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Best Breakfast Foods To Control Blood Sugar (+Recipes)

April 5, 2022
Written by
Team NutriSense
Reviewed by
Amanda D.
CD, RDN

Monitoring and tracking your blood glucose levels can feel challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the best ways to avoid blood sugar spikes is to tweak your diet and lifestyle, and a healthy breakfast is a significant part of that.

Properly breaking your fast is vital for many reasons, including to help control your blood glucose levels. Making sure you start your day with good blood sugar levels allows you to go from strength to strength and reach your health goals easily throughout the day. And a healthy breakfast is a great place to start. 

Why is this so important? Every time you eat a meal or a snack, your body breaks down the food, and sugars and other nutrients enter your bloodstream. After a meal, your blood glucose levels generally record a spike. It's more concerning for people with diabetes, whose bodies find it more challenging to deal with high blood glucose. But controlling blood sugar spikes is a good idea for everyone, so it’s essential to keep track regardless.

The good news is that some foods can help control blood sugar levels, especially at the beginning of your day. Are you stumped for healthy breakfast ideas? We’re here to help out!

Here are some of the best breakfast foods to control or even lower blood sugar levels and a few recipes to help you get started. 

1) Eggs

plate of avocado toast with eggs

It’s not surprising to see eggs on this list. Eggs are a good source of protein, which should be part of every healthy meal, including breakfast.

You may have heard that increasing the proportion of protein in your diet can help blood glucose control. And research backs it up. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating more protein is associated with an improved blood glucose response in those who have type 2 diabetes.

A 2018 study published in Food & Function found that regular egg consumption improved fasting blood glucose in those with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The study concludes that eating one large egg a day may reduce the risk of diabetes while not adversely affecting the lipid profiles of those with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Of course, remember that eggs may not suit some people as well as others, and it’s best not to overindulge. A study appearing in the journal Diabetes Care (with a follow-up of up to 20 years) suggests that eating more than one egg a day could increase some people's risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

If you can tolerate eggs, add one to your healthy breakfast for a good dose of protein with one of our favorite egg recipes.

Avocado Egg Toast Breakfast Recipe to Try

Eggs are substantial enough to keep you feeling full for hours. They go with various breakfast foods—toast comes to mind immediately. We love this low-calorie recipe for Avocado Egg Toast from Eating Well.

It uses a quarter of an avocado, a quarter teaspoon of ground pepper, one-eighth a teaspoon of garlic powder, and a fried egg atop a slice of whole-wheat or whole-grain toast garnished with one tablespoon of chopped scallions and a smidge of Sriracha. The mouthwatering dish is also low in added sugars, making it a great addition to your first meal of the day.

2) Yogurt

jar of yogurt

You likely know that dairy impacts blood glucose, but how do fermented dairy products affect your blood sugar, and what about yogurt in particular? Many connect eating fermented foods such as yogurt and cottage cheese with decreasing diabetes risk, but there’s more to the conversation. 

What has been observed is that while there’s no strong correlation between fermented dairy products (in general) and diabetes, the risk is lower specifically for yogurt. The information comes from a study by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, but research is still ongoing.

From the research there is on the subject, yogurt can be a good candidate for a healthy breakfast and may help regulate blood sugar levels. So, it’s good to have a cup of low-carbohydrate, high-protein fermented food for breakfast, especially if you’re looking to control your blood glucose. Just make sure that the kind you’re eating doesn’t have added sugars.

Very Berry Breakfast Yogurt Recipe to Try

If you’ve been longing for something simple to make and delicious to eat, look no further than this Mixed Berry Smoothie from nutritionist Jill Weisenberger. You’ll need a cup of frozen mixed berries, a cup of non-fat yogurt (you can also try Greek yogurt if you prefer that), and one tablespoon of the sweetener of your choice. You also need two tablespoons of tart juice like cranberry, pomegranate, or cherry. This can make it higher in sugar, so it may be good to consider this an optional ingredient. 

Apart from being quick to whip up, this one is doubly helpful if you want to control your blood sugar levels. Both berries and yogurt can have positive effects on glycemic and lipid profiles.

3) Chia Seeds

bowl of chia seeds and fruit

High-fiber foods can help mitigate glucose responses, and chia seeds are a good example. They are rich in protein, antioxidants, healthy fats, and fatty acids like omega-3s, all nutrients linked in some way or other with better blood glucose control.

Their soluble fiber and mucilage—the thick, gluey substance you see materialize when chia seeds are moistened—can help slow down digestion and lower LDL cholesterol.

