12 Foods That Lower Insulin Levels, Add These To Your Diet!

Posted January 13, 2021 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines

When lowering insulin levels, we often look at what foods we consume. So in this article, we’re going to take you through 12 foods that lower insulin levels.

But let’s start with the list, then we’ll head into more details about each option.

Foods and tips that lower insulin levels:

Infographic of foods that lower insulin levels
  1. Colorful fruits and vegetables
  2. Fatty fish
  3. Whole grains
  4. Legumes
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Leafy green salads
  7. Peanut Butter based meals
  8. Yogurt
  9. Avoiding dairy
  10. Lean protein
  11. Shirataki noodles
  12. Barley based meals

You have a quick list of ways to lower insulin levels, but we need to cover why lowering insulin is important.

Why Lowering Insulin Levels is Important

Normally a person’s body will maintain a balance between insulin levels and blood sugar levels. This balance allows your body to utilize glucose for energy properly while also keeping your blood glucose at a normal level.

However, a person’s cells may become resistant to insulin if they have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. This can cause an uptick in blood sugar levels. This causes the pancreas to produce an excessive amount of insulin.

Therefore, high insulin levels indicate that someone may be at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and may experience weight gain due to this.

So, now that you understand why lowering insulin levels is so crucial, let’s get into the details of how to do that.

1. Colorful fruits and vegetables can help lower insulin

Fruits and vegetables are known for their healthy compounds, but they also provide health-boosting effects.

In particular, colorful fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant properties that protect your body from harmful inflammation that can occur inside the body.

Inflammation is one potential cause of insulin resistance. So, implementing fruits and vegetables into your daily diet can help you prevent inflammation and increase insulin sensitivity.

Aside from this, eating foods that contain plant compounds are linked to higher insulin sensitivity and thereby reduce insulin levels in the body. 

However, when you’re including fruit in your diet, stick to normal portion sizes and low glycemic fruits.

When it comes to vegetables, stick to non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli.

2. Fatty fish can lower insulin

Eating fatty fish like salmon, sardine, mackerel, herring, and anchovies regularly can lower your insulin levels. These fish have a high content of omega-3 fats which help in weight loss and decreasing insulin resistance. 

Fatty fish have other benefits also, as they are a great source of protein.  

Note – If you’re not a fan of eating fish, try taking fish oil or fish oil-based supplements which provide similar effects in lowering insulin levels. 

3. Avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugar can lower insulin levels

When it comes to foods that lower insulin, even something as simple as switching to whole grain-based meals can help.

Whole grain foods can still increase one’s blood sugar levels, but they do not have as much impact as refined carbs. These types of food, such as quinoa, tend to have lower glycemic loads. This means that the food will not raise blood sugar as much compared to simple carbohydrates that have the same amount of carbs.

Whole grain food can also increase insulin sensitivity. This increased sensitivity helps in lowering insulin levels gradually.

4. Legumes are foods that lower insulin

Eating legumes such as yellow peas, lentils, navy beans, and chickpeas help lower insulin levels. They have a low glycemic index, which means they will not increase blood sugar rapidly.

Also, eating a legume-based meal helps in reducing waist circumference, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, cholesterol and also aids in weight loss, which all equally offers health benefits for diabetes patients. 

Legumes are rich in fiber and will allow you to feel fuller longer. They are also a great source of protein and are low in fat. So, legume can be great for either preventing or helping control your diabetes condition.

5. Oats lowers insulin levels

Oats are a good source of soluble dietary fiber rich in β-glucan. These are considered bioactive agents that aid in improving insulin responses and sensitivity, thereby lowering insulin levels.

They also help in maintaining glycemic control and regulating blood lipids.  

A structured review posted in a journal titled “nutrients,” stated that type 2 diabetes patients that consumed oats exhibited improved blood glucose control compared to other type 2 diabetes patients on a controlled diet.

This supports the statement that oats can increase insulin response and sensitivity supporting lower insulin levels. 

6. Leafy green salads can lower insulin levels

Leafy greens are high in a component called “Chromium.”

This is a mineral that reduces high blood sugar and lowers insulin levels while aiding weight loss.

Although leafy greens are less in carbs, fat, and calories, they have more nutrients than many other types of food. This is because they are full of protein, iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B vitamins, and Vitamin C. 

To get the maximum results, based on a study undertaken, a leafy green meal or salad should be eaten 2-3 times a day. Try leafy greens like romaine, collards, spinach, kale, arugula, beet greens, chard, herb and spring salad mixes, and mustard greens into your diet.

In particular, Senecio biafrae (a spinach leaf type green) was found to contain the highest quantities within the samples studied.

7. Peanut Butter based meals and insulin levels

12 Foods That Lower Insulin Levels

Peanut butter is a high fibrous food that helps with preventing inflammation in the body. This goes a long way in protecting from type 2 diabetes and lowering insulin levels. 

Try adding peanut butter as an addition to the spreads you use for your meals.

This can be a peanut butter toast, peanut butter salad, peanut butter smoothies (without sugar), peanut noodle salad, or even low-fat peanut cookies. 

It is important to note here that natural peanut butter contains the most benefits. Processed peanut butter, which may be cheaper, typically does not contain as many benefits.

8. Yogurt lowers insulin

The fermentation of yogurt makes it full of good bacteria called “Probiotics.” This component helps in lowering both blood sugar levels and insulin levels, by increasing insulin sensitivity.

It can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in healthy and older adults. 

Try having yogurt with a mix of colorful fruits when you want to satisfy your dessert cravings, or even as a breakfast. 

9. Avoiding dairy may lower insulin levels

Dairy products can significantly cause an increase in insulin secretion. The amino acid structure of dairy proteins can trigger a large insulin response.

So, in order to insulin levels, it may be best to supplement dairy milk with an alternative, such as almond milk. Dairy is also contained in many other products, so look for any dairy-free options.

10. Lean protein helps lower insulin

It’s important to get enough protein when trying to lower insulin levels but not from a source containing a high-fat content.

When looking for the right protein, consider lean protein like chicken or turkey without the skin.

Also, be sure to pair up these lean proteins with proteins from plants like legumes or other non-starchy vegetables, making a wholesome meal that can help lower insulin levels.

11. Shirataki Noodles can help lower insulin

Shirataki noodles are made out of glucomannan, which is a soluble fiber. This fiber content goes a long way toward reducing insulin levels and improving insulin sensitivity.

The high fiber content in these noodles allow you to feel fuller longer.

The fiber content of these noodles also slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Thus, blood sugar and insulin levels will only gradually rise compared to some other carbohydrates that will cause a rapid increase in insulin secretion.

This same mechanism of reducing insulin levels are seen in soba noodles, vermicelli noodles, buckwheat noodles

12. Barley based meals and lowering insulin levels

Barley based meals like salads, soups, or stews as an alternative to rice or potatoes help boost metabolism.

This increased metabolism helps in reducing high blood sugar and insulin levels while improving insulin sensitivity and appetite control. 

This effect of barley is exhibited when the special mixture of dietary fibers in the barley kernel reaches the gut, which stimulates the increase of good bacteria, which aids in releasing important hormones.

Conclusion

We hope this has provided a good list of foods that lower insulin. Incorporating some, or all of these foods increasingly into your diet may take time and should be done as a gradual approach. Incorporating these tips with a good exercise regime will have the most beneficial impact on your blood sugar control.

This article is not intended for medical advice, and any questions about your specific condition should be brought to your doctor’s attention.

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