Figuring out the best foods to eat when you have diabetes can be tough.The main goal is to keep blood sugar plain well-controlled.However, it’s also important to eat foods that help prevent diabetes complications like heart disease.Here are the 16 best foods for diabetics, both type 1 and type 2.
Fatty fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel are great sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which have major benefits for heart health.Getting enough of these fats on a regular basis is especially important for diabetics, who have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Fish is also a great source of high-quality protein, which helps you feel full and increases your metabolic rate.
Leafy green vegetables are extremely nutritious and low in calories.These antioxidants protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts, which are common diabetes complications .
Cinnamon is a delicious spice with potent antioxidant activity.Several controlled studies have shown that cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Long-term diabetes control is typically determined by measuring hemoglobin A1c, which reflects your average blood sugar level over 2–3 months.
However, a few studies have failed to show that cinnamon benefits blood sugar or cholesterol levels, including one on adolescents with type 1 diabetes.Furthermore, you should limit your intake of cassia cinnamon — the type found in most grocery stores — to less than 1 teaspoon per day.
It contains coumarin, which is linked to health problems at higher doses.On the other hand, ceylon (“true”) cinnamon contains much less coumarin.
Eggs provide amazing health benefits.In fact, they’re one of the best foods for keeping you full for hours.Regular egg consumption may also reduce your heart disease risk in several ways.
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 2 eggs daily as part of a high-protein diet had improvements in cholesterol and blood sugar levels.In addition, eggs are one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect the eyes from disease .Just be sure to eat whole eggs. The benefits of eggs are primarily due to nutrients found in the yolk rather than the white.
Chia seeds are a wonderful food for people with diabetes.The viscous fiber in chia seeds can actually lower your blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which food moves through your gut and is absorbed.
Chia seeds may help you reach a healthy weight because fiber reduces hunger and makes you feel full. In addition, fiber can decrease the amount of calories you absorb from other foods eaten at the same meal.
Additionally, chia seeds have been shown to reduce blood pressure and inflammatory markers.
Turmeric is a spice with powerful health benefits.Its active ingredient, curcumin, can lower inflammation and blood sugar levels, while reducing heart disease risk.
What’s more, curcumin appears to benefit kidney health in diabetics. This is important, as diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney disease.Unfortunately, curcumin isn’t absorbed that well on its own.
Greek yogurt is a great dairy choice for diabetics.It’s been shown to improve blood sugar control and reduce heart disease risk, perhaps partly due to the probiotics it contains.
What’s more, Greek yogurt contains only 6–8 grams of carbs per serving, which is lower than conventional yogurt. It’s also higher in protein, which promotes weight loss by reducing appetite and decreasing calorie intake.
Nuts are delicious and nutritious.All types of nuts contain fiber and are low in digestible carbs, although some have more than others.
Here are the amounts of digestible carbs per 1-oz (28-gram) serving of nuts:
Almonds: 2.6 grams
Brazil nuts: 1.4 grams
Cashews: 7.7 grams
Hazelnuts: 2 grams
Macadamia: 1.5 grams
Pecans: 1.2 grams
Pistachios: 5 grams
Walnuts: 2 grams
Research on a variety of different nuts has shown that regular consumption may reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar, HbA1c and LDL levels.
This finding is important because people with type 2 diabetes often have elevated levels of insulin, which are linked to obesity.In addition, some researchers believe chronically high insulin levels increase the risk of other serious diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables around.A half cup of cooked broccoli contains only 27 calories and 3 grams of digestible carbs, along with important nutrients like vitamin C and magnesium.
Studies in diabetics have found that broccoli may help lower insulin levels and protect cells from harmful free radicals produced during metabolism.What’s more, broccoli is another good source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These important antioxidants help prevent eye diseases.
10.Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil is extremely beneficial for heart health.It contains oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that has been shown to improve triglycerides and HDL, which are often at unhealthy levels in type 2 diabetes.It may also increase the fullness hormone GLP-1.In a large analysis of 32 studies looking at different types of fat, olive oil was the only one shown to reduce heart disease risk.