One small study, published in Nature, found that eating bread incorporated with either whole or ground up chia seeds helped reduce blood glucose levels in healthy adults.

Another bit of research, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, also in Nature, observed “significantly lower blood glucose levels” in healthy adults from consuming chia seed bread.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Breakfast Recipe to Try

Adding chia seeds to your breakfast is an excellent option for controlling blood sugar spikes. So, dip a spoon into this delicious Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Almond Milk from Diabetes Strong.

For this yummy breakfast option, you’ll need half a cup of chia seeds, one and one-third cups of unsweetened almond milk, one-third cup of cocoa powder, four tablespoons of the sweetener of your choice, and a three-fourth teaspoon of salt. It’s high in polyunsaturated fat, protein, and fiber.

4) Whole Grain Avocado Toast

plate of avocado toast and a coffee

Yes, there’s more avocado on this list, and for a good reason! There’s a connection between eating bread and your blood glucose levels. Of course, the type of bread you eat matters too.

White bread tends to be high in starch and low in fiber; it has a higher glycemic index (GI), is digested quickly, and causes significant changes in blood sugar. However, whole-grain bread is high-fiber and has lower GI values, making it a better option when focusing on controlling blood sugar levels.

But it’s not as simple as switching to whole wheat bread. Many types of bread marketed as “whole grain” may include whole grains only in the crust, while most of the bread actually has refined white flour. So make sure you know what you’re getting when you pick something off the supermarket shelf. Remember to read the nutritional facts labels and look for 100 percent whole-grain bread.

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. All these seem to play a role in the healthy functioning of the heart and circulatory system. As far back as 1988, in research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have found that including monounsaturated fats in your diet could improve glycemic control. 

Tasty Breakfast Avocado Toast Recipe to Try

This super simple recipe from Diabetes Food Hub should allow you to have the right start to your day. The Avocado Toast with Turkey Bacon and Tomato recipe comes from the nutrition experts at the American Diabetes Association.

To make this healthy breakfast, you’ll need two slices of lean turkey bacon, half an avocado, two slices of 100 percent whole-wheat bread, a pinch each of salt and black pepper, and one plum tomato.

5) Low-Glycemic Smoothie

two green smoothies

A smoothie is chock full of the nutrients of its constituent ingredients and comes in a neat little sippable package. But that’s not the whole story. It’s generally considered better to consume whole fruit instead of fruit juice. And with smoothies, it’s easy to get it wrong: that translates to extra carbs and calories, leading to higher glucose spikes. However, there are upsides to smoothies, too.

A study on two commercially available fruit smoothies found that each contained a good amount of fiber and had a low glycemic index (GI). However, the glycemic load that they produced was medium and borderline low. So you shouldn’t feel guilty about adding a low-glycemic smoothie to your breakfast regimen, as long as you keep the fiber content up and the added sugar levels down.It’s also a good idea to add a protein source to your smoothies, like whey, plain Greek yogurt or peanut butter. 

Breakfast Berry Blast Smoothie Recipe to Try

This simple 120-calorie recipe from Cook Gem would make an excellent addition to any breakfast table. To whip it up, you need one cup of almond milk, one teaspoon of lemon juice, one cup of baby spinach, half an avocado, one cup of blueberries, half a cup of strawberries, and one tablespoon of hemp seeds.

A pinch of cinnamon powder will give your drink a mellow flavor profile. You can also modify this to suit your tastes—add a different type of leafy green, consider other berries, etc.

6) Veggie Omelet

plate of waffles and eggs and a coffee

We’ve seen how eggs, when eaten in moderation, can be good for controlling blood glucose levels. And they’re even better when whipped up into vegetable omelet form, adding tasty and nutrient-dense veggies to the mix. Even on its own (if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or don’t want to add in the eggs), a veggie omelet can be a healthy breakfast option.

Most non-starchy and leafy green vegetables are low-fat and low-carb. These include carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and asparagus. Remember to add a source of protein to your meal too.

Garden Veggie Omelet Breakfast Recipe to Try

A veggie omelet with simple garden vegetables is our pick for a delicious savory start to your morning. This one comes from Diabetes UK. The recipe uses two eggs, a pinch of white pepper, one teaspoon of rapeseed oil (our Nutrition Team suggests replacing this with olive or avocado oil), and 250 grams sliced mushrooms, and one chopped spring onion.

You can add 10 grams of low-fat cheddar cheese to make it more delectable. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms and onions, add other healthy veggies like spinach and tomatoes. 

