Since 2010, diabetes has remained the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. As of 2012, with 1.7 million new diagnoses a year, 29.1 million Americans had diabetes. With millions of people living with diabetes, and new diagnoses every day, how can we excel at diabetes management?
As always, the food you choose to fuel your body with has long term affects on your health.
Knowing what to eat when you have diabetes can be challenging, especially with so many popular fad diets trying to tell you what is and what is not good for your body. It can be frustrating to have to ask yourself, “Do these foods aid or inhibit my blood glucose and diabetes management?”
However, there are certain foods you can add to your meal plan that will help you manage your diabetes regardless of fad diets.
What are these diabetes superfoods? Here are 5 foods that all have a low glycemic index and provide necessary nutrients that will help you manage and maybe even reverse your diabetes.
1.Dark, Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and watercress are essential for prevention, diabetes management, and reversal. They pack a powerful punch because they are high in nutrients but low in calories and carbohydrates. Nutritional content will vary depending on your greens of choice, but the leafy green family is abundant in fiber, potassium, folate, protein, vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, carotenes, flavonoid antioxidants, zinc, manganese, and riboflavin — just to give you an idea.
You can’t eat too many of these superfoods!
2. Non-Starchy Vegetables
Vegetables such as onions, garlic, eggplant, peppers, and mushrooms are an invaluable addition to your diabetes diet. Because these foods have minimal effect on blood glucose, have so few calories and carbohydrates, and are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals, you can feel free to fill up on these delicious veggies!
Beans (pinto, kidney, black — whichever you prefer), lentils, and other legumes are an ideal carbohydrate source. While they are starchy vegetables, they are high in nutrients and fiber and low in calories. A great source of protein, beans are healthier than meat products because they lack saturated fat. They are also very satiating and will make you feel full longer, which will help you avoid weight gain by preventing food cravings.
4. Low Sugar Fruits
Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, fruits are are a nutrient-dense way to satisfy your sweet tooth. To minimize glycemic effects, stick with low sugar fruits like berries, kiwi, and oranges.
5. Nuts (and Seeds)
Nuts are a high-nutrient source of plant protein, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. The healthy fats found in nuts promote weight loss by aiding hunger management, and their anti-inflammatory effects may prevent the development of insulin resistance.
What foods do you enjoy as a part of your diabetes management? Is there a diabetes superfood you think should have been included in this list? Let us know in the comments below!