The 15 Best Foods to Lower Your Blood Sugar

Your blood sugar level affects how you feel and can wreak havoc on your body if it is out of whack. What happens when your blood sugar is continuously high? And what are the 15 best foods to lower your blood sugar?  Read this post for all these answers!

Your blood sugar level affects how you feel and can wreak havoc on the body if it is out of whack. What happens when your blood sugar is continuously high? And what are the 15 best foods to lower your blood sugar?

What is your blood sugar?

To put it simply, your blood sugar is the glucose content in your blood. 

When we eat, our body gets sugar from the food we take in. The sugar changes to glucose. Then, the glucose is converted to energy for our body, including the muscles, nervous system, and organs.

The pancreas, liver, and small intestine work together to regulate the blood sugar throughout your body. The endocrine system (made up of the thyroid gland, pancreas, adrenal glands, and more) regulates processes like tissue function, reproduction, and metabolism. Almost every cell and organ in the body are affected by the endocrine system. 

The endocrine system is assisted by the organs like the kidney and heart, which have what are called secondary endocrine functions. One of the most common endocrine diseases is diabetes. This is when the body does not process glucose properly. 

Why does this happen? There is either a lack of insulin in the body, or in the case that insulin is present, the body is not using it as it should. If there is not enough insulin in the body, glucose cannot enter the cells because insulin makes the cells ready to receive the glucose.

Sounds rather complicated, doesn’t it? Let’s look at a few questions that will simplify things. Then, we’ll look at the best foods to lower your blood sugar.

A close up image of a white bowl containing Healthy Broccoli Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing being mixed, an excellent example of a food to lower blood sugar.

WHY IS BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION IMPORTANT?

When the blood sugar levels in the body are continually unstable, there is a risk of illnesses, like heart disease and diabetes. Unstable levels of glucose can mean the cells are not being fueled properly on one extreme, and on the other, the bloodstream is overloaded with glucose.

Normal blood sugar: Although blood sugar levels vary between individuals, people without diabetes should have levels around 70 to 80 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). This reading is typically seen in the daytime, and before you sit down to eat.

High blood sugar: Did you know that a lot of people in the U.S. are considered prediabetic? This means that their blood sugars are continually on the higher end of the scale. Also called hyperglycemia, this can mean an increased chance of a damaged pancreas, stroke, and risk of atherosclerosis

What can too much sugar in the body do?

Low blood sugar: Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can cause symptoms you may be familiar with. If you are not eating well, you may experience shaking, dizziness, and sweating, especially if you are doing something physical. Other signs are:

  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Blurred vision
  • Pale skin 
  • Headache
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of concentration
  • Tingling sensations
  • And at worst, loss of consciousness

Side view of two mason jars containing chocolate peanut butter overnight oats, an example of a food to lower blood sugar.

WHY IS MY BLOOD SUGAR HIGH?

Several factors can lead to you consistently having raised blood sugar levels. Being sedentary, carrying around more weight than you should, genetics, and stress all play a part. 

And while you cannot control genetics – and stress is often hard to get a handle on – you can eat a healthy diet, which is also instrumental in maintaining your blood sugar levels. 

It’s important that you stay away from refined sugar and learn where hidden sugars lurk in foods you may have thought to be healthy. Concentrate on eating whole food like vegetables, protein, and full-fat dairy. Avoid processed foods, and don’t even keep them in the house if they are too tempting!

WHAT FOODS CAN LOWER BLOOD SUGAR QUICKLY?

Not carbs, to put it simply! Carbs, which are often starch and sugar, will cause a significant rise in your blood sugar levels. If you have symptoms of a spike in blood sugar, drinking water and eating a high protein snack like cottage cheese or a hard-boiled egg can help.

But, if you are often having what you think are symptoms of high (or low) blood sugar, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor to get things straightened out.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LOWER BLOOD SUGAR?

Postprandial blood sugar is a fancy name for your blood sugar after a meal. In a non-diabetic person, your blood sugar begins to rise 10-15 minutes after a meal, peaks after an hour or two, and then returns to normal. In people without diabetes, insulin is working normally to circulate glucose throughout the body, making regulation a smooth process. 

However, this is based on eating well and eating clean. Eating clean means avoiding processed foods (they are full of hidden sugar), cooking homemade meals instead of going to restaurants, and making sure your plate includes healthy proteins and lots of veggies.

Overhead image of eggs being added to a homemade burrito mix in a cast iron pan, an example of a meal that lowers blood sugar.

WHAT SHOULD I EAT IF MY BLOOD SUGAR IS HIGH?

If your blood sugar is high, you’ll want to eat foods like whole grains, eggs, greens, melons and berries, protein, and vegetables. I’ll give you a detailed list below so you will be filled in on what the best foods to lower your blood sugar are. Then, stock up on those foods at home to make wholesome meals that will keep your blood glucose levels where they should be.