7) Nuts and Seeds

cup of nuts

From nut butter to granola, nuts, and seeds are typically part of a healthy breakfast. They have vitamins, minerals, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids—the good kind. They’re also a good source of plant protein and are fiber-dense and low in carbohydrate content. Overall, they have a healthy nutritional profile.

According to a 2017 study published in the journal Nutrients, nuts contain compounds that help balance insulin and glucagon, both hormones involved in maintaining blood glucose levels.

So including a healthy mix of nuts and seeds in your diet is a great idea. Good options to help balance blood sugar levels include almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds. 

Breakfast Oatmeal Muffin with Pumpkin Seed Recipe to Try

This recipe for Oatmeal Muffins topped with Pumpkin Seeds and Nuts from Diabetic Foodie uses simple ingredients and is a low-sugar breakfast option.

To make these delicious muffins, you’ll need two eggs, one and a half cups of unsweetened almond milk, one banana, two tablespoons of coconut oil, a quarter cup of honey, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

You’ll also need three cups of rolled oats, a teaspoon each of baking powder and ground cinnamon, and half a teaspoon of salt. And, of course, top it all off with some pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut chips, and almond slivers.

8) Salmon

plate of salmon on toast

Fatty fish, like salmon, contain high amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. High-protein foods are generally linked with more stable blood sugar levels. There seems to be a lot of advice on how eating salmon may be good for blood glucose levels. However, there may not be enough research to connect the dots between salmon and lowered blood glucose levels.

But that shouldn’t cast aspersions on fish like salmon. That is to say that salmon is still a healthy food, high in protein and B vitamins, loaded with minerals and antioxidants, and possibly benefitting heart and brain health. A breakfast favorite—smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel may not be the healthiest option, but here’s another excellent way to use salmon.

Scrambled Eggs, Salmon, and Toast Recipe to Try

Combine the goodness of avocado, eggs, and whole-grain toast with the flavor profile of smoked salmon to light up your palate in the morning with this recipe from Bon Appétit.

You’ll need three tablespoons of minced chives, six eggs, two tablespoons of unsalted butter, a pinch of salt and pepper, four slices of whole-grain toast, an avocado, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and four ounces of smoked salmon. 

Monitor Glucose Levels and Achieve Your Health Goals with NutriSense

Adding these foods to your breakfast regimen could help in the fight against runaway blood glucose levels. But regularly monitoring and tracking your glucose data is the best way to regulate and control glucose levels properly. However, the data may be confusing to interpret, with many factors affecting these levels. Here’s where a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can help.

With a subscription to NutriSense, you can track your blood glucose levels in real-time. You’ll even have access to a team of registered dietitians to help you make sense of all the data. This puts all the information you need in your hands, allowing you to figure out how your blood sugar levels respond to food, exercise, sleep, and even stress.

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Best Breakfast Foods To Control Blood Sugar (+Recipes)
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min
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Is Oatmeal Really That Healthy?
Is Oatmeal Really That Healthy?

You may have always considered oatmeal to be a healthy breakfast option, but is it really that good for you? Let’s break down the different components of oatmeal and find out.

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14
min
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Summer Soup Recipes: An Expert Weighs in on 13 Healthy Soup Options
Summer Soup Recipes: An Expert Weighs in on 13 Healthy Soup Options

To help you make the most of the warmer weather, we asked Carlee Hayes, RDN, CD, and Nutrition Manager here at NutriSense, to share a few of her favorite summer soup recipes.

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9
min
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9 Ways to Improve Insulin Sensitivity
9 Ways to Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin resistance can create a variety of health issues and lead to type 2 diabetes. Here are nine effective ways to improve insulin sensitivity for improved metabolic health.

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8
min
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Improve Gut Health to Improve Brain Function
Improve Gut Health to Improve Brain Function

Did you know your gut influences how well your brain functions? Here are our top dietitian approved tips to boost gut health for improved cognitive functioning.

Podcast
42
min
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A Simple & Effective Tool To Help Balance Your Hormones Stat
A Simple & Effective Tool To Help Balance Your Hormones Stat

Catherine Staffieri discusses the impact of glucose on hormones, perimenopause and menopause, weight loss and the incredible benefits of using a CGM as a tool to help you feel your best.

Podcast
43
min
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The Benefits of Using CGMs in Your Health Coach Practice
The Benefits of Using CGMs in Your Health Coach Practice

To discuss how a health coach can incorporate this in their practice, Health Coach Academy invited Carlee Hayes to the show.

