Skip This: Chromium
Thanks to 30 years of studies suggesting it may help control blood sugar, chromium is popular among people with type 2 diabetes. Trouble is, studies show chromium supplements improve blood sugar in those with diabetes living in areas where deficiencies are common. That’s not in the United States, where long-term studies haven’t turned up benefits.
The verdict: Save your money. “Almost everyone can get enough from whole grains, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, and other produce,” says Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the author of The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes.
“I don’t routinely recommend a chromium supplement unless there is a known deficiency.” High levels can harm the kidneys and liver and cause mood disturbances. (A safe daily intake is 50 to 200 micrograms.) Also, chromium can interfere with medications, including antacids, beta-blockers, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Next: Why you should skip Bitter Melon in a diabetic diet