16 Foods That Can Help Fight Diabetes


If you've got diabetes, your food choices count a lot. Some are better than others and some are recommended by your doctors because of its benefits. Here are some of the wise options for your next grub:



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1. Beans



If you're looking for foods that raise blood-sugar levels slowly and gently like rolling waves, choose high-quality carbohydrates instead of low-quality carbs like refined grains and sugary foods. Whenever possible, you'll want to couple these carbs with protein and/or healthy fat. Beans (including black, white, navy, lima, pinto, garbanzo, soy, and kidney) are a winning combination of high-quality carbohydrates, lean protein, and soluble fiber that helps stabilize your body's blood-sugar levels and keeps hunger in check. Beans are also inexpensive, versatile, and virtually fat-free.


2. Oatmeal


Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in whole grains and high-fiber foods may reduce the risk of diabetes by between 35 and 42 percent. An excellent source of both is heart-healthy oatmeal: It's packed with soluble fiber, which slows the absorption of glucose from food in the stomach — keeping blood-sugar levels under control. Top oatmeal with 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts to add protein and healthy fat, which stabilize blood sugars further. Plus, the nuts add great crunch and flavor to your morning meal.

3. Apples




This crunchy fruit offers protection against diabetes. A study examined the diets of 200,000 people and found that those who reported eating five or more apples a week had a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with subjects who did not eat any apples. Explained that not all antioxidants are created equal, and that a particular type of antioxidant in apples had a profound effect on lowering LDLs, a contributor to heart disease. More good news: A medium-size apple contains 3 grams of fiber, which includes both soluble and insoluble fiber. How 'bout them apples?


4. Fish




Another outstanding source of lean protein is fresh fish. Choose an environmentally friendly variety like catfish, cod, or tilapia; all are mild-flavored, white-fleshed fish that can be healthfully prepared by baking, grilling, or roasting. Pair fish with the high-quality carbs found in vegetables, lentils, or beans for another balanced meal combination that will keep your blood sugar from rising.


5. Asparagus





It's especially high in an antioxidant called glutathione, which plays a key role in easing the effects of aging and many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.


6. Avocado




Avocados are known for their heart-healthy monounsaturated fat content. When substituting these fats for saturated fat, they can improve cholesterol levels, decreasing your risk of heart disease.


7. Blueberries





Blueberries are part of the family of fruits containing flavonoids, known for their many health benefits, including heart health. In addition, blueberries' high fiber content may reduce the risk of diabetes and cognitive decline, and help keep blood sugar more level. Recent studies have also shown that berries have an anticancer effect by inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing inflammation.


8. Yogurt





Fat-free yogurt naturally contains both high-quality carbohydrates and protein, making it an excellent food for slowing or preventing an unhealthy rise in blood sugar. Studies also show that a diet high in calcium from yogurt and other calcium-rich foods is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Be sure to stick to low-fat or nonfat brands.


9. Broccoli / Cruciferous Vegetables




Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes other veggies such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and bok choy. What makes this class of veggies unique is the high levels of sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. Perhaps better known for their potential anticancer effects, these compounds may also have a role in reducing heart disease risk and heart-related deaths.


10. Carrots


Cooked or raw, carrots are a healthy addition to any meal plan. While cooked carrots have the rich texture of starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, they are classified as nonstarchy veggies because they don't contain a lot of carbohydrate. Carrots are noted for their high vitamin A, made from the antioxidant beta-carotene in carrots. This vitamin is necessary for good vision and immune function, and it may help prevent the development of some cancers.


11. Almonds



Unsalted almonds provide a healthy, low-carb mix of monounsaturated fats plus magnesium, which is believed to be instrumental in carbohydrate metabolism. High daily magnesium intake reduces the risk of developing diabetes by 33 percent. Therefore, including more magnesium-rich foods like almonds, pumpkin seeds, spinach, and Swiss chard in your diet is a smart move.


12. Salmon



Omega-3s from food help reduce your risk of heart disease, which is important for those with type 2 diabetes, whose risk of cardiovascular disease is already elevated. (Over time, high blood glucose levels can lead to increased deposits of fatty materials in blood vessels, which contributes to clogging of arteries.) Wild salmon or sardines are not only rich in omega-3s but also contain a healthy-fat-and-protein combination that slows the body's absorption of carbohydrates, keeping blood sugars on an even keel.



13. Egg Whites



Rich in high-quality lean protein and low in carbs, egg whites are another healthy choice for controlling or preventing type 2 diabetes. One large egg white contains about 16 calories and 4g of high-quality, filling protein, making egg whites a perfect food for blood sugar control, not to mention weight-loss or maintenance.



14. Flax Seeds


It contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can be converted into omega-3 fatty acids, offering similar benefits of those found in fish. Flax seed is a good source of lignans, antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent heart disease and cancer.


15. Garlic


Some evidence indicates consuming garlic can slightly lower blood cholesterol levels for short-term use and may slightly lower blood pressure, especially in people who have high blood pressure.


16. Kale


Kale is one of those green leafy veggies associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. In one meta-analysis of several studies, people who ate the most green leafy vegetables were 14 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those consuming the least amounts.


Source: Health Digezt

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