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5 Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels

As we know chronically elevated blood sugar levels significantly increases the risk of developing type II diabetes. Excess sugar and insulin floating around in the bloodstream results in increased inflammation throughout the body thereby contributing to metabolic X syndrome.

Bottom line is if you’re at risk for type II diabetes, your primary objective is to get blood sugar levels in check. Cleaning up your diet is the obvious first step. Eliminating processed and refined foods, cutting out the sodas, and pulling back on the starches is sound advice.

While I typically recommend more of a Primal Blueprint type diet for individuals dealing with high blood sugar, there are a handful of specific foods that can be especially helpful.

I’ll spotlight 5 of these foods in today’s post.

More after the jump…

#1: Cocoa

Surprised? Don’t be, cocoa has been shown in recent research studies to help improve insulin sensitivity. The key here is we’re not talking about chocolate candy bars. Cocoa in its natural state is very high in antioxidants, we only screw it up when processing with sugar, milk, and other ingredients.

Cocoa powder is my first choice here. I love Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Powder, available at health food supermarkets like Whole Foods or from

Here’s  link if you’re interested in Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Powder.

This is the real deal and has zero added sugar. Great for blending into protein shakes, coffee, sprinkled on fruit, added to drinks, or used in recipes.

A secondary choice would be dark chocolate with a high cocoa count and minimal sugar. The darker the better, but just know it’s going to be somewhat bitter. A small piece of dark chocolate makes for a much better dessert than that Fudgesicle or other high sugar treat.

Go easy with the cocoa, but know it can be a beneficial food.

#2: Cinnamon

I’ve written extensively and done a video on the many benefits of cinnamon in regulating blood sugar levels. This can be very helpful in lowering levels.

I won’t go into a ton of detail here but instead will refer you to a previous post and video on “Why I’m Hooked On Cinnamon.”

Here’s my preferred choice for cinnamon. Organic Ceylon cinnamon powder from Frontier. The taste is sweet and not what you’d expect. I love this is in herbal teas.

Here’s a link to Frontier Organic Ceylon Cinnamon from

#3: Sardines and cold water fish

Yeah, believe it or not those sardines are actually a health food and have been incorporated into the Mediterranean diet for centuries.

All cold water fishes are high in omega-3 fatty acids which help to regulate blood sugar and lower inflammation. I can’t say enough about getting in more omega-3′s into your diet.

Try incorporating sardines, tuna fish, etc, into your snacks or adding to salads.

#4: Almonds and Almond Butter

High in fiber, protein, and beneficial fats, almonds can significantly help lower glucose levels. One particular study showed women who ate a one ounce serving of nuts at least five times a week were nearly 30% less likely to develop diabetes than women who rarely or never ate nuts.

The poly and monounsaturated fats in nuts improve the body’s ability to use insulin, thereby improving sensitivity. While all nuts have some benefits, I particularly like raw almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pistachios. Peanuts are actually a legume and have more likelihood of causing digestive irritation.

If you’re not big on eating nuts, try some almond butter on celery sticks for example. Almond butter is my preferred choice over peanut butter.

#5: Raw apple cider vinegar and lemon juice

These are two of my favorite tricks for helping to lower blood sugar levels. Taking two tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar with eight ounces or so of water before meals can slow the absorption of sugar into the blood. It also helps to block the digestive enzymes that change carbs to glucose (blood sugar).

If you’re going to use apple cider vinegar choose the Bragg’s brand. This is my preferred choice. It’s raw apple cider vinegar with the “mother.” See image below. You can find this at Whole Foods or other health food supermarkets.

Adding the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon to your water works in a similar fashion. Drinking a glass of water with lemon juice prior to and during your meal can help support enzyme function and stabilize blood sugar.

Wrapping up…

Obviously none of these foods are “magic bullet” fixes and they won’t counter the over-consumption of sugars and starches. Lemon in your water won’t negate that mountain of pasta from Carrabba’s. The only way to control blood sugar levels is with making changes to your diet.

These foods are merely helpers in the process and play a beneficial role in getting your blood sugar and insulin under control.

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studios. If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Charleston, you can receive a no-obligations personal training trial and consultation without risking a dime. Over 1000 Charleston area residents have transformed their bodies following our unique burst training workouts and simplified nutrition programs. Experience the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Nutrition.