8 Foods Diabetics Should Add to Their Diet
Every time you put something in your mouth, you are making a decision to either fight or feed disease. That concept is especially true for individuals with diabetes.
In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is a disease affecting the American people at epidemic proportions. Roughly 25.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease, and nearly 79 million have prediabetes, a stage of the condition in which the sugar levels are high but not high enough to be classified as diabetes at this point. And one of the number one causes is the food that people are consuming on a regular basis.
A healthy, balanced diet is an essential component in a strategy to fight diabetes. Some studies have even shown that certain foods have a particular propensity for lowering blood sugar. So individuals who have been directly or indirectly affected by the condition should consider incorporating these foods into their diets on a regular basis.
1. Non-Starchy Vegetables
Other vegetables can cause a spike in the blood sugar that is hard on the pancreas and creates cravings for more sugar-laden foods. However, this variety of vegetable keeps the blood sugar stable, satisfies the appetite, and boosts one’s intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. These vegetables are also lower in calories and carbs, meaning that individuals with diabetes can enjoy them almost without abandon. Some of the best varieties to incorporate into a diabetic diet include:
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Artichoke hearts
- Bean sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
2. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts are considered slow-burning foods that are friendly to blood sugar levels because of their high fiber and protein content. And while they contain a good bit of fit, it’s the healthy kind.
Likewise, seeds are also full of good fat, protein, and fiber that work together to keep the blood sugar stable. Instead of dumping croutons on your salad, sprinkle it with nuts or seeds instead. Some of the best to include are sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and chia.
Wild salmon and other fish are also an important component of a diabetic diet. Wild salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower heart disease risk. Plus, it and other varieties are full of vitamin D and selenium that support hair, skin, nail, and bone health. Not only that, but these foods are also free of carbohydrates that can cause spikes in one’s blood sugar. Other nutrient-dense fish varieties that should be included in a healthy diet are sardines, mackerel, and herring.
Fat plays a vital role in a healthy diet. It provides energy and essential fatty acids that help maintain skin health and regulate cholesterol and metabolism. Fat also helps stabilize the blood sugar levels and satisfy the appetite, and oils are a great place to get these important fat components. It’s important to choose the right type, though. Some of the best to incorporate into a diabetic diet include, olive, coconut, flaxseed, and pumpkin seed oils.
Eggs are rich in protein and essential nutrients, so they’re an ideal addition to a healthy diet for diabetics. They are also an excellent source of potassium, which supports nerve and muscle health, an important consideration for diabetics. It’s important to limit one’s consumption of this food, though, as it does contain a significant amount of cholesterol. Diabetics should avoid eating them more than three times a week.
This common spice is a great addition to any diet. It contains a substance known as MHCP that helps regulate the body’s ability to respond to insulin and remove glucose. One to six grams of cinnamon daily can lower glucose levels by as much as 29 percent.
This unique fruit has a variety of health benefits, including preventing arthritis and lowering the risk of atherosclerosis, which causes roughly 80 percent of deaths in diabetics. The sugar in the juice also does not seem to affect blood sugar levels.
Apples and other fruit work wonders in supporting overall health, but recent studies have also found that this fruit along with blueberries and grapes consumed at least twice a week can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 23 percent.
Food choices have a significant impact on one’s health. Incorporating these foods into an otherwise balanced diet is an effective way to begin naturally monitoring diabetes and concurrent blood sugar levels.