Looking for the answer to what are the best foods for people with diabetes? Well, we got you covered. Whether you have Type 1 or 2 diabetes, you are going to have to make some changes to your life, and this is truer with your diet than anything else. However, before you start imagining a life full of dry crackers and water, do not despair. You may be surprised by the number of different diabetic foods you can eat to control diabetes.
Read on to discover the twelve best foods for people with diabetes!
A. Fruit and Veg for diabetes
If you have diabetes, you may need to lose weight. As long as you are sensible with what you eat, there is no reason that this should be a problem. Fruit and vegetables are some of the best diabetic foods to control diabetes and are exactly the sort of thing you need to eat for a healthy diet, to lose weight and to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are highly nutritious, extremely low in calories and very low in digestible carbs. These should generally be avoided as eating digestible carbs will cause blood sugar levels to rise dramatically. Leafy greens also contain vitamin C, which is beneficial for muscles and works as an anti-inflammatory.
According to studies, broccoli is one of the best diabetic foods to control diabetes. It contains vitamin C and magnesium, which are beneficial in lowering insulin levels.
Additionally, if you need to lose a few pounds, it is very low in calories, Finally, like leafy greens above, it contains antioxidants, which will help combat diseases common to people suffering from diabetes, such as cataracts.
We haven’t looked at any fruit yet so I’m opting for strawberries. Apart from being absolutely delicious, they are also very healthy. Packed full of vitamin C (for extra anti-inflammatory benefits), they are also high in an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is why strawberries are red. This antioxidant reduces cholesterol and insulin.
B. Meat for diabetes
Some people think eating meat if you are diabetic is a big no-no but meat can be very beneficial. Meat may not be one of the best diabetic foods but it’s far from the worse. Having said that, avoid processed meat. It’s unhealthy and there’s a good chance it’ll kill you in the end.
Beef is extremely high in protein and other nutrients. We’ve already mentioned not buying processed beef but also make sure the beef you buy is lean. You don’t want anything with a lot of fat. I know it’s much tastier but you’ll suffer in the long run. There’s no point eating lots of protein if it makes you put on tons of weight.
Lamb is another meat that is well worth adding to your list of diabetic foods. The recurring theme in this section is keeping everything lean and that goes for lamb. If you are not fond of lamb, you could try goat as it’s lower in saturated fats. However, you may need to go to an ethnic area to buy it.
No list of meat would be complete without chicken and a list of meats you can eat if you’re diabetic is no different. Chicken is high in protein and low in fat. Of course, you have to prepare it in a healthy way so the deep-fried chicken is out. Therefore, the best chicken cuts are skinless, boneless cuts such as chicken breast
C. Spices for diabetes
I thought I’d add a section on spices as quite often they are left out of lists of the best diabetic foods as they’re not exactly food. Having diabetes means that glucose stays in the blood, which can cause damage to the kidneys and heart. While some studies have shown that spices can help, please note that they are conclusive and results are mixed.
One such study that is inconclusive is for cinnamon. While some studies have shown that cinnamon can cut levels of blood sugar and cholesterol, the jury is still out. Still, since there is nothing better than adding cinnamon to baked goods and whole-grain bread are good options for diabetics, mixing the two together seems like a good plan to control diabetes.
There is an active component in turmeric called curcumin which may be particularly beneficial to diabetes sufferers. Studies have shown that curcumin not only reduces blood sugar levels but may also be beneficial for other complications. Research has also shown that it may even prevent diabetes although these studies are inconclusive.
Finally, we have to mention garlic. As with the two spices above, the studies for garlic are inconclusive and results mixed. Still, garlic is great for cooking and if you add it to your balanced diet, whatever its benefits for diabetes, your food will taste great no matter what.
D. Othe foods for diabetes
As I am running out of space, I thought I’d have a quick section on other best foods to control diabetes you should think about adding to your diet.
10. Extra Virgin Olive oil
EVOO is an excellent addition to your diet. Great for cooking and salads, not only is EVOO packed full of nutrients, it has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Flaxseeds contain something called lignan which has been shown to improve heart health and blood sugar control. In fact, in a study for Type 2 diabetes sufferers who took flaxseed for 12 weeks improved their hemoglobin levels.
12. Shirataki Noodles
And to round off this list of diabetic foods, one of the very best to control diabetes is Shirataki Noodles. These noodles are free of carbs and fat, help to lower blood sugar levels, and delay stomach emptying, meaning they prevent blood sugar spikes.
And there you have it. As you can see, with just a little bit of forethought, you really do not need to make a huge amount of changes to your life. You can still enjoy a varied diet full of delicious foods; the choice is yours.