Knowing the right kinds of food to eat in diabetes could be a challenge. However, by following a healthy lifestyle consistently, you can successfully live with the disease and minimise your risk for complications. In this article, I will be sharing some of the foods you can safely enjoy in diabetes.
One important thing that can help is to keep it simple. That way you will be able to carry on enjoying your meals and not endure them. Your main goal would be to control your blood sugar levels and to prevent diabetes complications such as heart disease, nerve, disease, and high blood pressure. The diet is one of the important strategies to control your blood sugar.
The healthy eating guidelines that emphasis, variety, least processed, and fresh produce are applicable in diabetes. Therefore, you can safely eat foods that fall in these categories while maintaining the correct portion size. However, certain foods provide exceptional health benefits and you can safely enjoy if living with diabetes, are as follows:
Leafy vegetables are vital foods to eat in diabetes
Leafy vegetables are very nutritious and low in calories. Because they are low in carbohydrates, they don’t significantly affect blood sugar levels. Leafy vegetables are good sources of many vitamins and minerals. Also, they are rich in antioxidants that help to protect the heart and eye health. Because leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin C, by increasing your intake of leafy vegetables, you can increase your blood vitamin C levels thereby reducing your risk for inflammation and cellular damage. Examples of leafy vegetables include spinach, kale, amaranth, lettuce, etc.
Avocados are low in carbohydrates, but high in healthy fats and fiber, therefore, they don’t raise blood sugar levels. The intake of avocados is linked with improved overall diet quality, reduced body weight/body mass index (BMI), and invariably lower metabolic syndrome risk in a study. The link to reduced body weight is very beneficial as weight loss in diabetes can be desirable. You can safely enjoy avocados as part of your meals or as snacks.
Beans are beneficial foods to eat in diabetes
Beans are legumes and they are rich in B vitamins, beneficial minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. They are very rich in fiber, low cost, and super nutritious. Beans have a very low glycemic index, meaning it does not cause a sharp increase in blood glucose a factor that is important in the management of diabetes.
Fatty fish such as sardines, anchovies, and mackerel are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are known to have profound benefits for heart health. By including enough of these fats in your diet regularly will be beneficial in protecting you from diabetes complications especially hypertension, and subsequently reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke. Fatty fish may help in regulating blood sugar according to a study that shows how high intake of fatty fish, positively affected after-meal blood glucose in overweight adults. Moreover, since fish is also a good source of high-quality protein, it could help you feel full, thereby stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
Regular intake of an egg may reduce your risk for heart disease through its contribution to decreased inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity, increased good cholesterol levels (HDL). Though eggs contain a high amount of cholesterol, and earlier research findings linked eggs intake with heart disease. Recent findings are showing that eggs could be potentially beneficial when eaten in modest amounts such as 6 eggs per week as part of a varied and healthy diet.
A regular intake of yogurt may help in promoting healthy blood sugar levels and reduce the risk for heart disease. A study involving large participants showed how a daily serving of yogurt helped to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Also, because yoghurt supplies good amount of calcium, your bones and heart will benefit. Moreover, your gut will benefit from the millions of health-promoting live bacteria that yoghurt contains.
Chia seeds and Flaxseeds
Chia seeds and flax seeds contain high amounts of fiber, which may help increase the bulk, improve the feeling of fulness, and therefore improve the weight loss experience. They have also been found to help maintain blood glucose levels which make them superfoods for people living with diabetes. Also, the seeds may contribute to reducing blood pressure and substances that induce inflammation. Additionally, Flaxseeds have a high content of omega-3 fats which makes the seed highly beneficial in reducing your risk for heart disease.
Nuts are both delicious and nutritious. They’re high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. Therefore, they may contribute to reducing blood sugar and bad cholesterol. However, since nuts are high in fats, their consumption should be in moderation.
Research evidence shows that regular consumption of nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts may reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar and improve heart health among people living with type 2 diabetes.
Broccoli is a vegetable packed with lots of vital nutrients such as vitamin C and magnesium and phytochemical compounds that help in protecting against various diseases. Because of its low carbohydrate content, it is low in calories thereby making it a wonderful addition to varieties in a diabetes diet.
Extra-virgin olive oil
Extra-virgin olive oil contains oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that helps in the management of blood sugar. It also contains polyphenol, a powerful antioxidant. People living with type 2 diabetes can benefit from the many benefits of olive oil including protection against hypertension, and heart disease.
Berries are good to eat in diabetes
Strawberries and cranberries are low-sugar fruits with powerful anti-inflammatory properties which may help to improve insulin resistance. They are also high in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, polyphenols, and vitamin C all of which impart beneficial antioxidant properties such as the reduced risk for heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Garlic has been famous for its culinary uses. Beyond its use as a spice, it is packed full of vital nutrients such as manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and selenium as well as phytochemical compounds. Garlic’s rich nutrient composition could explain its roles in lowering blood sugar, inflammation, bad cholesterol, and blood pressure in people living with diabetes.
Knowing the foods to eat in diabetes is not far-fetched. It could be as simple as following the recommended healthy eating plan for people. The rule of thumb is to be in control of the blood sugar and to prevent diabetes complications.