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12
min
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20 Mental Health and Wellness Podcasts Recommended by Dietitians
20 Mental Health and Wellness Podcasts Recommended by Dietitians

This week, we’ve compiled some of our favorite podcasts that go beyond nutrition. Here are 20 wellness-focused podcasts to add to your queue.

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12
min
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Are BCAAs Worth It? The Bottom Line on Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Are BCAAs Worth It? The Bottom Line on Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Are BCAAs worth it? This post digs into 30+ years of research to answer this question. The answer may surprise you.

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8
min
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Science Backed Tips for Menopause-Related Weight Gain
Science Backed Tips for Menopause-Related Weight Gain

Menopause can be a difficult journey, so we've compiled some of the most effective, science backed tips to help you with menopause-related weight gain.

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8
min
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Help Dad Stay Healthy this Father's Day
Help Dad Stay Healthy this Father's Day

Father’s Day is around the corner, and whether you’re celebrating your dad, a father figure, or another cherished loved one, helping them take care of their health can be the ultimate gift.

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10
min
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11 Great Low-Carb Snacks to Add to Your Diet [+ 5 Recipes our Dietitians Love]
11 Great Low-Carb Snacks to Add to Your Diet [+ 5 Recipes our Dietitians Love]

Here's a helpful list of some of our favorite low-carb snacks that can help you keep your diet varied and full of healthy nutrients.

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7
min
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Low Glycemic Index Recipe Ideas Everyone Will Enjoy
Low Glycemic Index Recipe Ideas Everyone Will Enjoy

Whether you're looking for low GI summer snacks or healthy sweet treats, this post has got you covered. Here are tasty low glycemic index recipes everyone will enjoy!

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8
min
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Do Grapes Raise Blood Sugar Levels?
Do Grapes Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

Wondering if grapes are safe for people with diabetes to include in their diet? Read on to find out.

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7
min
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The Relationship Between Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
The Relationship Between Cholesterol and Blood Sugar

Cholesterol plays a very important role in the human body, contributing to the structure of the cells, helping with vitamin D synthesis, and also promoting the production of steroid and sex hormones, like cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen. But how exactly is cholesterol connected to blood glucose levels?

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11
min
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20 Questions to Ask Your CGM Provider (with Kara Collier)
20 Questions to Ask Your CGM Provider (with Kara Collier)

We sat down with Kara Collier, our co-founder and VP of Health here at NutriSense, to take a closer look at how CGMs work and what you need to know about these devices before using one.

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7
min
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Are Carbs and Sugar the Same? 
Are Carbs and Sugar the Same? 

Are carbs and sugar the same? In this post, we break down the key differences between the two and share the benefits of complex carbohydrates.

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9
min
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Best Recovery Breakfasts to Beat Post-Workout DOMS
Best Recovery Breakfasts to Beat Post-Workout DOMS

Read on to learn more about DOMS, how long it can last, and then pick from our list of the best breakfasts to help beat that post-workout soreness, support muscle building, and encourage fat loss.

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13
min
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7 Plant-Derived Supplements to Help Lower Blood Sugar
7 Plant-Derived Supplements to Help Lower Blood Sugar

When it comes to lowering blood sugar levels, not all supplements are created equal. From ginseng to aloe vera, here are some of the best supplements to help avoid high blood sugar and encourage blood sugar control.

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8
min
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Is Bloating After Surgery Normal?
Is Bloating After Surgery Normal?

Bloating that results from a surgery can sometimes be an unexpected part of the recovery process. Is there anything you can do to reduce bloating or prevent it from happening? And what causes this bloating anyway? Read on to find the answer to these questions and much more to help you combat your post-surgery swelling. 

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9
min
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Is Fiber a Carb? 
Is Fiber a Carb? 

Learn why fiber is classified as a carb and how to increase your intake of this health promoting nutrient.

Story
9
min
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Living with Autoimmune Conditions: Parkinson’s Disease 
Living with Autoimmune Conditions: Parkinson’s Disease 

Did you know Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease? Read on to learn what it's like living with PD plus discover treatment options.

Story
10
min
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An Expert Breaks Down 11 Viral Health Trends
An Expert Breaks Down 11 Viral Health Trends

From rosemary water to dry scooping, should you be trying every new trend that hits TikTok? How can you tell which ones may help and which ones to steer clear of?

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8
min
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Does Eating Too Much Sugar Affect Your Skin?
Does Eating Too Much Sugar Affect Your Skin?

As great as sugar tastes, including too much of it in your diet can lead to certain health problems. Read on to learn more about the role sugar plays in keeping your skin healthy.

