasted option with no added seasoningsEat them in the form of an all natural nut butterAdd them to yogurt, granola, salads, or eat them as a snackBe mindful of portions- although they are healthy fats, they are still calorie-dense!DON'T:Opt for a flavored option- these tend to include high amounts of sugar, salt, and extra caloriesUse a nut butter with added sugars- look for brands that just have the nut as the ingredients!Consume them in excessChoose a trail mix that is loaded with chocolate and fried fruit with sugar added
Aside from these everyday foods, there are also a handful of "functional" foods that can regulate blood sugar levels. Functional foods are naturally occurring foods that are shown to have additional medicinal benefits beyond basic nutrition. Try mixing these into your snacks and meals:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Interested in a total overhaul to better manage your prediabetes? Check out our comprehensive prediabetes diet recommendations.
Have you joined our Diabetes Support Group yet? Led by Certified Diabetes Educator Zoe Fienman RD, LDN, use this Q&A group as a forum to learn from experts and support the community.
Kaitlyn Willwerth is a Registered Dietitian at OnPoint Nutrition. Kaitlyn's work focuses on providing individualized health and lifestyle coaching and, most importantly, support. She is a Certified LEAP Therapist and has also completed the Monash University 'Low FODMAP Diet for IBS' online training course for health professionals.