Diet of diabetes for people Living with Diabetes: It doesn’t have to be difficult to figure out the best things to eat if you have diabetes.
To keep things simple, the most important goal should be to maintain your blood sugar levels under control.
It’s also critical to consume foods that aid in the prevention of diabetes complications such as heart disease.
Your food can play an important role in diabetes prevention and management.
The 16 best foods for people with diabetes, including type 1 and type 2, are listed below.
Best foods for people living with diabetes
1. Fatty fish
Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel are high in the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which offer significant heart health advantages.
People with diabetes, who have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, should make sure they get enough of these fats on a regular basis.
DHA and EPA protect the cells that line your blood vessels, lower inflammation signs, and may help your arteries work better.
People who consume fatty fish on a daily basis have a lower risk of acute coronary syndrome. Such as heart attacks, and are less likely to die from heart disease, according to research.
Consumption of fatty fish has been shown to help manage blood sugar levels in studies.
Participants who ate fatty fish had significantly lower post-meal blood sugar levels than those who ate lean fish. According to a study involving 68 individuals who were overweight or obese.
Fish is also a good source of high-quality protein, which keeps you full and keeps your blood sugar levels in check.
2. Leafy greens
Green leafy veggies are high in nutrients and low in calories.
They’re also low in digestible carbs, or carbs that the body absorbs, so they won’t have a big impact on blood sugar levels.
Many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, can be found in spinach, kale, and other leafy greens.
According to some data, people with diabetes have lower vitamin C levels than people without diabetes, and they may require more vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
People with diabetes can improve their serum vitamin C levels while lowering inflammation and cellular damage by increasing their dietary intake of vitamin C-rich foods.
Avocados have less than one gram of sugar, little carbohydrates, a high fiber content, and healthy fats, so they won’t spike your blood sugar levels.
Avocado consumption is also linked to better overall diet quality, as well as significantly lower body weight and BMI.
Avocados are therefore an excellent snack for diabetics, especially since obesity increases the risk of acquiring diabetes.
Avocados may have characteristics that help prevent diabetes.
In a mouse study published in 2019, researchers discovered that avocation B (Avon). A lipid molecule found only in avocados, suppresses incomplete oxidation in skeletal muscle and the pancreas, lowering insulin resistance.
More human research is needed to prove the link between avocados and diabetes prevention.
In numerous ways, eating eggs on a regular basis can lower your risk of heart disease.
Eggs have been shown to reduce inflammation, enhance insulin sensitivity, raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and change the size and shape of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
According to a 2019 study, eating a high-fat A low-carb breakfast of eggs can assist diabetics to maintain their blood sugar levels throughout the day.
In previous studies, eating eggs has been linked to heart disease in diabetics.
However, a recent assessment of controlled studies indicated that eating 6 to 12 eggs per week as part of a healthy diet did not raise risk factors for heart disease in adults with diabetes.
Furthermore, several studies suggest that eating eggs may lower the risk of stroke.
5. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber for diabetics.
They’re high in fiber but have low indigestible carbohydrates.
In a 28-gram (1-ounce) serving of chia seeds, 11 of the 12 grams of carbs are fiber, which doesn’t elevate blood sugar.
Chia seeds include viscous fiber that can reduce blood sugar levels by decreasing the rate at which food passes through your intestines and is absorbed.
Fiber suppresses hunger and makes you feel full, so chia seeds may help you maintain a healthy weight. Chia seeds may also assist diabetics in maintaining glycemic control.
Eating chia seeds boosts weight loss and helps maintain good glycemic control. According to a study including 77 people who were overweight or obese and were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,
Chia seeds have also been proven to aid in the reduction of blood pressure and inflammatory indicators.
Beans are inexpensive, nutrient-dense, and extremely beneficial.
There are a type of legume that is high in B vitamins, fiber, and important minerals (calcium, potassium, and magnesium).
They also have a low glycemic index, which is crucial for diabetic management.
Beans may also aid in the prevention of diabetes.
The research includes more than 3,000 people at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Those who ate more beans had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
7. Greek yogurt
A long-term study with over 100,000 participants indicated that eating a daily dish of yogurt was connected to an 18% decreased chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes.
It may also assist you in losing weight if that is a personal objective of yours.
Yogurt and other dairy foods have been shown in studies to help persons with type 2 diabetes lose weight and improve their body composition.
Yogurt’s high quantities of calcium, protein, and a kind of fat known as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may help you feel fuller for longer.
Furthermore, Greek yogurt has a lower carb content than regular yogurt, with only 6–8 grams per serving.
It’s also higher in protein, which may help you lose weight by curbing your hunger and lowering your calorie consumption.
They are both tasty and healthy.
They are high in fiber and low in net carbohydrates in general. However, some have more than others.
Regular eating of a variety of nuts has been demonstrated to reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar, HbA1c (a measure for long-term blood sugar management), and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in studies.
It may also assist diabetics to improve their cardiovascular health.
Tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios, were found to lessen the risk of heart disease and death in a 2019 study involving over 16,000 people with type 2 diabetes.
Nuts have also been shown to improve blood glucose levels in studies.
