Your first dietary step toward a more balanced blood sugar level: ditching (most of) the packaged foods and focusing on high-quality whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and quality meats and fish. Many processed foods are high in sugar, refined grains and carbs, and artificial ingredients and flavorings while being low in blood-sugar-stabilizing fiber and protein. Of course, it's also important to be realistic. You're probably not going to be able to nix packaged foods completely, so just make a point to select those that are made from mostly whole-food ingredients, like an energy bar that lists just nuts, seeds, and dried fruit on its label. Your minimally processed diet should be heavy in nonstarchy, fiber-rich vegetables and fiber-rich fruit and whole grains. That's because fiber slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, which means you experience a more gradual rise in your blood sugar level after meals. Good sources of fiber include leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, artichokes, raspberries, pears, beans, lentils, peas, avocados, pumpkin seeds, and oatmeal. Like fiber, protein tempers insulin secretion, leading to a more gradual rise in blood sugar after a meal. It also fills you up better than any other nutrient. Eating a protein-rich breakfast is particularly important because it helps set the tone for the rest of the day. The amount of protein you need in your diet depends on a number of factors, but the general protein recommendation for healthy adults is 0.8 to 1.0 gram per kilogram of body weight (55 to 68 grams per day for someone who weighs 150 pounds). Good animal sources include wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, and pasture-raised chicken and eggs. If you're vegetarian or vegan, not to worry, we rounded up 54 sources of plant-based protein.