Figuring out how to adapt what you eat and when is a big challenge for people who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes. Once you find something that works well, it makes sense to stick with it, as this reader did.
Switching to Tomato Juice:
Q. I used to eat yogurt, apples or oranges before I went to bed. I am a type 2 diabetic.
Recently I changed to drinking tomato juice before bed. My morning blood sugar has been below 100 ever since. Before that, it was usually around 120. Could tomato juice be lowering my blood sugar?
Less Sugar Before Bed:
A. We are delighted to learn of your success with tomato juice. It might be due to less sugar in the juice compared to your previous bedtime snacks. A cup of yogurt, an apple and an orange each contain between 15 and 18 grams of carbohydrate, while 8 ounces of tomato juice contains about 10 grams.
The few studies that have been done showed no effect of tomato juice or raw tomatoes on blood sugar (Diabetes Care, June, 2000; International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, May, 2011).
What Else Can You Use to Manage Your Blood Sugar?
There are many other non-drug approaches that can be valuable for people with type 2 diabetes, including a number of foods and spices. We are sending you our Guide to Managing Diabetes with our 10 key steps for keeping blood sugar in check.
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is an Indian vegetable that lowers blood sugar. Tomatoes can be used in a tasty sauce that makes bitter melon much more appealing (Nutrition Journal, July 28, 2011).
Learn more about bitter melon, cinnamon, vinegar, nopal cactus and fenugreek for helping control blood sugar in our Guide to Managing Diabetes. You will also get the straight and skinny on the best veggies for blood sugar control and the pros and cons of popular diabetes drugs. Even if your blood glucose numbers are near normal, we think our dietary recommendations make sense for just about everyone.