If you’re diabetic, you know that there are certain foods you should eat more of and others that you should avoid completely.
Unfortunately, it can be easy to fall into the trap of eating too many sweets or skipping healthy meals because your blood sugar levels are low.
But, with the right guidance and some determination, eating healthier can be easier than you think. Here are 16 best foods diabetics should eat.
Carrots are a good source of soluble fiber, which can help lower blood sugar levels, according to a study in Diabetes Care.
Researchers found that eating about 1/2 cup of grated carrots with breakfast helped lower post-meal blood sugar levels by about 20 percent. Snack on chopped carrots instead of chips or use them in place of french fries when making homemade meals.
If you eat soup at lunchtime, consider adding some chopped raw carrots for a little crunchy sweetness. Carrots are also high in beta-carotene (which your body converts into vitamin A), an antioxidant that is important for eye health as well as cancer prevention.
And one more thing: Don’t be intimidated by raw carrot sticks—they are actually delicious if you give them a chance!
Beans are versatile, inexpensive, and packed with nutrients. They also have a fairly low glycemic index—meaning they won’t raise your blood sugar as much as high-glycemic foods like white bread.
Be sure to choose only unsalted beans, and avoid refried beans because they tend to be higher in fat. In addition, try replacing one or two meals each week with a bean dish (such as chili), which is full of fiber, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc; plus vitamins A, B-complex and C.
One of my favorite best foods for diabetes is spinach. Not only does it give you a hefty dose of fiber—4 grams per 1/2 cup serving—but it’s also rich in vitamin K, a nutrient that helps maintain strong bones.
Just one more reason why Popeye was able to fight off Bluto! A 1/2-cup serving provides just 6 calories but helps keep your blood sugar in check, says Susan Mitchell Williams, PhD, RD, CDE.In addition to eating fresh spinach straight from your garden (or local farmers market), you can add spinach raw or cooked into nearly any meal.
The nutritional benefits are there whether you choose freshly steamed greens or an easy stir-fry with frozen ones!
Bananas contain a special type of starch called resistant starch, which is essentially an indigestible carb that acts like fiber in your body. It helps slow down digestion, which in turn means blood sugar stays more even throughout the day.
Bananas are also high in potassium, so they can help lower blood pressure as well as treat common symptoms of diabetes like excessive thirst and fatigue. In fact, one study found that people with type 2 diabetes who ate bananas every day had half as many complications over three years than those who did not eat them regularly.
Lemons are one of nature’s best antiseptics, so they make a great all-purpose cleaning solution. Rub lemon juice on your stainless steel appliances, countertops, and faucets to kill germs, eliminate odors, and protect against rust.
Add a few slices of lemon to white vinegar when you mop your floors or use it as a deodorizer in your refrigerator. Lemon juice can also help remove stains from various surfaces such as light fixtures.
Just apply some fresh lemon juice onto a dampened cloth with a soft sponge or cotton ball. Scrub at any stubborn spots for about five minutes; let stand for 10 minutes, then wipe clean with warm water.
Pears are a good choice for diabetics because they contain alpha-galactosidase inhibitors. Alpha-galactosidase is an enzyme that makes it difficult for your body to digest certain carbohydrates.
By inhibiting its activity, pears make sure those carbs don’t end up as fat deposits in your body. Many diabetics claim that eating pears regularly helps them maintain a healthy weight by suppressing their appetite.
For people with diabetes, dairy products are among the best foods for diabetes. Some of these include low-fat yogurt, hard cheeses (which contain less lactose), 1% milk, and skim milk. Even butter is a good food, as long as it’s unsalted.
Make sure to check labels for portion size, however: most portions of dairy products are rather large; you may want two servings of some items!
One of the best foods for diabetics is eggs. Egg whites have no fat, cholesterol or sodium. Plus they’re an excellent source of protein, vitamin D, riboflavin and selenium, a trace mineral that plays a role in metabolism.
Studies show that people who eat eggs regularly have lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) than people who avoid them.
If you are worried about egg whites raising your blood sugar level consider using only yolks because they don’t raise blood sugar as much as egg whites do. In addition, one large boiled egg has 78 calories!.
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