Diabetes is a serious health condition that requires careful management. Eating the right foods can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels and stay healthy.
Non-starchy vegetables, dairy products, beans, broccoli, quinoa, spinach, salmon, yogurt, nuts, and blueberries are some of the best foods to control diabetes. Non-starchy vegetables are one of the healthiest foods you can eat as a diabetic.
These nutrient-rich foods are low in calories and carbohydrates and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Eating lots of non-starchy vegetables can help keep hunger at bay and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Dairy products are an excellent source of protein and calcium to keep bones healthy. Milk, cheese, and yogurt have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels.
However, it's important to watch out for added sugars in flavored milks and yogurts, which can add significant calories in the form of simple carbohydrates. Beans are a great source of fiber and protein to keep you feeling full. They contain approximately 20 grams of carbohydrates per half-cup serving. Broccoli is low in calories and carbohydrates and contains many essential nutrients such as vitamin C and iron.
Eating this green vegetable can help fill half your plate with a healthy food. Quinoa is a complete protein that is rich in minerals such as iron and magnesium. It is also low in net carbs, making it a great food for people with diabetes. Spinach is high in vitamin K and folic acid, among other key nutrients.
A 2-cup serving of raw spinach provides just 2 grams of carbohydrates and 14 calories. Eat raw spinach in salads or add it to smoothies or sauté it with garlic and olive oil for a healthy side dish. Salmon is high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help keep your heart healthy by reducing blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. Other types of fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, and sardines also contain omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for people with diabetes who are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.
Yogurt has been linked to an 18 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes when eaten daily. Yogurt can promote healthy blood sugar levels, reduce risk factors for heart disease, and help control weight. Most types of nuts contain fiber and are low in net carbs, although some have more than others. Eating nuts regularly can reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar, HbA1c (a marker of long-term blood sugar control) and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Nuts may also improve insulin resistance and control in people already diagnosed with diabetes. Blueberries are a superfood that provide a large dose of antioxidants and fiber-rich carbohydrates that cause a lower glycemic response than many other fruits. Eating blueberries or other berries regularly may improve insulin resistance and reduce the risk of developing diabetes in people with prediabetes or a family history. If you need a quick snack, have a handful of almonds, walnuts, or other nuts.
The combination of fiber, protein, and fat slows the absorption of the small amount of carbohydrates in nuts to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels. Oranges are considered a low-glycemic food thanks to their soluble fiber content, making them a good fruit choice for people with type 2 diabetes. Eating oranges instead of drinking juice can provide antioxidants, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium which helps keep blood pressure under control. Try to eat 8 to 12 ounces of fish per week such as salmon, trout, sardines or mackerel which are good sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s work to reduce inflammation in the body so incorporating them can help prevent or improve diabetic inflammatory conditions. Swap poultry or meat for plant-based protein sources such as beans or tofu several times a week to take advantage of the benefits offered by plant-based proteins. Eating more meatless meals is associated with lower body weight. Do not forget about nuts! Most people don't come close to the amount of omega-3s they need but regular consumption of nuts has been associated with lower fasting blood glucose levels, better insulin resistance improved A1c levels.