A better question: How to eat more foods that cause a smaller blood sugar rise/spike? Or even, which foods to eat less when you have diabetes?

Eating with diabetes does not have to be restricting. An individualized approach that is aligned with your preferences and goals leads to the greatest long-term results. While there are no foods that lower blood sugar, we aim to guide you towards which foods to focus on and which to limit. Nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian can help incorporate the following tips into a diabetic meal plan that works best for you.

Top 5 Foods to Focus on to Minimize Blood Sugar Spikes

  1. Whole grains: Fibre-rich whole grains such as quinoa, oats and barley are digested slowly, causing a smaller spike in blood sugar levels.
  2. Unsaturated fats: Unsaturated fats can improve insulin sensitivity to assist with diabetes management. Nuts and seed can be an easy way to incorporate more healthy fats into your diet.
  3. Lean animal protein or vegetable protein: Protein has a minimal effect on glucose levels.
  4. Fruits and vegetables: Increasing your fruit and veggie consumption could reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including diabetes. Berries, citrus fruit, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables are some examples of foods that reduce blood sugar response compared to fruits and veggies with a higher glycemic index.
  5. Legumes: Eating beans, lentils and chickpeas can help stabilize blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Top 5 Foods to Limit with Diabetes

  1. Refined foods: Processed foods such as fast food and refined grains are quickly digested by the body, causing higher spikes in blood sugar levels.
  2. Saturated fats: Saturated fats found in butter, cheese, fried foods and red meat are associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to high blood sugar.
  3. Sweetened beverages or fruit juice: The large amounts of sugar found in soda or juice can raise blood glucose levels very quickly. Choose water or sugar-free drinks instead. (However, ½ cup of juice can be used to treat episodes of low blood sugar.)
  4. Sweets: Foods that are high in added sugar generally contain little or no protein and fibre. This can cause blood sugar levels to rise more than foods with protein and/or fibre. To satisfy your sugar cravings, opt for fruit or yogurt, or check our dessert recipes.
  5. Alcohol: Alcohol decreases the effectiveness of insulin and should be consumed in moderation.

Want to learn more about normal blood sugar levels for diabetes? Click here.

Register to the Glucerna® Club today for free coupons and more

Recycle icon for Glucerna<sup>®</sup> Club Canada Join the
Glucerna® Club!

  • Coupons
  • Tools
  • Recipes

The Glucerna® Club connects you to reliable, credible information to help you make good food and lifestyle choices. In joining the Glucerna® Club, you will receive coupons, tools, and recipes valued at up to $100.§

Join now
Privacy Policy