Cochin Cardiac Club

Health Blog by Dr.Uday Nair


Diabetics and pre-diabetics everywhere are looking for ways to lower blood sugar levels. When attempting to reduce blood glucose levels naturally, there are many effective approaches.
The first step is to reduce the blood sugar spikes that produce sharp increases of insulin.  

Eat the foods that lower blood sugar on the list below every day.

Start  with a salad.

Soluble fiber from the pulp of plants, such as beans, carrots, apples, and oranges, swells like a sponge in your intestines and traps starch and sugar in the niches between its molecules. Soluble means "dissolvable," and indeed, soluble fiber eventually dissolves, releasing glucose. However, that takes time. The glucose it absorbs seeps into your bloodstream slowly, so your body needs less insulin to handle it. A good way to ensure that you get enough soluble fiber is to have a salad, preferably before, rather than after, you eat a starch.

Eat high fiber foods. 

Whole grains (brown rice, oatmeal and whole wheat), beans, fresh fruits and vegetables take longer for the body to digest than low fiber foods, thus preventing blood sugar surges. To begin your day, swap a low fiber, sugary breakfast cereal with slow-cooking oatmeal. Round out every meal with a serving of fruit or vegetables.

Cut fat

Decrease cholesterol, saturated and trans fats, which increase the risk of getting diabetes, by avoiding excessive whole milk, eggs, meat, chicken and high-fat cheeses. You still need healthy fats, though. Find these in nuts, fish, avocados and vegetable oils.

Eat small amounts throughout the day

The body does much better eating smaller amounts of food, more often throughout the day. It's easier on the intestines, the pancreas, and the digestive enzymes.
Depending on your caloric intake you could eat 4-6 meals, of 400-600 calories each. Eat at least every four hours.
Also increase your water. Being chronically dehydrated is hard on the blood, the carrier of not only the blood sugar but also insulin.

Have a snack

Blend low-fat milk or plain yogurt with frozen berries for a snack. You will boost your calcium, fiber, Vitamin C and antioxidant levels and, subsequently, your body's sugar-regulating ability.

Track your Carbs

Keep your portion sizes in check, and you can keep carbohydrates in your diet. One serving equals 15g of carbs-the amount found in one slice of bread, one small piece of fruit or 1/3-cup cooked pasta or rice. Spread approximately six to eight (specific amount depends on your calorie requirements) of these small servings evenly throughout the day, and you are successfully counting carbs.

Green Tea

Green tea not only improved the metabolism of sugar in healthy humans,but actually lowered blood glucose levels in diabetics without affecting the levels of insulin in the bloodstream.

Eat a handful of nuts every day

There is evidence that eating a handful of nuts each day can help control and prevent complications of Type 2 diabetes. A study found replacing carbohydrates with a handful of unsalted, raw or roasted nuts daily helped diabetics lower their HbA1C levels  by two-thirds.If you do not have any allergies to nuts, make them a regular part of your daily diet.

Examples of healthy nuts are:

  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
Have a handful of nuts 10 to 30 minutes before your meals


Because it is high in fiber and healthy fats, flaxseed is one of the foods considered to play a role in lowering blood sugar. Also a good source of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, as well as numerous phytochemicals and nutrients, flaxseed can be added to your diet to maintain overall health.


This wonderful tasting spice has been shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels and balance cholesterol levels. Cinnamon is recommended at amounts of 1 gram a day and if taken for 40 days will continue to promote benefits for an additional 20 days. One delicious way to take cinnamon is to make tea with cinnamon sticks (boiling 2-3 sticks in 4 cups of water for 20 minutes). Or just add it to oatmeal, smoothies, or cinnamon toast.

Sweet Potatoes 

These are much lower on the glycemic index than regular potatoes due to their higher fiber content. They contain carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants and are thought to have a positive affect on insulin, and chlorogenic acid, which combats insulin resistance. Don't negate their value by using sugary sauces or toppings on them.


