A healthy diet has a major role in diabetes prevention, but what can you do if you already have it? In that case, you must be even more careful about the foods on your plate. Small changes in nutrition can make a big difference for your health.
Essential Foods for Diabetes Management
1. Oat flakes
Oat flakes are an amazing food, with benefits even for healthy individuals and even better for diabetics. They have a low glycemic index, which prevents insulin levels from rising. In long term, eating oat flakes can reduce blood pressure, help with weight control, and reduce the need for insulin.
Try to include fatty fish in your diet, such as salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines. Studies have shown they are linked with reducing the risks for diseases such as diabetes, depression, cerebrovascular accident, and cardiovascular disease. If you are diabetic, omega-3 fatty acids can improve insulin sensitivity and prevent weight gain. They also prevent the appearance of blood clots, a major problem for diabetics.
Beans are an exceptional source of dietary fiber, which not only offers increased satiety it also helps regulate blood sugar levels. This effect lasts throughout the entire day, not just after the meal.
4. Olive oil
As a diabetic, you can replace any other oil with olive oil. The central piece of Mediterranean cuisine is full of healthy fats and helps you prevent diabetes-related inflammation. Use it in salads and even to replace butter.
Research studies on cinnamon show that diabetics who eat as little as ½ tsp daily have significantly reduced blood sugar levels. So don’t avoid cinnamon, use this amazing spice over coffee, in your oat flakes, on top of fruits, and even in soups, stews or steaks.
6. Green leafy vegetables
A diet rich in green leafy vegetables can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Spinach, green cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, and kale all have few calories and carbs but are very healthy. Be sure to include at least on serving of vegetables daily and reap all the benefits.
7. Citrus fruits
According to recent studies, most diabetics have lower levels of vitamin C in their organisms. As a result, antioxidant-rich citrus fruits make a great snack for a diabetic. There’s no way could a vitamin C supplement replace the actual fruit. You’ll also get an important dose of dietary fiber and other important nutrients.
Grapefruits, for example, also contain an antioxidant known as naringenin, which helps balance glucose and insulin levels. Studies say eating one grapefruit every day can actually help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Nuts are now considered superfoods for good reasons. They’re loaded with healthy fats, which is very important in preventing heart diseases, especially for diabetics at increased risk for developing this condition. Also, the fats help reduce insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels. Their fiber and magnesium contents only assist further in this process.
According to studies, nuts can even help with weight loss, but remember, they are high in calories. Eating as little as one tablespoon of nuts can give you all their nutritional benefits and keep the calorie number at a decent level.
Whatever health article, diet, website or blog I read, yogurt is on the recommended foods list. The truth is, they’re right about it. It’s not just the quality protein you get from this popular dairy product; yogurt is also high in calcium, an effective aid when losing weight, and reduces the risk of becoming insulin resistant, studies say.
Avoid flavored yogurt and choose plain with no sugars or artificial sweeteners. If you think plain yogurt is rather dull, top it with berries or healthy seeds.
10. Green Tea
The modern type of job forces us to sit on a chair, in a car…etc. For lots of hours during the day. One way or another, the lack of exercise combined with fatty foods, lots of carbs, and insufficient intake of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats lead to chronic inflammation.
Green tea contains flavonoids powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, and it’s the perfect replacement for coffee, and not just for diabetics. Other equally powerful drinks are cranberry and orange juice.