Your diet plays a crucial role in controlling diabetes, a chronic disease. You may improve your body’s response to insulin by regulating and controlling your diet which also helps manage the disease in the process. You should include high fiber, vitamins, lean protein, antioxidants, minerals, veggies, fresh fruits and lean protein when you design a healthy meal plan for a diabetic. Ideally, a diet plan for diabetics should be low in carbohydrates and calories while at the same time being rich in nutrients with moderate quantities of healthy fat.
Mind you, controlling your eating habits to keep diabetes under check doesn’t mean that you practice deprivation. It only involves wisely managing what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat.
Watch the video about the best foods to control diabetes:
We have listed the following superfoods that can help you in your fight against diabetes.
1) Fatty Fish
Many believe that fatty fish is indeed a great health food with a lot many benefits. Fish like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel and anchovies are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA which are really good for a healthy heart. As diabetes increases the risks of a heart attack or stroke, consuming a healthy amount of these fats regularly is a must. With DHA and EPA, the cells lining your blood vessels are protected and the functioning of your arteries improves as well.
You won’t have to worry one bit about your blood sugar levels rising if you consume avocados regularly as these contain even less than 1 gram of sugar, a high fiber content, some carbohydrates and healthy fats. Avocado also helps improve the overall quality of your diet while lowering your body weight and body mass index (BMI). These are therefore just the perfect snack for diabetics as they help control obesity. They also have diabetes prevention qualities.
3) Leafy Greens
Low in calories, leafy green vegetables are extremely nutritious and very effective in controlling diabetes. They have no significant effect on blood sugar as they are low in digestible carbs, or carbs that the body absorbs. Vegetables like spinach and kale are a rich sources of vitamin C and many essential minerals. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory qualities. Leafy greens are also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, both necessary antioxidants.
Eggs are a great snack with many health benefits that keep you full during the gaps between meals. Decreasing inflammation, increasing your HDL (good) cholesterol levels while checking the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and improving insulin sensitivity are the major benefits of eating eggs for diabetes patients. As per a 2019 study, a low-carb, high-fat breakfast of eggs helps manage blood sugar levels all day. Some research also suggests that eggs reduce chances of a stroke.
A type of legume-rich in Vitamin B, beneficial minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium and fiber, beans are very healthy and nutritious, yet cheap. With their low glycemic index, they help a great deal in managing and preventing diabetes. A study on more than 3,000 participants with a high risk of cardiovascular disease showed that legume, present in beans reduced the chances of type 2 diabetes by 35 percent.
6) Chia Seeds
Extremely rich in fiber, but low in digestible carbs, Chia seeds are just right for those with diabetes. In a 28 gram serving of Chia seeds, 11 of the 12 carb grams are fiber which doesn’t cause the blood sugar levels to rise. In fact, the viscous fiber in Chia seeds may actually lower blood sugar levels by slowing down food movement through the gut and its absorption. They also help in glycemic management in diabetics. Chia seeds also help in weight management as the fiber in it makes you feel full.
7) Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is our dairy product pick for people with diabetes. Consumption of Greek yogurt helps improve blood sugar management while reducing the risk of heart diseases with its probiotic ingredients. It also helps lower the levels of blood glucose and resistance to insulin. A long-term study carried out on 100,000 participants revealed that yogurt lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by 18 percent.
This is one of the most nutritious vegetables around. Half a cup of cooked broccoli comes with a meagre 27 calories and 3 grams of digestible carbs while containing important nutrients and Vitamin C and magnesium. Eating broccoli sprouts is seen to have lowered insulin levels and also giving patients protection against cellular damage. They also help manage blood sugar levels. Brocolli also helps reduce blood glucose in people with diabetes by 10 percent.
9) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar offers many health benefits. While the vinegar is made from apples, acetic acid is formed after the sugar in the fruit is fermented with the final product, the vinegar containing even less than 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon. Multiple studies conducted on 317 patients with type 2 diabetes conclude that apple cider vinegar has a positive impact on fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c. It also helps in the reduction of blood sugar response by an impressive 20 percent.
Despite its tiny size, garlic is highly nutritious. 3 grams of garlic, or one clove which is around 4 calories has-
- Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 1% of the DV
- Selenium: 1% of the DV
- Fiber: 0.06 grams
As suggested by research, garlic improves blood glucose management while also helping regulate cholesterol. Garlic also helps reduce blood pressure and regular consumption for 12 weeks showed an average 10-point decrease in blood pressure in patients.
Squash is low in calories and its glycemic index is low as well. It has beneficial antioxidants and has less sugar than sweet potatoes which makes it a healthy alternative. Research indicates that squash lowers blood glucose levels very effectively and quickly proving to be a boon for critically ill patients. Besides, the many health benefits of squash make it a great addition to your daily diet. The vegetable being quite filling also helps you check overeating.
Improper management of diabetes can cause various other serious ailments. The foods we have suggested help keep blood sugar, insulin, and inflammation under check which reduces the risk of other complications. Include these foods to create a healthy diet plan that’ll give you healthy life keeping your blood sugar under control.