Your diet can play an important role in the prevention and control of Diabetes.
Your primary goal should be to control your Blood Sugar levels, so it’s important to eat foods that help prevent complications of Diabetes, such as heart disease.
1. Fat-rich Fish
Salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel are important sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are great for heart health, and getting enough of these fats on a regular basis is especially important for people with Diabetes because of their increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
DHA and EPA protect the cells in blood vessels, reduce inflammatory markers, and may help improve arterial function.
Studies have shown that people who regularly eat fat-rich fish have a lower risk of acute coronary syndromes such as heart disease and are less likely to die from heart disease. Studies have shown that eating fat-rich fish may also help regulate blood sugar.
A study involving 68 overweight or obese adults found that participants who ate fat-rich fish had significantly better postprandial blood glucose levels than those who ate lean fish. Fish is also a great source of high-quality protein, which can help you feel full and help stabilize blood sugar levels.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are nutritious and low in calories.
They are also low in digestible or absorbable carbohydrates, so they do not significantly affect blood sugar levels.
Spinach, collard greens and other leafy greens are good sources of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. Some evidence suggests that people with diabetes have lower levels of vitamin C than non-diabetics, so they may need more of it.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and also has anti-inflammatory effects, so increasing dietary intake of vitamin C-rich foods may help increase serum vitamin C levels in people with diabetes while reducing inflammation and cell damage.
Avocados have less than 1 gram of sugar, few carbohydrates, high fiber content, and healthy fats, so you don’t have to worry about them raising your blood sugar levels.
Avocado consumption is also associated with improved overall diet quality and a significant reduction in body weight and body mass index (BMI). This makes avocados an ideal snack for people with diabetes, especially since obesity increases the risk of developing diabetes and avocados may have preventive properties against diabetes.
A 2019 mouse study found that avocatin B (AvoB), a fatty molecule found only in avocados, inhibits incomplete oxidation in skeletal muscle and the pancreas, thereby reducing insulin resistance, so more human studies are needed to establish a link between avocados and diabetes prevention.
Regular consumption of eggs can reduce your risk of heart disease in several ways.
Eggs can reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and change the size and shape of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
A 2019 study found that eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate breakfast of eggs could help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels throughout the day. Earlier studies in the past have linked egg consumption to heart disease in people with diabetes.
However, a recent review of controlled studies found that eating 6 to 12 eggs per week as part of a nutritious diet did not increase risk factors for heart disease in people with diabetes . In addition, some studies suggest that eating eggs may reduce the risk of stroke.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are the seeds of the family Lamiaceae, which originates from Central and South America (northern Mexico and the Guatemala generation), and the word chia comes from the ancient Aztec word Chian, meaning rich in oil. The seeds range in color from black, gray, black speckled to white, and are oval in shape and range in size from 1 mm to 2 mm.
The nutritional composition of chia seeds is mainly 31% fat, 26% carbohydrate, 18% dietary fiber, and 16% gluten-free protein, with a special feature of 68% alpha-linolenic acid (a type of omega 3) in the oil, which is much higher than other seeds.
In addition, it is a source of many vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin A) and minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium). Chia seeds are an excellent food for diabetics.
They are extremely high in fiber but low in digestible carbohydrates. In fact, 11 of the 12 grams of carbohydrates in a 28-gram (1-ounce) serving of chia seeds are fiber, which does not raise blood sugar.
The sticky fiber in chia seeds actually lowers blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which food passes through the intestines and is absorbed. Chia seeds can help you achieve moderate weight loss because the fiber reduces hunger and makes you feel full. Chia seeds may also help maintain blood sugar management in people with diabetes.
A study involving 77 overweight or obese adults with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes found that chia seed consumption helped reduce weight and helped maintain good blood sugar control. In addition, chia seeds have been shown to help lower blood pressure and inflammatory markers.
Beans are affordable, nutritious, and super healthy.
Beans are a legume rich in vitamin B, beneficial minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) and fiber.
They also have a very low glycemic index (GI), which is important for managing diabetes. Legumes may also help prevent diabetes. In a study involving more than 3,000 participants at high risk for cardiovascular disease, people with higher intakes of legumes had lower rates of type 2 diabetes.
7. Probiotic Yogurt
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the human intestine and improve digestion and overall health.
Some studies in 2011 showed that consumption of probiotic yogurt may improve cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
A review of studies suggests that probiotic foods may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and increase insulin sensitivity.
People can choose unsweetened natural yogurt, such as Greek yogurt. Probiotic yogurt will contain active cultures of bacteria called Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium, and people can add berries and nuts to their yogurt for a healthy breakfast or dessert.
8. Cinnamon & Turmeric
Spices are powerful tools, especially when it comes to controlling diabetes. Both cinnamon and turmeric should be added to your diet daily for best results, and this can easily be done in just a few simple steps.
Cinnamon can be added to almost any food or beverage to add flavor and a little kick. Cinnamon has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and lower hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels.
Turmeric can also lower inflammation and blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and benefit kidney health. Just make sure to mix turmeric with black pepper to activate the beneficial ingredient curcumin.
Nuts are tasty and nutritious. Most types of nuts contain fiber and are low in carbohydrates.
Studies on various types of nuts have shown that regular consumption can reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar, HbA1c and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
A 2019 study involving more than 16,000 participants with type 2 diabetes found that consumption of nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios) reduced their risk of heart disease and death.
Studies have also shown that nuts can improve blood glucose levels. A study of people with type 2 diabetes found that daily consumption of walnut oil improved blood sugar levels.
10. Green Cauliflower
Green cauliflower is one of the most nutritious vegetables we have around.
