What Strategies Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels Through Diet?


    What Strategies Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels Through Diet?

    Navigating the complexities of blood sugar management through diet can be a transformative journey for many. We've gathered insights from a Dietitian-Owner and a Registered Dietitian, among others, to share their successful experiences. From neutralizing food relationships to adopting a Mediterranean-style diet, discover the four expert strategies that have proven effective in managing clients' blood sugar levels.

    • Neutralize Food Relationships
    • Balance Carbs with Healthy Fats
    • Avoid Isolated Foods and Eat Regularly
    • Adopt a Mediterranean-Style Diet

    Neutralize Food Relationships

    I recently worked with a client with diabetes who, over the course of our time together, brought his blood sugars down into the normal (non-diabetic) range. We first spent a lot of time working on his relationship to food, which can be damaged by weight cycling and messages about how one is 'supposed to' manage diabetes. Once we were able to neutralize food for him, he was able to make sustainable changes to his eating that improved his blood sugar management. Changes made include eating vegetables more regularly, managing stress without food, menu planning, and respecting fullness.

    Heather Fiore
    Heather FioreDietitian-Owner, Free State Nutrition

    Balance Carbs with Healthy Fats

    Managing blood sugar levels through diet is possible and effective. There are many ways to do this, including balancing the grams of carbohydrates one consumes at a sitting and throughout the day. Another successful tool is eating carbohydrate-rich foods with healthy fats, like avocado, and proteins, such as fish, to slow the absorption, thereby lowering the glycemic index. It is best to eat complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables, and include intact whole grains like quinoa (as opposed to refined carbohydrates like bagels and sweets). In addition, one can add teas such as cinnamon and hibiscus, and herbs such as sage and oregano. These naturally help regulate and/or lower blood sugar levels.

    Kim Ross, MS, RD, CDN
    Kim Ross, MS, RD, CDNIntegrative Nutritionist, Kim Ross Nutrition

    Avoid Isolated Foods and Eat Regularly

    A mixed diet and eating foods in combination help the digestive system properly break down and absorb nutrients. In turn, this is one method to help manage blood sugar spikes after eating. Avoiding foods in isolation, especially carb-rich foods, is one recommendation I give to clients. Similarly, it is important to avoid long periods of fasting where the body relies on stores to raise blood sugar levels. This might also increase craving urges and dysregulate appetite due to hunger. Consistent, combined eating at regular intervals is the strategy the client and I work toward in solidarity.

    Jay Patruno
    Jay PatrunoRegistered Dietitian, NourishRX

    Adopt a Mediterranean-Style Diet

    One instance that stands out was a middle-aged gentleman with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. He was very determined not to start medication and wanted to try lifestyle modification first. I worked with him on adopting a Mediterranean-style diet, rich in whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and an abundance of vegetables.

    Over the span of six months, he not only lost a substantial amount of weight but also significantly brought his HbA1c levels down from 7.8% to 6.2%, allowing him to manage his condition without medication.

    Kelvin Fernandez
    Kelvin FernandezTutor and Medical Residency Advisor, Ace Med Boards