From sodas to cereal, today’s college diet comes jam-packed with unhealthy levels of sugars, in the forms of corn syrup and carbs. Though these two probably represent the worst on the sugar hierarchy, consuming large amounts of sugar in any form, leads to increased risk of diabetes and weight gain; along with all the health problems they carry with them.
With risks like these to everyone, it’s never been more important for even non-diabetics to monitor our sugar intake. This can be difficult, when sugar so frequently sneaks up in unexpected places, like fries, pasta, rice, and bread.
Thus, it’s important to not just eat less sugar, but also eat foods that help our bodies to metabolise it. To that end, here are five great recommendations from the experts.
A study conducted by the Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland showed that half a teaspoon of cinnamon each day increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. This helps cells in the body to convert blood sugar to energy. In the study, diabetics reported a decrease in spikes in blood sugar levels after a meal.
To incorporate this sweet spice into your everyday meals, try sprinkling it over whole wheat cereals, fruits, nuts, or even adding it to teas and other beverages. For the record, Cinnamon Toast Crunch doesn’t count as a healthy alternative…
One of the best nuts worth sprinkling that cinnamon powder on is almonds. Almonds are rich in nutrients like magnesium, protein, fiber, and chromium. These nutrients work together to balance blood sugar levels.
Fiber, for instance, slows the digestion of carbs. In addition to this, one study showed that chromium helped to reduce blood sugar levels by 23 percent after eating. It also helps to curb snacking, so people most tempted by candy bars and pastries benefit greatly from this as well. Magnesium also assists with glucose regulation, and increases sensitivity to insulin.
Include almonds in your daily diet by adding the nut to cereals, blending it into smoothies, snacking on it when the munches kick in, or even grinding it up and sprinkling it over salads or yogurt.
3. Dark Chocolate
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Yet, dark chocolate is hardly ever a favorite, even for the most die-hard candy lovers. Dark chocolate contains more real coca, making it less sweet than white and milk chocolate, but more nutritious!
Developing a taste for dark chocolate can go a long way in the fight to lower blood sugar. Chocolate comes rich in flavonoids, and this helps to boost sensitivity to insulin, while also reducing insulin resistance.
In addition to keeping blood sugars low, dark chocolate also lowers the risk of stroke, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of getting a heart attack. What other candy do you know can do that?
A less flavorful option is avocado, which everyone can enjoy in a number of ways. Some people add it to tacos, toss it in a salad, or even use it to make vegan pasta sauce. The possibilities are endless, and so are the benefits it brings to the table.
Many people know avocado is rich in fats, but monounsaturated fat is actually good for you. Why? Because this kind of fat helps the body regulate how much sugar enters the bloodstream, which in turn prevents blood sugar spikes.
To prevent stocking up on too much calories, try not to eat more than a quarter of an avocado with each meal.
5. Citrus Fruits
A flavorful food favorite, oranges and grapefruits provide many health benefits. Oranges can help to protect against cancer, and heart disease. They also help to lower the risk of viral infections.
But most importantly, researchers in China determined that two nutrients found in some citrus fruits (naringin and neohesperidin) helps to reduce blood sugar levels, while helping the body to better break down sugar into energy.
Unfortunately, the two ingredients are not usually found in lemons and lime.
There are many great foods you can add to your diet to help regulate blood sugar levels. It doesn’t always have to mean eating only bland foods, while your friends chow down on pizza and ice cream.
If you are a diabetic, please do not use this article in place of medical advice and insulin, provided by your medical practitioner.
Beware of nut allergies when trying almonds.