Glycated hemoglobin test or HbA1c test can inform you how much low or high your blood glucose levels have been over a period like in the past few weeks or months. People suffering from diabetes are supposed to check their blood glucose levels regularly. While a blood test can measure the blood glucose level for a specific day, glycated hemoglobin test reveals about the blood glucose level over a longer duration of time. This test also helps in assessing if you have any other complication associated with diabetes.
People suffering from diabetes should go for glycated hemoglobin test whenever they plan to begin a new diet, new workout routine or change medications. There are a few foods that can help diabetics in naturally reducing their HbA1c levels. Including these foods in the daily diet can help manage blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity. Additionally, these foods can also keep a check on blood sugar spike after meals. Continue reading to know about such foods.
Foods That Can Lower the HbA1c Levels
Here, we have presented a list of foods that can significantly reduce your HbA1c level. In addition to an active lifestyle, you can include these foods in your diet to effectively manage diabetes. Interestingly, these foods can also help in reducing the risk of several complications associated with diabetes.
Legumes have a low glycemic index and are an excellent source of protein. These can be a great alternative to the red meat and are rich in antioxidants. Red meat is potentially harmful for diabetics as it can spike up the blood glucose levels. Moreover, legumes do not contain cholesterol and saturated fats unlike red meat.
Owing to its excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, turmeric is now globally recognized as a ‘super spice.’ It contains curcumin, which can naturally help manage the blood sugar levels in diabetics. Turmeric can also reduce kidney and heart problems in people, who have type 2 diabetes.
Eggs are beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes as it aids in managing blood sugar levels. If you are a type 2 diabetic you can have two eggs every day as it can help you effectively manage blood sugar levels. Eggs are also a great source of proteins and can be great for breakfast or snacking.
Peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios have high fiber content and do not elevate the blood sugar levels. Nuts keep you full for a longer duration as they are very satiating and takes time to digest. Consuming nuts can reduce your overall calorie consumption and can also help you lose excess body weight. You can also snack on a few nuts whenever hunger strikes. These can also be crushed and added to oats, desserts and other foods.
Cinnamon can significantly help reduce your HbA1c levels. Even a gram of cinnamon can help you manage your blood sugar levels if you are a type 2 diabetic. It also aids in weight loss. Cinnamon contains several antioxidants that provide all sorts of health benefits. It lowers the fasting blood sugar level and is known to also improve insulin sensitivity. For best results, consume 1-6 grams of cinnamon powder each day.
Garlic has several medicinal properties. It helps control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Consume a garlic-rich diet for optimum benefits. As an added advantage, it improves the quality and taste of your meals. Make sure to add fresh and raw garlic to your foods as the therapeutic qualities of garlic get reduced when it is cooked.
7. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds have a low glycemic index, and these can probably keep you full for long. These have insoluble fiber that can help in controlling the blood sugar level naturally. Consuming flax seeds help reduce the blood sugar level after meals. These are also known to improve insulin sensitivity.
8. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds also have a low glycemic index and are rich in fiber. These seeds are considered as one of the best foods that a diabetic can have. Chia seeds can help in effectively managing the blood sugar levels. These also prevent overeating and thus, aid in managing weight by keeping you full for long.
Kale can considerably help manage blood sugar level in type 2 diabetics, because it is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant. Kale is also high in fiber, but low in calories with a low glycemic index. It is also a wonderful source of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, iron, folate and calcium. Nevertheless, it is a general recommendation to diabetics they must try consuming more of leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and mustard greens.
10. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a finely-ground grain, which is known to prevent any spike in blood sugar levels. Diabetics are recommended to consume brown rice as it is a rich source of fiber. People with diabetes must prefer whole grains to refined grains as much as possible. Brown rice also makes you feel full for a longer duration.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can reduce the fasting blood sugar levels and is known to improve insulin sensitivity. When consumed along with meals, it surprisingly reduces the blood sugar response by almost 20%. Type-2 diabetics should consume apple cider vinegar before going to bed. It can also help you in weight loss.
12. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil can reduce the risk of several cardiovascular diseases and other complications in people with diabetes. It also helps in managing cholesterol levels. When consumed with other foods, it considerably slows down the conversion of starch into sugar. Thus, olive oil helps manage blood sugar levels in diabetics.
13. Low-Fat Yogurt
Consuming a full-fat dairy slows down the digestion; thereby, making it harder for insulin to work properly. This is also the reason why blood sugar level spikes for a few hours after consuming full-fat dairy. It is therefore advised to consume low-fat dairy – cheese and yogurt if you are a diabetic. Milk products are also a great source of vitamin D, which helps improve insulin sensitivity.
Make sure to include all these foods in your daily diet to manage your blood sugar level, especially HbA1c. Try to lead an active lifestyle to enhance the benefits of these foods. A little perseverance and determination can help you lead a healthy and normal life even with diabetes.