Cabbage is low in calories and high in fiber, with a glycemic index rating of near zero, meaning that it converts to sugar very slowly in the body.


The high sulfur and flavonoid content of onions which when consumed at a level of 2 ounces per day by diabetics caused a significant reduction in blood sugar. Onions also raise HDL and are thought to help prevent cancer as well due to their high antioxidant levels.


  • High blood sugar problems can be caused by your body's difficulty in producing enough insulin. Garlic has the ability to increase your body's natural insulin production.

    Avocados are loaded with fat — a whopping 25 to 30 grams each. Since fat has no impact on blood sugar, avocados are great additions to a low-GL diet if you eat them in moderation.
Most of the fat in avacados is monounsaturated fat, the same heart-healthy kind found in olive oil. Research suggests that diets rich in this type of fat may help keep blood sugar in check. Add some avocado to a sandwich or anything else with bread or carbs, and the fat will slow digestion of the meal, thus making it easier on your blood sugar.
The good fat in avocados may actually reverse insulin resistance, helping your body steady its blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain more soluble fiber (which stabilizes blood sugar and lowers cholesterol) and protein than any other fruit.

Cheese is also an excellent source of calcium, and studies show that getting plenty of calcium from food may help prevent insulin resistance, a harbinger of diabetes.
Meat and Fish

Meats, which are high in protein, don't affect blood sugar as much as carbohydrates. When eaten in proper portions, fish, skinless chicken breast, and lean cuts of meat are good choices for diabetics.
Salmon is an especially smart option because it also contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.(Remember 65% of people with diabetes die from either heart attack or stroke)
Meat is also a source of chromium, a mineral that enables insulin to function properly and helps the body to metabolize carbohydrates.


  • A splash of lemon on a meal is not only tasty, but the acidity of lemon juice can lower the glycemic index of the foods you splash it on.

The high acetic acid content in vinegar deactivates amylase, the enzyme that turns starch into sugar. (It doesn't matter what kind of vinegar you use.) Because it acts on starch only, it has no effect on the absorption of refined sugar. In other words, it will help if you eat bread, but not candy. But there's one more benefit: Vinegar also increases the body's sensitivity to insulin.
You should consume vinegar at the start of your meal. Put it in salad dressing or sprinkle a couple of tablespoons on meat or vegetables. Vinegar brings out the flavor of food, as salt does.

Insulin is the hormone that moves glucose, or sugar, out of your bloodstream and into your cells. Chromium is the mineral that helps insulin do its work. Several studies prove chromium supplements help diabetics lower their blood sugar and improve their insulin levels. And taking chromium dramatically improved the severe shaking, blurred vision, sleepiness, and heavy sweating for a group of people with hypoglycemia.
Chromium supplements can soon become standard treatment for diabetes.The Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake for healthy adults is 50 to 200 micrograms (mcg) per day.Consult with your doctor before taking chromium supplements.

To get chromium naturally, eat asparagus, beef, brewer’s yeast, calves’ liver, chicken, dairy products, eggs, fish and seafood, mushrooms, nuts, potatoes with skin, prunes, whole-grain products, and fresh fruit, especially apples with skin.


Get your heart rate up to moderate intensity, three to four times a week for 30 to 60 minutes for a noticeable improvement in your blood sugar levels. When you exercise, your muscles pull sugar from the blood for fuel. The more muscle tissue you have, the more sugar is needed. For this reason, exercise improves glucose levels not only during, but also after activity. Walk, swim, clean the house, garden, dance-do whatever you enjoy.


Stress releases hormones commonly known as "fight or flight" that can increase blood sugar levels. If you are chronically stressed, your sugar levels are affected even if you are eating right. Get adequate rest, indulge in a hobby and exercise to release your stress load.

Please Note:

If your blood sugar drops too low, you can eat or drink something that metabolizes rather quickly to bring it back to a healthy level. Candy, fruit juice, soda, jelly, honey or simple a tablespoon of sugar can all serve this purpose.

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