Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy.
Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells.
It is therefore very crucial to pay attention to what you eat and that’s why we have taken the time to provide you some of the Top 10 Healthy Foods For Diabetics .
You see, the best foods for diabetes are most often whole foods that are not processed, such as fruits and vegetables. Including these extra-healthy foods in your diet will help you meet your nutritional needs as well as lower your risk of diabetes complications such as heart disease.
Not saying, all the foods on this list should be the only foods you eat, but we recommend you incorporate some or all into your diabetes meal plan as it will help improve your overall health. The nutritional benefits are too numerous but have been singled out for you because:
- They’re packed with the four healthy nutrients (fiber, omega-3s, calcium, and vitamin D).
- They’re exceptionally versatile, so you can use them in recipes, as add-ons to meals, or stand-alone snacks.
Veggies not limited to lettuce, provide amazing sources of fiber and calcium most especially the staple of Southern cooking with incredibly diverse choices such as turnip, mustard, and beet greens, as well as chard.
1 cooked cup of any of the aforementioned supplies between 3 and 6 g of fiber and 100 to 250 mg per cup of calcium.
Greens are also good for your heart, because of the folate they contain which help lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which when high in amounts can raise heart disease risk.
The importance of eating green vegetables cannot be overlooked. Packed with healthy nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, E and K (which are found in salad greens, kale and spinach), their consumption is vital for your staying healthy.
How to eat them: Greens are delicious when prepared just right! Either for use in entrées, sandwiches, and salads or simply tossing mustard, collard, or beet greens with artichoke hearts and sauté in olive oil.
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Beans varying from chickpeas to kidney beans to even edamame contain soluble fiber that helps to reduce high blood sugar.
Much more than being high in fiber, they make an excellent protein source; unlike other proteins people commonly eat (such as red meat), beans are low in saturated fat, the kind that gunks up arteries and can lead to heart disease.
How to eat them: Add them to salads, soups, chili, and more. There are so many different kinds of beans, you could conceivably have them every day for a week and not eat the same kind twice.
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3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are considered low on the glycemic index scale, and recent research suggests they may reduce episodes of low blood sugar and insulin resistance in people with diabetes. Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels.
Also, sweet potatoes possess the superior ability to raise our blood levels of vitamin A and this benefit is particularly true for children.
Choose a baked sweet potato instead of a baked white potato, and your blood sugar will rise about 30 percent less. Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and disease-fighting fibre, almost 40 percent of which is the soluble kind that lowers cholesterol and slows digestion.
How to eat them: Whichever you decide , you can have sweet Potatoes stuffed with Shrimp and Salsa or a Sweet-Potato Salad.
Oats are considered as the world’s healthiest foods. Like barley and beans, oats are a diabetes power food.
Their high soluble fiber content help slows the rate at which your body can break down and absorb carbohydrates, which inturn makes your blood sugar levels stable. Since oats help stabilise blood sugar and reduce risk of type-2 diabetes, diabetics should consume them regularly.
How to eat them: The easiest way is straight from your cereal bowl, but you can also sneak oats into all kinds of recipes, from pancakes to meat loaf to cookies.
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Dates have amazing health benefits that include relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, anaemia, abdominal cancer, heart problems, sexual dysfunctions, diarrhea, and many other conditions.
These chewy fruits aren’t too attractive at sight and a little sticky, but a pop of one in your mouth will surely reward with a sweet taste and delightful texture. Their palate-pleasing nature, combined with a generous supply of fiber (7 dates supply 4 g), makes them a perfect diabetes-friendly snack.
They’re also jam-packed with antioxidants—with more per serving than grapes, oranges, broccoli, and peppers, according to one study.
How to eat them: You can either dice dates and serve them along with frozen vanilla yoghurt or wrap with tuna or chicken salad or simply enjoy dates as they are. With each way you choose to have it, be sure you’d enjoy every single moment eating.
See them as nature’s candy: bright, flavorful, and satisfying. Berries are super packed with fiber and antioxidants called polyphenols.
Examples of berries are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currants, and blackcurrants.
With Blueberries containing antioxidants, called anthocyanins, that help keep memory sharp as you age, and raspberries containing ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties.
A cup of blackberries supplies 7.6 g of fiber while blueberries supplies contain 3.5 g. They help lower blood sugar by boosting insulin production.
How to eat them: They are great when eaten alone, but extremely yummy when stirred into oatmeal , salads or icecream. You can store berries in your freezer if you are consuming them right away because fresh berries freeze really well, that way you can always have some on hand.
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Salmons are an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12) and nutritionists highly recommend it because of its rich source of omega-3 fatty acids (3 ounces provides as much as 1,800 mg), which helps reduce the risk of heart disease, inflammation, whittle your waistline, and improve insulin resistance.
Salmon is also one of the best nondairy sources of vitamin D around.
How to eat them: Have a smoked salmon and asparagus open sandwich or salmon and potato tray bake. Either way, its beyond delicious.
Walnuts are very good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Several studies have shown that the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include reducing inflammation and providing a level of protection from chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis.
Adding walnuts to the diets of people with diabetes help minimize the impact of some other health issues that often come along with diabetes.
How to eat them: Toss them on a salad or grind them and mix them in with the breadcrumbs you’ll use to bread your chicken or fish.
Eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet. They are very good source of protein, and we know protein not only slows digestion, but also slows glucose absorption which is very helpful if you have diabetes.
Each large whole egg contains 6.3 grams of protein — 3.6 grams from the white and 2.7 from the yolk. so, when you want to make for yourself, be sure to include these nutrition superstars in your diabetes diet to lower blood sugar, burn fat, reduce inflammation, and gain more health benefits.
Barley is one of the best whole grain there is, because of it’s high fiber content, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, heart health, improve digestion, Lower High Cholesterol, Control Blood Sugar Levels and protects diabetes.
Barley is actually one of the oldest consumed grains in the world. Thanks to its fiber abundance, barley can also help steady your blood sugar while filling you up—a weight loss bonus.
How to eat it: Look for hulled barley, which isn’t as refined as the pearl barley that supermarkets typically carry (you may need to visit a health food store). Soak it overnight before cooking, then add to soups, stews, or rice pilaf.
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