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9
min
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14 Health and Nutrition Podcasts Recommended by Dietitians
14 Health and Nutrition Podcasts Recommended by Dietitians

Read on to see which podcasts our dietitians recommend if you’re interested in learning more about nutrition and health.

Story
7
min
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Does Nicotine Affect Blood Glucose?
Does Nicotine Affect Blood Glucose?

Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco that can affect your health in various ways. Read our article to learn how it impacts blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

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9
min
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Why Everyone, Including Healthy People Should Use CGMs
Why Everyone, Including Healthy People Should Use CGMs

CGMs are now an excellent tool for anyone who wants to optimize their metabolic health. Read on to find out more about the benefits CGMs can have for healthy people!

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10
min
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Why Do People Need to Lose Weight Before Bariatric Surgery?
Why Do People Need to Lose Weight Before Bariatric Surgery?

Although bariatric surgery can be an effective way to lose weight and improve health for people who are obese, it’s a major decision. Find out what lifestyle changes you need to make before going under the knife.

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8
min
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NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Favorite Grilling Recipes
NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Favorite Grilling Recipes

Excited to fire up the grill this summer? Read on to learn if grilling is healthy for you plus check out the NutriSense Nutrition Team's favorite grilling recipes for the season.

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9
min
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How a Healthy Gut Improves Blood Sugar
How a Healthy Gut Improves Blood Sugar

Did you know that your gut health can impact your blood glucose levels? Explore ways to improve your gut health for optimal glucose levels.

Story
8
min
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Living With Autoimmune Conditions: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Living With Autoimmune Conditions: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that can cause swelling and joint pain. Learn more about how it develops and how other health conditions affect its onset.

Story
10
min
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13 Best Weight Loss Apps to Consider
13 Best Weight Loss Apps to Consider

We’ve hand-picked the best weight loss apps available. Here are the thirteen best weight loss apps.

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8
min
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What is Red Light Therapy?
What is Red Light Therapy?

An emerging treatment, red light therapy promises to prevent and treat the signs of aging and other skin issues. Read on to find out more.

Story
9
min
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Diets People are Most Likely to Give Up On [+Tips to Stick with Them]
Diets People are Most Likely to Give Up On [+Tips to Stick with Them]

Struggling to stick with a health-promoting diet? Here’s how to make it enjoyable so you can reap the benefits.

Podcast
85
min
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Kara Collier on Optimal Health Through Blood Sugar Regulation
Kara Collier on Optimal Health Through Blood Sugar Regulation

VP of Health and co-founder of NutriSense Kara Collier discusses reaching optimal health through blood sugar regulation, what a continuous glucose monitor is, and who might benefit from using it.

Podcast
16
min
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How to Turn Your Idea into a 120 Person Team with Dan Zavorotny
How to Turn Your Idea into a 120 Person Team with Dan Zavorotny

In this episode of Zero to CEO, Jason Sherman talks to Dan Zavorotny about how to turn your idea into a 120 person team in 2.5 years.

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7
min
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A Breakdown of Body Mass Index (BMI)
A Breakdown of Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body mass index is a term you may have seen tossed around quite a bit in the health world. You may know that it’s a way to measure body fat, but with so many new tests for measuring overall fitness and health, is BMI still reliable?

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8
min
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Glucose-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy This Memorial Day
Glucose-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy This Memorial Day

If you're watching your glucose levels, traditional BBQ staples may not be the best choice. Here are some recipes that will help you enjoy a Memorial Day meal without a blood sugar spike.

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8
min
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Taking Mental Health Online: Tips & Tools for Self-Care
Taking Mental Health Online: Tips & Tools for Self-Care

Mental health has a significant impact on your overall health; here are tips, tools, and apps to improve your mental wellbeing.

Story
8
min
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Can You Check Your Blood Sugar at Home Without a Meter
Can You Check Your Blood Sugar at Home Without a Meter

Living with diabetes can be a challenge, especially when it comes to keeping your blood sugar levels regulated. Learn if you can check your blood sugar at home without a meter.

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10
min
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NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Best Sunscreen for all Skin Types
NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Best Sunscreen for all Skin Types

With summer right around the corner, it’s time to make sure you have the tools you need to protect yourself from sunburn and sun damage. But how do you choose the right one for adequate sun protection?

Story
8
min
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Japanese Water Therapy & Weight Loss: What’s the Deal? 
Japanese Water Therapy & Weight Loss: What’s the Deal? 

Learn how Japanese water therapy can help with weight loss, energy levels, and detoxification.