When it comes to avoiding spikes in your blood sugar, you know that what you eat is incredibly important. Eating sugary foods can cause dramatic highs and lows, while eating foods lower on the glycemic index can help you keep a steadier glucose state. However, research recently published in the British Journal of Nutrition indicates that even if you eat foods likely to increase your blood sugar, you can help moderate their effects simply by choosing your side dishes wisely.
The researchers investigated glucose absorption and glycemic response through a randomized, single-blind, crossover study of 16 healthy volunteers. They wanted to determine if eating foods high in polyphenols and fiber could help reduce the blood sugar spikes that often accompany the consumption of carbohydrates, such as bread.
The researchers tested the volunteers four times. For two of the visits, they consumed bread, water, and balancing sugars. At the third visit, they consumed bread, water, and a single dose of polyphenol- and fiber-rich foods (PFRF). At the fourth visit, they received a double dose of the PFRF in addition to the bread and water. The volunteers fasted prior to the visits, and the researchers took blood samples at regular intervals after the volunteers ate.
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The researchers found that for both visits at which the volunteers consumed the PFRF, the volunteers' plasma glucose levels were lower compared to their levels after the control visits. Insulin was lower as well. The researchers believe these results occurred because the PFRF inhibited components of the glucose and insulin response pathways.
So what were these polyphenol and fiber-rich foods? The researchers used a combination of strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, and green tea. I think these are all great choices. You probably know by now how much I love green tea! It's rich in polyphenols, and this research shows that it can be a good beverage choice if you're trying to monitor your blood sugar. Low glycemic fruits are also good sources of both polyphenols and fiber, particularly strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit, green bananas, and pomegranates. You also can use a product such as Advanced Polyphenol Formula to boost your polyphenol intake. But don't forget that fiber is the other half of the equation when it comes to benefiting your blood sugar.
Of course, you also need to keep in mind that these findings aren't a license to eat sugary foods whenever you want. You'll have better luck keeping your blood sugar steady by eating a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat while ensuring that your carbohydrates come from low-glycemic sources. If you are new to considering glycemic index, a good start is the American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.html. You can also use Advanced Blood Sugar Formula to promote healthy blood sugar and normal insulin sensitivity.
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