It is a known fact that more than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes. Many factors may increase your blood sugar level. But it is necessary to keep them in check, as it may lead to severe complications.
Picking up the right diet is one way to keep your blood sugar level stable. There is nothing like a perfect diet for diabetic patients. But you can add some specific foods in your diet to manage blood glucose levels. Here are the best 20 foods for diabetes.
1. Whole Grains
It is important to replace the simple sugars in the diet to more complex sources like whole grains.
Whole grains are rich in fibers and has a low glycemic index (GI) which helps to prevent the blood sugar level from rising. And the fiber in the whole grains helps slow down the glucose absorption in the blood.
You can add the following whole grains in your diet to keep blood glucose in check
- Brown rice
2. Baked Potatoes
Most people with diabetes must have heard at least once that they shouldn’t consume potatoes as they are rich in starch and contain carbohydrates which will increase blood sugar.
But it is a common misconception to avoid potatoes as they tend to have a high GI. So people with diabetes can eat potatoes as a part of a healthy diet but they should be careful in the portion they consume.
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach and cabbage are rich in nutrition and low in carbs which increases the blood sugar levels. They are also good sources of vitamins and minerals.
The increased consumption of vitamins reduce the fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes.
4. Skinless Chicken
Chicken is rich in fat and carbohydrate. But this might not necessarily be bad news for people with diabetes who loves eating chicken.
In fact, it can turn out to be a great option for diabetic patients as they are high in protein if it is prepared in the right way. For example, consuming boiled chicken will less likely raise blood sugar levels in the body.
Nuts are a good source of nutrition, fiber and are low in digestible carbs.
If you are diabetic then it is recommended to have a handful of nuts every day. But consuming all the nuts might not be a good idea as some may elevate the blood sugar level.
The following are the best nuts to include in your diet if you are diabetic
6. Skinless Turkey
If you are diabetic it doesn’t mean that you should miss your turkey on thanksgiving.
Meats are indeed higher in fat, cholesterol, and calories. But fortunately, the roasted turkey is healthy and does not increase your blood sugar level.
It is also important not to eat the skin and limit the amount of gravy to avoid any risks.
7. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds also known as linseed’s are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats, fiber, and other components.
The fiber in the flax seeds is made of lignans. It helps to improve the blood sugar level in the body. The fiber can also help in improving insulin sensitivity and gut health.
The American Diabetes Association considers that the eggs are an excellent choice of diet for people with diabetes.
Eggs contain only a little amount of carbohydrates which has no impact on the blood sugar level. It improves your insulin sensitivity and increases your good cholesterol levels.
And it is also important to consume a whole egg as most of the nutrition is found in the yolk rather than white.
9. Skim Milk
Skim milk is the same as whole milk but without extra fat.
It has the same amount of vitamin, calcium, and protein as whole milk does. As there is only a little or no fat, it is considered as a better diet for people with diabetes.
It also helps keep your heart healthy and prevent gain in weight.
10. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is served as a vegetable though it is technically a fruit containing seeds.
Squash contains very low carbohydrates compared with potatoes and sweet potatoes. Not only it has a low carb, but also rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and a good source of fiber.
Strawberries are the fifth most consumed fruit by volume in the United States. Strawberries are rich in nutrition, antioxidants and low in calories.
It helps to reduce cholesterol and improve the blood sugar level. And additionally, strawberries are a good source of vitamin C.
It is also an excellent choice for a weight loss diet as they contain a high amount of fiber.
Cucumber contains many nutritional benefits. They are low in calories, sodium, fat, and cholesterol. This makes it a great ingredient for diet meals. And high antioxidants in the cucumber helps to reduce the insulin levels after a meal.
As cucumbers are made up of 95 percent water, it is a good source to keep your body hydrated during summer.
Garlic is one of the wonderful herbal plants having numerous medicinal properties. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
When the garlic is crushed or sliced, it disturbs the compounds in them, and convert into allicin through a reaction.
Many studies proved that allicin helps to reduce the cholesterol and blood vessel stiffness.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a remedy to lose weight, improve the health of heart, and dandruff. Though it is made primarily with apple juice, the acetic acid used in fermentation reduces the carb to less than 1 gram per tablespoon.
One study found that apple cider vinegar improves blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Broccoli has many health benefits as it is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
The other good thing about broccoli is that it is low in calories. The fiber in the broccoli helps to excrete cholesterol easily and reduce the LDL-cholesterol levels by up to 6 percent.
In addition to this, the high levels of calcium and vitamin K keep your bone healthy.
16. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is packed with dozens of essential nutrition. It is a low-calorie cheese and offers a lot of protein. This makes cottage cheese the best pick for a weight loss diet.
Some studies have found that the cottage cheese helps to prevent insulin resistance. In addition to this, it is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and protein.
17. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is different from other yogurts as it doesn’t contain lactose, which is a natural sugar found in milk. So naturally, it makes a good choice to add it to a diabetic diet.
Greek yogurt is also rich in calcium, protein, probiotics, iodine, and vitamin B12. Studies found that it may lead to weight loss.
Greek yogurt has less than 7 grams of carbs per serving, which is way too less than conventional yogurt.
Turmeric is a tall plant mostly grown in Asia and Central America. It is used as an ayurvedic medicine in India because of its powerful biological properties and many health benefits.
The active ingredient called curcumin in turmeric helps to reduce the inflammation and blood sugar level. Turmeric is also rich in protein, fiber, iron, potassium, manganese and vitamin C.
19. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are an excellent choice of food for people with diabetes. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, iron, and calcium. The omega-3 fatty acids help to improve the good cholesterol in the body.
The chia seeds are also associated with a reduced risk of many medical conditions like obesity and heart disease.
Tofu is a good source of various essential amino acids and protein. Studies found that the protein present in tofu helps to lower the bad cholesterol levels in the body.
A 100 gram of serving contains only 0.7 grams of carb along with 8 grams of protein. Tofu is also a good source of iron, calcium, minerals, and, vitamins.