The consumption of walnut oil on a daily basis improved blood glucose levels in persons with type 2 diabetes, according to a study.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies available.
Cooked broccoli has only 27 calories and 3 grams of digestible carbs per half-cup, as well as vital minerals including vitamin C and magnesium.
Broccoli may also aid in blood sugar management.
In one study, persons with diabetes who ate broccoli sprouts had lower blood glucose levels.
Sulforaphane, a molecule found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and sprouts, is thought to be responsible for the decrease in blood glucose levels.
10. Extra-virgin olive oil
Oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat found in extra-virgin olive oil, may help with glycemic control, lower fasting and post-meal triglyceride levels, and has antioxidant qualities.
This is critical since diabetics have a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels and have high triglyceride levels.
GLP-1, a fullness hormone, may be stimulated by oleic acid.
Olive oil was the only form of fat found to lessen the risk of heart disease in a major review of 32 research that looked at different types of fat.
Polyphenols are antioxidants found in olive oil.
Polyphenols reduce inflammation, protect the cells that line your blood vessels, protect your LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidation, and lower blood pressure.
Because extra-virgin olive oil is unprocessed, it preserves antioxidants and other beneficial characteristics.
Because many olive oils are blended with lesser oils like maize and soy, make sure you purchase extra-virgin olive oil from a trusted source.
Flaxseeds, which are also known as common flax or linseeds, are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fats, fiber, and other unique plant chemicals.
Lignans make up a chunk of their insoluble fiber, which may help lower heart disease risk and enhance blood sugar control.
A study of 25 randomized clinical trials discovered a link between whole flaxseed consumption and lower blood glucose levels.
Flaxseeds may also aid in the reduction of blood pressure.
A 2016 research of prediabetic subjects found that consuming flaxseed powder on a regular basis reduced blood pressure but did not improve glycemic control or insulin resistance.
More research into how flaxseed can help prevent or manage diabetes is needed.
Flaxseed, on the other hand, is good for your heart and intestines.
Flaxseeds are also high in viscous fiber, which helps with gut health, insulin sensitivity, and satiety.
12. Apple cider vinegar and vinegar
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar and ordinary vinegar are numerous.
Despite the fact that it’s manufactured from apples, the fruit’s sugar gets fermented into acetic acid. The finished product has a carb content of less than 1 gram per tablespoon.
According to a meta-analysis of six trials including 317 people with type 2 diabetes, vinegar had favorable effects on fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c.
Apple cider vinegar may provide a variety of other health benefits, such as antibacterial and antioxidant qualities. However, additional research is required to validate its health benefits.
Start with 4 tablespoons mixed in a glass of water each day before each meal to introduce apple cider vinegar into your diet. It’s worth noting that you might want to use 1 teaspoon per glass of water to keep the flavor from being overpowering. Increase to 4 tablespoons each day at the most.
Anthocyanins, the antioxidants that give strawberries their red color, are abundant in strawberries.
Polyphenols, which are beneficial plant components with antioxidant characteristics, are also present.
According to a 2017 study, the ingestion of polyphenols from strawberries and cranberries for six weeks enhanced insulin sensitivity in people who were overweight or obese but did not have diabetes.
This is significant because decreased insulin sensitivity can lead to dangerously high blood sugar levels.
A cup of strawberries has 53.1 calories and 12.7 grams of carbohydrates, three of which are fiber.
This meal also contains more than 100% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, which has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to heart health.
Garlic is highly nutritious for its small size and low calorie count.
One raw garlic clove (3 grams), which has about 4 calories, includes:
- Manganese accounts for about 2% of the daily value (DV).
- vitamin B6: 2% of the daily value
- Vitamin C: 1% of the Daily Value
- Selenium: 1% of the Daily Value
- fiber: 0.06 gram
Garlic has been shown in studies to help with blood glucose management and cholesterol regulation.
Although many studies show garlic is a proven good alternative for patients with diabetes who use excessive amounts of garlic in their diets, the meta-analysis cited above only used serving sizes ranging from 0.05 to 1.5 grams.
To put things in perspective, one garlic clove weighs about 3 grams.
Garlic has also been shown to lower blood pressure and manage cholesterol levels in studies.
Squash, which comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, is one of the healthiest vegetables available.
The dense, satisfying dish has a low glycemic index and is relatively low in calories.
Acorn, pumpkin, and butternut are winter types with a hard shell.
The soft skin of summer squash can be eaten. Zucchini and Italian squash are the most frequent varieties.
Squash, like most vegetables, is high in antioxidants. Squash is considerably lower in sugar than sweet potatoes, making it a good substitute.
Pumpkin polysaccharides, which are also contained in squash, have been shown to improve insulin tolerance and lower serum glucose levels in rats in studies.
Despite the fact that there is limited human research, a short trial in humans indicated that squash reduced high blood glucose levels promptly and effectively in diabetics who were critically ill.
More human research is needed to validate squash’s health advantages.
Squash, on the other hand, is a perfect addition to any meal because of its health benefits.
16. Shirataki noodles
Diabetes and weight loss are made easier with Shirataki noodles.