Half a cup of cooked green cauliflower contains only 27 calories and 3 grams of digestible carbohydrates, as well as important nutrients such as vitamin C and magnesium . Green cauliflower can also help control your blood sugar levels.
One study found that consuming green cauliflower sprouts lowered blood sugar in people with diabetes. This reduction in blood glucose levels may be due to sulforaphane, a chemical found in cruciferous vegetables.
11. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil contains oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that improves blood sugar management, lowers fasting and postprandial triglyceride levels, and has antioxidant properties.
This is important because people with diabetes often have difficulty controlling blood sugar levels and have high triglyceride levels. Oleic acid can also stimulate the fullness hormone GLP-1.
In a large analysis of 32 studies on different types of fats, olive oil was the only one shown to reduce the risk of heart disease . Olive oil also contains antioxidants called polyphenols.
Polyphenols reduce inflammation, protect the cells lining the blood vessels, prevent oxidative damage to LDL (bad) cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
Extra virgin olive oil is unrefined, so it retains the antioxidants and other properties that make it so healthy. Always choose a reputable extra virgin olive oil, as many are blended with cheaper oils such as corn and soy.
Flaxseeds are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats, fiber and other unique plant compounds. Some of their insoluble fiber consists of lignans, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood sugar management.
A review of 25 randomized clinical trials found a significant association between whole flaxseed supplementation and lower blood sugar. Flaxseed may also be helpful in lowering blood pressure.
A 2016 study involving participants with prediabetes found that daily intake of flaxseed meal lowered blood pressure. More research is needed to investigate how flaxseed can help prevent or control diabetes.
Overall, flaxseed is good for your heart and intestinal health. In addition, flaxseed is very high in viscous fiber, which may improve gut health, insulin sensitivity, and satiety.
13. Fruit Vinegar
Fruit vinegar has many health benefits. Although it is made from fruit, the sugar in the fruit is fermented into acetic acid. The resulting product contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrates per tablespoon.
In one study, vinegar reduced postprandial hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and hypertriglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes without affecting lipolysis. The effect of vinegar on carbohydrate metabolism may be partially attributed to increased glucose intake, suggesting improved insulin action in skeletal muscle.
According to a comprehensive analysis of six studies, including 317 patients with type 2 diabetes, vinegar was beneficial for fasting blood glucose levels and HbA1c.
Fruit vinegar may also have many other health properties, including antibacterial and antioxidant effects. To add fruit vinegar to your daily diet, take 4 tablespoons per day. 14.
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which give them their red color. They also contain polyphenols, which are beneficial plant compounds with antioxidant properties.
A 2017 study found that six weeks of polyphenols in strawberries and cranberries improved insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese adults who did not have diabetes.
This is important because low insulin sensitivity can cause blood glucose levels to become too high.
One cup of strawberries contains about 53.1 calories and 12.7 g of carbohydrates , and this serving also provides more than 100% of the reference daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, which provides additional anti-inflammatory benefits for heart health.
Garlic is small, low in calories, and rich in nutrients.
One clove (3 g) of raw garlic contains approximately 4 calories and contains
- Manganese: 2% of the Recommended Daily Reference Intake (DV)
- Vitamin B6: 2% of DV
- Vitamin C: 1% of DV
- Selenium: 1% of DV
- Fiber: 0.06 g
Studies have shown that garlic helps improve blood sugar management and helps lower blood pressure and regulate cholesterol. 16.
Pumpkin comes in many varieties and is one of the healthiest vegetables. This dense, filling food is quite low in calories and has a low glycemic index.
Winter varieties have hard shells and include acorn pumpkins, large pumpkins, and pecan pumpkins. Summer pumpkins have a soft skin and are edible. The most common types are the summer squash and the Italian pumpkin. Like most vegetables, pumpkin contains beneficial antioxidants and has less sugar than sweet potatoes.
Studies have shown that pumpkin polysaccharides, also present in pumpkin, improve insulin tolerance and lower serum glucose levels in rats. Although few studies have been conducted in humans, a small study in humans found that pumpkin can rapidly and effectively lower blood glucose levels in high-risk diabetics.
Although more human studies are needed to confirm the health benefits of pumpkin, the health benefits of pumpkin make it a great addition to any meal.
17. Konjac noodles
Konjac noodles are sometimes translated as konjac noodles in English, or shirataki noodles in North America after the original Japanese name. Konjac noodles are made by extracting glucomannan from konjac root and mixing it with lime and water to form the gel-like substance konnyaku, which is sometimes called konnyaku noodles. Konnyaku noodles are very suitable for diabetes and weight management.
Glucomannan is a sticky fiber that helps you feel full and satisfied. More importantly, it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels after eating and to improve risk factors for heart disease in people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
In one study, glucomannan significantly reduced fasting blood glucose, serum insulin and cholesterol levels in diabetic rats. A 3.5 oz (100 g) serving of Konjac noodles also contains only 3 g of digestible carbohydrates and only 10 calories per serving.
Asparagus is rich in folate – just four stalks contain 89 mg of the nutrient, which is about 22% of the RDI, making it one of the best foods for people with diabetes.
According to a comprehensive analysis published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, folic acid supplementation may reduce cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes by lowering homocysteine levels.
A Canadian study found that an insoluble fiber found in onions, called oligofructose, which is beneficial for intestinal health, can increase levels of famine (a hormone that controls hunger) and lower blood sugar levels.
This onion may also help people with diabetes in another way.
According to a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, due to their bioactive sulfur compounds, onions may help lower cholesterol, prevent atherosclerosis, and help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Eat onions raw for better benefits whenever possible! A study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that raw onions have stronger cholesterol-lowering properties than cooked onions.