You must have heard about the nutritional advantages of foods to control diabetes. They contain a high amount of much-needed vitamins and minerals and are a great source of antioxidants that shield our bodies from cell damage. It also helps prevent the disease from getting worse.
A person with diabetes, apart from taking medication suggested by the doctor, can also consume foods that naturally control blood glucose levels. The natural herbs, spices, vegetables, and fruits will work wonders for your energy levels.
The superfoods mentioned below can play a great role in your diabetes diet. It lowers blood sugar, burns fat, reduces inflammation, and gains more health benefits. It will help you achieve a healthy and active lifestyle.
Top 5 Foods to Control Diabetes
Food is the primary source of glucose (sugar) in our bodies. This glucose helps produce energy for our system to work. Every food has a particular reaction in our system, and it is essential to monitor its pattern, especially for diabetic people.
Therefore a diet in diabetes plays a vital role. Diabetic food can help combat the symptoms of diabetes. The key to a healthy diabetic diet is to include a variety of healthy foods and fruits.
The superfoods every diabetic diet should consist of:
1. Non-starchy vegetables
Non-Starchy Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots, kale, tomatoes, etc., are packed with minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A, C, E, and K, potassium, calcium, and iron. All the green leafy vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane, which triggers several anti-inflammatory processes and helps in improving blood sugar levels.
It also helps protect blood vessels from cardiovascular damage, which is a significant concern in diabetes. These powerhouse foods are counted low on calories and carbohydrates too. Try adding these vegetables to salads, soups, and stews.
Whole fruits like strawberries, raspberries, apricots, citrus fruits like orange, grapes, etc., and yes, even apples can prove good for your A1C and overall health, fighting inflammation, normalizing your blood pressure, and more.
These fruits benefit blood sugar management by enhancing insulin sensitivity and improving glucose clearance from the blood. They are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Also, the fiber they contain will help your digestion. Hence, they make an excellent choice for people with blood sugar management issues.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains are super rich in minerals and vitamins like magnesium, chromium, iron, and folate. For people with diabetes, they are a great source of fiber too.
Choosing whole grains over refined grains helps in maintaining optimum blood sugar readings. Whole oats, quinoa, whole-grain barley, and farro are some examples of whole grains.
4. Nuts and Seeds
The combination of protein, healthy fats, and fiber in nuts and seeds makes them a great alternative to simple carbohydrate snacks like chips or crackers. They are packed with nutrients like vitamin B-1, vitamin E, copper, antioxidants, protein, and fiber, all of which are known to control blood glucose levels.
How often should a person with diabetes eat nuts and seeds? People who consume nuts and seeds at least twice a week are appeared to have a lower risk of obesity than those who never or rarely ate nuts. Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, chia seeds, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and flax seeds, are good small hunger options for people with diabetes.
5. Dairy Products
It is commonly said that dairy products such as milk and yogurt can help build strong teeth and bones. Many milk and yogurt products, along with calcium, are also a good source of vitamin D. Milk and yogurt contain carbohydrates that will be a major factor in meal planning when you are diagnosed with diabetes. So, look for dairy products that are lower in fat and added sugar.
Note: Along with a diabetic diet, it is also important to invest in some physical activity as well. One of the most major reasons for getting diabetes is the lack of physical activity.
The Food You Should Avoid
- Fried food: Processed and fried food hardly contain any fiber. In addition, they contribute to raising blood sugar levels.
- Food with high salt content: Food like packed wafers, frozen dinners, and spreads contain trans fats and unsaturated fatty acids to make them more stable. Though trans-fat does not directly raise sugar levels, they often add to an increase in insulin resistance.
- Sweets like candy and baked goods: Baked bread, pasta, and refined flour products significantly raise blood sugar.
- Refined sugar is a complete no-no: Mostly found in sodas and sweet drinks. Refined sugar means high carbohydrates. The high fructose content leads to obesity, which is a primary cause of diabetes.
Managing diabetes is all about making some easy changes in eating habits like what you eat when to eat, and how much you eat. Also, one should definitely invest in a glucometer as a diabetic diet can sometimes get tricky. It will not only help in monitoring the sugar levels but also can help you share results with family and friends.