11 Foods Everyone with Diabetes Should Keep in Their Kitchen
Eating the right foods for diabetics can help control your blood glucose and lessen your risk for future complications. Save a spot for these 11 food items in your kitchen.
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11 Foods for Diabetics | Food Items to Control Your Diabetes
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1. Fatty Fish
If you have diabetes, your high blood sugar level can harm your blood vessels and nerves controlling your heart. With this, you can have an increased risk of developing heart disease.
The good news is that adding foods rich in omega-3 to your diabetic diet food list may lessen this risk. One good source of omega-3 fatty acids is oily or fatty fish.
The name “fatty fish” may seem unpleasant, but they’re actually the most nutritious seafood. It’s recommended by the American Heart Association that you eat oily fish twice a week such as:
- Albacore tuna
- Lake trout
Additionally, a study reveals that fatty fish might bring down your risk for diabetes-related complications, like diabetic retinopathy, by 50%.
Tip: Instead of frying your fish, you may grill, bake, or roast them. Add mixed vegetables on the side for a healthier meal.
Another food for diabetics that you must keep in your pantry or fridge is beans. The plant-based protein and soluble fiber present in these seeds help stabilize your blood glucose. A study shows that eating a cup of beans every day may lower your blood sugar levels.
They may also aid in weight loss since they can please your appetite, provide feelings of fullness, and help lessen your carbohydrate intake. They’re complex carbohydrates, so your body breaks them down slowly.
You may choose from the following beans for your next meal:
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Navy beans
- Pinto beans
- Adzuki beans
In addition, beans are filled with minerals such as magnesium, iron, and potassium that boost your body’s functions.
Tip: Replace meat with beans, and add them to any soup, stew, or chili dish. If you opt for canned beans, ensure to pick those without added salt. Otherwise, wash the beans to lessen the sodium content.
Next on the diabetic food list are nuts. They make for a good snack especially when unsalted.
It’s important to note that those with type 1 diabetes are likely to become insulin resistant and be at risk of magnesium deficiency. Thankfully, nuts contain healthy fats, protein, fiber, and magnesium to help make your blood glucose stable.
You may consume the following nuts regularly to reduce your blood sugar:
- Brazil nuts
However, watch your serving size and check your calorie intake.
Tip: Add a handful of these nuts to your breakfast or salad for a balanced diet.
Eggs are one of the most versatile food as you can have them hard-boiled, scrambled, or poached.
This protein-rich food is also one of the best diabetic foods you can have. It can help you shave off some pounds and balance your blood glucose levels.
Since eggs can crush your hunger hormones, consuming them regularly can help you lose weight, which is vital in improving your blood sugar. Additionally, they’re a good source of antioxidants, such as zeaxanthin and lutein, that help protect your eyes.
Tip: Eat the whole egg. Both its yolk and white part contain essential nutrients.
5. Leafy Greens
Greens are diabetic-friendly foods as they’re low in calories but full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They’re filled with antioxidant properties like vitamin C and polyphenols, which are important, as diabetics have reduced vitamin C levels.
Like nuts, leafy greens are also rich in magnesium which helps improve insulin sensitivity. In addition, they have antioxidants similar to eggs that help prevent diabetic eye diseases like cataracts.
These green leafy vegetables are also good sources of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, protein, and fiber:
- Swiss chard
- Collard greens
- Bok choy
Tip: For a nutritious diet, combine leafy greens with protein such as tofu or chicken.
6. Greek Yogurt
Sixth on the list of foods for diabetics are dairy products, particularly Greek yogurt. This type of yogurt has lower carbohydrates and higher protein compared with the regular one.
This perfect combination helps you effectively manage your blood glucose and hunger levels. It aids in weight loss as it gives you a sensation of fullness, lessens your appetite, and reduces your calorie intake.
There’s also a type of fat present in yogurt called conjugated linolic acid (CLA), which makes it easier for you to say no to junk foods.
A study shows that consumption of yogurt may improve the cholesterol levels of those with type 2 diabetes. Another study also reveals that probiotics in yogurt contribute to high insulin sensitivity.
Tip: As much as possible, choose plain Greek yogurt since the flavored kinds may have extra carbs and added sugar. If you wish to make it sweet, you may add some fruits as an alternative. Mix in some pomegranate, berries, and peach, which all have lower carbs.
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7. Shirataki Noodles
Who said that people with diabetes can’t eat pasta?
These long, white noodles are a diabetes food that helps you lower your blood glucose and cholesterol levels, as well as maintain a healthy weight.
It’s rich in glucomannan, a fiber that gives you a feeling of fullness, making it an effective supplement for losing weight. This viscous fiber is made from konjac root, a plant that can be found in Japan. It’s then processed and formed into rice or noodles called shirataki.
A serving of shirataki noodles, weighing 100 grams, only contains 10 calories and three grams of net carbohydrates.
Tip: Shirataki noodles are usually packed with a fishy-smelling liquid, so don’t forget to wash them before cooking.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes should also be on your diabetes food list as they can be your source of carbohydrates.
This diabetes food may be starchy, but it contains a less glycemic index, making it a great substitute for white potatoes. This means that it doesn’t elevate your blood glucose levels as much.
It also contains the following vitamins and mineral:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Tip: You may roast, boil, bake, or mash your sweet potatoes. Don’t peel off the skin for additional fiber. Enjoy them with vegetables and protein for a nutritious diet.
Securing its spot among good foods for diabetics is avocado. It’s rich in fats that are good for your heart, as well as fiber that prevents blood sugar spikes. It also contains less than a gram of sugar, enhancing the quality of your diet.
These make avocados a healthy snack for diabetics.
Tip: By simply adding some seasonings such as salt and pepper, you may already enjoy this creamy, green fruit.
These fruits may be tiny, but they can deal with your sugar cravings without adding extra sugar to your diet. Put them in your breakfast meals, eat as snacks, or use them as toppings to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Berries are also considered foods for diabetics since they’re rich in fiber that can stabilize your blood sugar. Additionally, they’re filled with antioxidants that can stave off oxidative stress or damage to your cells and tissues.
Enjoy the following berries as well as their benefits such as manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium:
Tip: Berries are seasonal, but you may still avail of frozen ones throughout the year since they’re just as healthy. Keep in mind to get packs without added sugar.
A clove of raw garlic may be small, but it provides a burst of flavor to your meals, plus tons of health benefits. For its size, it already contains vitamin C, manganese, selenium, vitamin B6, and fiber.
This herb manages your cholesterol and enhances your blood sugar as well. In fact, a study was conducted among patients who have mismanaged hypertension. It reveals that those who took garlic for weeks saw a reduction in their blood pressure.
Tip: Chop some cloves of garlic, and add them to almost any dish!
Here’s an infographic guide that you can use. Feel free to download, save and share it with your loved ones:
A healthy breakfast can help stabilize the blood sugar levels of diabetics throughout the day. Learn the best breakfast foods for diabetics in this video by Bestie:
These foods for diabetics can help manage your blood glucose. However, keep in mind to still maintain a balanced and nutritious diet to keep your body functioning properly.
What other foods for diabetics should you stock up and add to your diet? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!
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