WAYS TO LOWER LOWER BLOOD SUGAR

  • Apple cider vinegar: I’m a huge fan of apple cider vinegar and drink it every day. Apple cider vinegar is known to regulate insulin sensitivity and promote lower blood sugar levels. My post on the benefits of apple cider vinegar explains in detail, but science does back up the fact that drinking it or even putting apple cider vinegar in salad dressing can reduce blood sugar levels.
  • Fiber: Because fiber slows digestion and sugar absorption, it’s a great addition to the diet. There are lots of fiber-rich foods that you can enjoy, like chickpeas, avocado, and sweet potato.
  • Exercise: I can’t stress enough how important exercise is for so many things – insulin and blood glucose regulation being two of them. What’s the best time to work out?  
  • Water: Staying hydrated is so important! Flushing out your kidneys is a pretty big bonus, and so is maintaining your blood sugar levels. Whether it’s lemon water or refreshing plain H2O, drink as much as you can every day. The recommended amount of water for women is 9 cups a day, and for men, 12.
  • Sleep: Did you know that sleep affects your blood sugar levels? Lack of sleep increases cortisol levels, which in turn, can mess with your blood sugar.
  • Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting can help maintain blood sugar levels. I think it works so well because you are eating within a certain window and when you do eat, you are concentrating on eating well. As I explain in my video on what I eat in a day on my intermittent fasting regimen, you have control over the times you eat, with no room for unhealthy snacking. Studies prove that a fasting regimen regulates your glucose.

Side view of the 5 best chia pudding recipes, lined up in jars. From left to right is blueberry vanilla chia pudding, raspberry chocolate chia pudding, strawberry matcha chia pudding, pn&j chia pudding, and mango chia pudding.

15 BEST FOODS TO LOWER YOUR BLOOD SUGAR

1. FERMENTED DAIRY

The key to fermented dairy is the probiotic content. This healthy component can benefit blood sugar levels. Read my post on the 8 best fermented foods to see how eating fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir is great for the body.

2. SAUERKRAUT

Another fermented food that is good for you is sauerkraut. Kimchi works, too, and they are both foods with antioxidants and probiotics. I’ve written a post recently on the benefits of sauerkraut, and along with fighting inflammation, it helps reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes.

Overhead view of two chicken protein bowls, alongside fresh lime, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and additional cashew lime crema for topping, a meal to lower blood sugar.

3. SEEDS

A lot of seeds do wonders for your blood sugar.

4. BROCCOLI SPROUTS

Broccoli sprouts (and broccoli) contain compounds that alleviate insulin resistance. Eating vegetables is an important part of all-around disease protection, and remember, the main part of your plate at mealtime is supposed to be healthy vegetables.

5. OKRA

Although okra is a fruit, it is often used in dishes like a vegetable. Cooking an okra and rice casserole, for example, gives you the benefit of flavonoids that help reduce blood sugar.

6. SEAFOOD

Fatty fish like salmon, along with shellfish, are excellent sources of protein. It’s the protein in fish, along with the fatty acids, that regulate sugar levels. Also, because protein fills you up, you do not overeat, and that is important to sugar regulation, too.

Close up view of homemade honey roasted peanut butter being spread on a rice cake as a food to lower blood sugar.

7. NUTS

Nuts (and nut butters!) have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. A study with participants who consumed both almonds and peanuts saw an improvement in blood glucose. They are a top-notch anti-inflammatory food as well.

8. BERRIES

I find it interesting that berries, another highly anti-inflammatory food, is also a food that works toward a healthy blood sugar level. I think it goes to show how essential it is to avoid inflammatory foods

9. LENTILS AND BEANS

Black beans are one of my favorite fibrous foods. I love them in salad and meal prep dishes, and it’s good to know that they regulate blood glucose and fight against diabetes.

Close up overhead view of a mason jar filled with a kiwi and kale smoothie, an excellent source of food for keeping the blood sugar low.

10. KALE

We all know that kale is one of the healthiest foods out there. So it’s no surprise that the flavonoids in kale are antioxidant boosting, maintain insulin resistance, and regulate glucose.

11. OATS

When it comes to oats, the fiber content in this healthy food that aids in lowering your blood sugar. Studies show that oats have a beneficial effect on glucose control.

12. AVOCADO

Not only are the fats and fiber in avocados good for you, but they also make the list of best foods to lower your blood sugar. They fight against metabolic syndrome, which includes issues with excess glucose in the blood.

An overhead image of four mason jars on the kitchen counter each filled with Easy Homemade Lemonade including Strawberry Lemonade, Blueberry Lemonade, Peach Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade, which include lemons, a citrus fruit to lower blood sugar.

13. CITRUS FRUITS

Have you read my post on the benefits of lemon water yet? I point out that lemons are an anti-inflammatory food and remember, inflammation can lead to metabolic disease, including diabetes. Eat citrus fruits, including grapefruit, which has anti-diabetic properties.

14. EGGS

It’s been proven that eggs can lower the risk of diabetes, although to note, the study was done on men only. However, a study involving men and women showed that high daily consumption of eggs increased the chances of diabetes. Other factors were involved, though, like increased consumption of trans-fats, too. Read more about the benefits of eggs in my recent post.

15. APPLES

I’ve mentioned berries and citrus fruits, and now I’ll tell you about apples. The polyphenols in apples fight cancer. Apples are also a low glycemic index food, meaning they cause a slower and lower rise in blood glucose. And remember to drink apple cider vinegar, too!

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

11 thoughts on “The 15 Best Foods to Lower Your Blood Sugar

  1. While the foods listed above are great for healthy eating and keeping blood sugars in a healthy range, it’s a little misleading to say they lower blood sugar…it’s more that they don’t cause it too spike as high as quickly or as much. If your blood sugar is already high, eating berries or nuts won’t lower it

  2. Foods,vegetables and fruits discussed in the above article is pure
    In foreign language. Some of it should be
    included in Indian terminology.

    1. I put a couple of tablespoons of ACV in a glass of water and a mix in a a couple of drops of NOW brand better stevia (pure stevia).

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