Check Out These 8 Great Foods For Diabetic Patients
NIGERIA NEWS understands that living with diabetes does not have to mean feeling deprived of all the good foods the body requires. That is why NIGERIA NEWS is helping you as diabetic patient learn to balance your meals and make the healthiest food choices.
Once you get the hang of eating a healthy diet, you can relax and dig into a wide variety of delicious meals and snacks. The best foods for diabetes are most often whole foods that are not processed, such as fruits and vegetables.
Including these extra-healthy power foods in your diet will help you meet your nutritional needs as well as lower your risk of diabetes complications such as heart disease.
Of course, the foods on this list should not be the only foods you eat, but incorporating some or all into your diabetes meal plan will help improve your overall health.
In 2012, researchers’ studies found that eating about a cup of legumes daily resulted in better blood sugar control (for both blood glucose and A1C) and lower blood pressure.
Obviously, beans have more to boast about than being high in fibre (plant compounds that help you feel full, steady blood sugar, and even lower cholesterol; a half cup of black beans delivers more than 7 grams).
They are averagely a good source of calcium, a mineral that research shows can help burn body fat. In ½ cup of white beans, you’ll get almost 100 mg of calcium—about 10% of your daily intake.
Kidney, pinto, navy, or black beans are packed with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. They are very high in fibre too.
Another amazingly healthy fish, a 3-ounce piece of tuna contains 1,300 mg of omega-3s and a respectable amount of vitamin D to boot.
But tuna can be high in mercury, a compound that may cause neurological problems in huge doses. To be safe, buy canned light tuna instead of albacore and limit your tuna intake to 12 ounces a week.
Replacing saturated and trans fats with healthier unsaturated fats is a key recommendation for all individuals, but the type of fats consumed may play an even greater role in the health of those with type 2 diabetes.
That’s because diabetes is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Controlling weight, being active, and monitoring glucose levels through diet can help, but it’s important that heart-healthy fats and oils are the primary fats contributors to the diet.
Consumption of extra virgin olive oil is associated not only with a decreased risk of diabetes, but some research suggests it may also improve glucose usage by cells thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Make olive oil your daily “go-to” when cooking and using oils in salad dressing, and also look for ways to incorporate nuts, seeds, avocado, and cold-water fish each week.
You’re not going to find a better source of calcium and vitamin D—a potent diabetes-quelling combination—than in dairy foods like milk, cottage cheese, and yoghurt.
One study found that women who consumed more than 1,200 mg of calcium and more than 800 IU of vitamin D a day were 33% less likely to develop diabetes than those taking in less of both nutrients.
You can get these nutrients from other foods, but none combine them like dairy does. Stick to fat-free or low-fat versions of your favourite dairy foods—”regular” has a lot of saturated fat.
Cooked or raw, carrots are a healthy addition to any meal plan. While cooked carrots have the rich texture of starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, they are classified as nonstarchy veggies because they don’t contain a lot of carbohydrates.
A 1-cup serving of raw carrots has about 5 grams of carb, as does a 1/2-cup cooked serving. According to the American Diabetes Association, five baby carrots are considered a “free food” and do not need to be counted in a meal plan.
Carrots are noted for their high vitamin A, made from the antioxidant beta-carotene in carrots. This vitamin is necessary for good vision and immune function, and it may help prevent the development of some cancers.
Studies have also indicated that beta-carotene may even help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes among people who have a genetic predisposition for the disease.
These chewy fruits aren’t much to look at—plain and brown and a little sticky. But pop one in your mouth and you’ll be rewarded with a sweet taste and delightful texture.
Their palate-pleasing nature, combined with a generous supply of fibre (7 dates supply 4 g), makes them a perfect diabetes-friendly snack.
They’re also jam-packed with antioxidants—with more per serving than grapes, oranges, broccoli, and peppers amongst many other fruits and vegetables.
Higher Intakes of leafy greens and non-starchy, green vegetables in type 2 diabetics ages 65 and older was associated with decreased levels of HgbA1c and significant reductions in cardiovascular risk factors.
It’s still being studied as to whether these effects are due to the nutrient-density of vegetables – specifically vitamins A, C, and E, and magnesium whose intakes have been associated with a better glycemic control.
Best results were seen when at least 200g of vegetables were consumed each day (about 3 to 3 ½ cups), with at least 70g from green veggies (about ¾ to 1 cup).
One of the specific types of antioxidants found in blueberries are anthocyanins, which give them their blue colour. Recent research links eating foods rich in anthocyanins with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found that people who ate two or more servings of blueberries weekly reduced their risk of developing type 2 by 23 percent, even after adjusting for age, weight, and lifestyle factors.
Blueberries are part of the family of fruits containing flavonoids, known for their many health benefits, including heart health.
In addition, blueberries’ high fibre content may reduce the risk of diabetes and cognitive decline, and help keep blood sugar more level.
Recent research also shows that blueberries have an anticancer effect by inhibiting tumour growth and decreasing inflammation.