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May 24, 2022

Healthy Foods for Balanced Blood Sugar

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We need a healthy amount of glucose to stay alert and keep our body and mind running smoothly. Too much too quickly tires out our pancreas, and can lead to disease and imbalance. To keep blood sugars balanced, choose high fiber foods like fruits, nuts and seeds, dairy, vegetables, healthy fats and proteins, and whole grains. In balance, sugars can be a healthy part of the diet when combined with fiber and nutrients. For instance, fruits with natural sugars like apples, bananas, and oranges, keep blood glucose in check by providing plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Start grocery shopping by walking around the perimeter of the store, because less processed foods like fruits and veggies are found in these areas. The main thing to watch for is added sugar, also called "free sugars." Sugar can go by many names and is often added to highly processed foods. For example, dextrose, galactose, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and rice syrup are all types of sugars. Enjoying sugary treat is just fine, it's all about moderation and balance. Consider having dessert on Friday night to celebrate the
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end of the week, rather Cooking meals at home encourages healthy eating. For a healthy plate, add in plenty of veggies then add whole grains and protein. The USDA My Plate website has helpful resources for healthy meal planning, found here. For qualifying families, our WIC team is here to help with nutritional guidance.

Try these healthy options for balanced blood sugar:
  • Sparkling water with fresh squeezed lime instead of soda. 
  • Whole grain breads and cereals instead of white bread and sugary breakfast cereal.
  • Reach for whole fruit, which has plenty of fiber, and limit fruit juice.
  • Healthy snack and quick meal ideas:
    • Hummus with celery sticks and whole-grain pita bread
    • Cottage cheese with fresh fruit
    • Yogurt and raspberry parfait
    • Black bean burrito with avocado and spinach in a whole grain wrap
    • Baked salmon with steamed veggies
    • Celery sticks with nut butter
    • Sliced apples with almond butter
    • Hard-boiled eggs with soy sauce
    • Mozzarella string cheese
    • Sardines on whole-grain crackers 
To learn more about the benefits of healthy eating, check out this graphic from the CDC.