If you have diabetes, you know how it can be challenging to maintain a healthy diet and control your blood sugar levels. While other factors, such as genetics, physical activity, stress, body weight, and proper medicine intake, also affect blood sugar, the foods you eat play a crucial role in managing diabetes and preventing its complications. Consuming certain foods may cause considerable spikes or fluctuations, while others promote good blood sugar control and optimize your overall health. In this article, we’ll help you plan your meals better. Read on and discover the best food items to control diabetes.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are high-nutritious but very low in digestible carbs, which means they won’t increase your blood sugar levels. Boasting high-vitamin C content, leafy greens, especially spinach and kale, can also help meet your greater daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant as it helps reduce inflammation and cellular damage. Two other antioxidants are also present in leafy greens, namely zeaxanthin, and lutein, which both aids in protecting your eyes from diabetes complications like cataracts and macular degeneration.
2. Fatty Fish
Aside from their excellent taste, fatty fishes, like mackerel, salmon, herrings, tuna, trout, anchovies, and sardines provide many health benefits. Regarded as one of the most nutritious foods on the planet,
fatty fishes have significant amounts of vital omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease inflammation, and protect the blood vessels, and encourage better artery function. Thus, reducing the risks for heart disease and stroke.
Certain nuts are rich in fiber and healthy fats but have low digestible carbohydrates, making them ideal in regulating insulin and blood sugar levels. Some nuts you could enjoy include hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, brazil nuts, and pecans. However, nuts still have fats and, like any other food, must be eaten in moderation.
4. Non-Starchy Vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables are one of the diabetic peoples' allies for a healthy diet. These veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which help control blood sugar. Some non-starchy vegetables you should eat include asparagus, artichokes, cabbage, celery, green beans, olives,
squashes, and tomatoes. Be sure to choose raw, frozen, or canned veggies, or ones with no sauce or salt additives for you to reap all their amazing benefits.
Eggs offer lots of significant health benefits. They are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein, protein but are low in carbohydrates. These elements help decrease free radicals, improve
insulin levels, promote good eye health, protect against diseases, and boost good HDL cholesterol in the body.
If you love beans in healthy salads or need to add them to your stew, don't hesitate! Beans are excellent sources of plant-based protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, B-vitamins. They are also classified as complex carbs, which means it takes more time for the body to digest them. Thus, keeping you full longer and avoiding you from increasing your carbohydrate intake in the process. With that, they work great in weight loss and controlling cholesterol and blood pressure. Some beans you
should add to your diet include pinto beans, black beans, adzuki beans, and kidney beans.
Certain seeds can help control diabetes. For instance, pumpkin seeds have high protein and healthy fat content, making them an excellent choice for managing blood sugar levels. Known as a superfood, chia seeds also do the same. They possess antioxidants, fiber, omega-3, and plant-based protein. So, top them on your salads, use them in soups, or add them into your smoothie to incorporate them nicely into your diet.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is popular among many health enthusiasts. The same should be for people with diabetes as it has many health benefits. Acetic acid aids in improving insulin levels and lowering blood sugar levels. As apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, don’t consume it directly. Instead, add 1-2 teaspoons in a glass of water and drink one daily.
9. Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt is rich in probiotics and protein but has fewer carbs, allowing it to help keep hunger at bay, manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk for heart diseases. Certain studies also associate it with
weight loss, better body composition, and lower insulin resistance.
if you’re craving something sweet, strawberries are your best bet. This tiny, vibrant fruit is rich in anthocyanins, responsible for its red color. The said antioxidant helps reduce insulin levels, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Adding its high vitamin C content, strawberries offer anti-inflammatory
properties, which also help get better overall heart health.
Avocados are low carbs but high in dietary fiber and healthy fats, which means the fruit won't impact your blood sugar levels. It is also linked to better diet quality, lower weight and body mass index, and diabetes prevention. With that, you can go ahead and eat guacamole or avocado toast without any worries.
12. Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki noodles are high in glucomannan, a viscous fiber that works excellent in weight and diabetes control. It keeps you satiated for a more extended period, making it easier to resist unhealthy foods. Plus, it aids in reducing blood sugar levels, lessening the risk for heart disease and blood glucose spikes.
13. Whole Grains
People with diabetes need fiber-rich foods to slow down the digestion process and delay nutrient absorption to stabilize blood sugar levels. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber and are considered low glycemic foods, which means they won’t cause a significant impact on blood sugar. Some whole grains to consider include quinoa, bulgur, rye, millet, and buckwheat.
14. Citrus Fruits
While citrus fruits have a sweet flavor, they rank lower on the glycemic index than dates, pineapples, watermelons, and bananas. Eating citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are packed with
antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber, making them a great addition to a nutritious diabetic meal plan.
Apples are a healthful snack for people with diabetes. The fruit contains fiber and plant compounds, such as gallic acid, quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid, which help lower blood sugar and manage insulin levels.