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Diabetes is often considered as a life-threatening illness, but there’s good news. When managed correctly, diabetics can lead extremely normal lives, and dietary choices are a major part of managing the condition. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid can keep your blood sugar levels in check. Here are 5 (five) of the best foods that keep diabetes in control
Nuts like almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans contain low levels of digestible carbs. Additionally, they’re also rich in fibers. This combination effectively regulates blood sugar levels and minimizes the level of inflammation in the body. Research has shown that diabetics who consumed 30 grams of walnuts daily lost weight over the course of a year, and also enjoy reduced levels of insulin.
Seafood in general and fatty fish, in particular, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Don’t let the name fool you, because these fatty acids are essential for heart health. Including fishes like sardines, salmon, and anchovies in your diet can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. This is particularly essential for diabetics because the disease increases the chances of cardiac illness.
If you’re a vegetarian and cannot include seafood in your diet, don’t despair. You can simply stock up on leafy greens and enjoy their benefits. Rich in vitamins and minerals, and low in digestible carbs, greens like kale and spinach are excellent foods for managing diabetes. They also reduce the risk of other complications of the disease, such as cataract and degeneration of the macula.
4. Olive Oil
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most effective food plans to manage diabetes. And one of its best-kept secrets is the use of olive oil. The extra-virgin version contains oleic acid and antioxidants known as polyphenols. Together, these essential ingredients minimize inflammation and help regulate the levels of triglycerides and HDL in your body. Cooking and seasoning your food with extra-virgin also decreases your blood pressure.
5. Greek Yogurt
The debate regarding the effect of dairy on diabetics may remain unresolved. But there’s no denying the fact that one form of dairy can be incredibly beneficial for people suffering from the disease. Greek yoghurt, which is characteristically strained to remove the whey components is an effective probiotic that offers several health benefits for diabetics. It’s higher in protein content, promotes weight loss, regulates blood sugar, and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Also, if you’re diabetic, knowing what foods to avoid is just as important. Here are three foods you should steer clear of if you want to manage your condition better.
- Packaged foods
Processed and packaged foods can prove to be deadly for people suffering from diabetes. These foods generally offer a poor nutrient profile. However, they contain high levels of fast-digesting carbs that can cause a rapid spike in blood glucose levels. This phenomenon can prove to be fatal for people with diabetes. So, instead of nibbling on processed foods like a mid-meal snack, opt for nuts or low-carb fruits and vegetables.
2. Sugary Beverages
Soda, lemonade, iced tea, etc. All of these sound harmless, don’t they? Don’t be fooled by the apparent lack of harm, because all of these beverages contain high levels of carbs. Now, carbs, in general, aren’t very dangerous. But the threat lies in the fact that most sugary beverages derive their carbs from fructose, which has been linked to insulin resistance. Fructose also causes metabolic changes that may lead to obesity and high cholesterol levels.
3. Honey and Maple Syrup
Diabetic and prediabetic people are often advised to cut down on white table sugar. But other forms of sugar can also prove to be equally harmful. Maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar, for instance, contain high levels of carbs. Although they’re not necessarily processed like white sugar, this high carb content can be disadvantageous to people suffering from diabetes. If you must add sweeteners to your food, choose natural low-carb options instead.
The road ahead may seem long and tedious for people who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes. Dietary changes, in particular, can appear daunting at first. So, it’s best to start off with small changes. Switch one bad food in your diet for a good one and stick to the new routine for a week or two before making another swap. This way, you can slowly and steadily weed out the harmful elements of your diet.
You should also, not wait any longer and consult a doctor or a dietician online as for more info on dietary precautions.