The fiber glucomannan, which is produced from konjac root, is abundant in these noodles.
This plant is produced in Japan and processed into shirataki, which are noodles or rice.
Glucomannan is a viscous fiber that aids in the feeling of fullness and satisfaction.
Furthermore, it has been demonstrated to lower blood sugar levels after meals and improve risk factors for heart disease in persons with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
In one study, glucomannan decreased fasting blood glucose, serum insulin, and cholesterol levels in diabetic rats.
Shirataki noodles provide only 3 grams of digestible carbohydrates and 10 calories every 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion.
However, because these noodles are usually supplied in a liquid with a fishy odor, they must be well rinsed before use.
Then, in a skillet over high heat with no extra fat, cook the noodles for several minutes to achieve a noodle-like texture.
Foods to Avoid
Understanding which foods to limit is just as crucial as finding out which foods to include in a diabetes diet.
This is due to the high carbohydrate and added sugar content of many foods and beverages, which can cause blood sugar levels to jump. Other foods may have a negative impact on heart health or cause weight gain.
If you have diabetes, you should limit or avoid the following foods:
1. Refined grains
Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and rice, are high in carbs but poor in fiber, causing blood sugar levels to rise faster than whole grains.
Whole grain rice was found to be much more effective than white rice for stabiliz ing blood sugar levels after eating in one study.
2. Sugar-sweetened beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, sweet tea, and energy drinks are not only devoid of essential nutrients but also contain a concentrated amount of sugar in each serving, causing blood sugar levels to jump.
3. Fried foods
Fried meals are high in trans fat, a form of fat associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Furthermore, fried foods such as potato chips, french fries, and mozzarella sticks are often high in calories, contributing to weight gain.
It is typically recommended that people with diabetes reduce their alcohol consumption. This is because alcohol, especially when consumed on an empty stomach, might raise the risk of low blood sugar.
5. Breakfast cereal
The majority of breakfast cereals have a lot of sugar added to them. Some brands contain as much sugar as some desserts in a single serving.
When shopping for cereal, make sure you read the nutrition label carefully and choose a low-sugar kind. Oatmeal, on the other hand, can be organically sweetened with a piece of fresh fruit.
Each serving of candy contains a lot of sugar. It usually has a high glycemic index, which means it’ll induce blood sugar spikes and falls when you eat it.
7. Processed meat
Sodium, preservatives, and other toxic substances are abundant in processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, salami, and cold cuts. Additionally, processed meats have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
8. Fruit juice
Although 100% fruit juice can be enjoyed in moderation from time to time, if you have diabetes, it’s preferable to stick to whole fruit whenever feasible.
This is due to the fact that fruit juice contains all of the carbs and sugar present in fresh fruit, but it lacks the fiber needed to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Creating a plan
You may prepare a balanced, well-rounded diabetes diet using a variety of ways.
Without tracking or measuring your diet, the plate technique is a simple and effective strategy to support balanced blood sugar levels. To make a nutritionally balanced dinner, you must change the portions of specific food groups on your plate.
Fill half of your plate with non-starchy veggies like leafy greens, broccoli, squash, or cauliflower to get started.
Proteins such as chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, tofu, and lean cuts of beef or pig should make up one-quarter of your plate.
A good source of carbs, such as whole grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, fruit, or dairy products, should make up the remaining quarter of the plate.
Finally, drink a low-calorie beverage such as water, unsweetened tea, black coffee, or club soda with your meal to stay hydrated.
The glycemic index can be a useful tool for keeping blood sugar levels in check. It’s a metric for determining how many specific foods raise blood sugar levels and classifying them as high, low, or medium GI foods depending on their glycemic index.
If you follow this strategy, try to eat foods with a low or medium glycemic index as much as feasible, and avoid items with a high glycemic index as much as possible.
In this post, you’ll learn more about the glycemic index and how to use it to better blood sugar control.
Carb counting is a popular technique for controlling blood sugar levels by keeping track of how many carbohydrates you eat throughout the day.
It entails keeping track of the carbs in the things you eat. You may need to change your insulin dosage based on the number of carbs you consume in some circumstances.
The number of carbs you should eat at each meal and snack varies greatly based on your age, size, and degree of exercise.
A qualified dietitian or doctor can assist you in developing a carbohydrate counting strategy that is tailored to your specific needs.
A sample menu
It doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming to eat properly when you have diabetes.
To get you started, here’s a one-day sample menu with some simple dinner ideas:
- Breakfast: omelet with broccoli, mushrooms, and peppers
- Morning snack: a handful of almonds
- Lunch: grilled chicken salad with spinach, tomatoes, avocado, onions, cucumber, and balsamic vinaigrette
- Afternoon snack: Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries and walnuts
- Dinner: baked salmon with herb quinoa and asparagus
- Evening snack: sliced veggies and hummus
Diabetes, if not properly treated, raises your chance of developing a number of dangerous conditions.
However, eating foods that assist control blood sugar, insulin, and inflammation can reduce your risk of problems significantly.
Remember that, while these items may aid in blood sugar management, the most important component in maintaining a good blood sugar level is eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet.