For those who are diagnosed with diabetes, the primary goal is to eat foods that help them maintain and regulate their blood sugar levels. The other concern is making sure they are consuming foods for diabetics that are nutrient rich and can help prevent possible diabetes related conditions, such as heart disease. Here are a list of foods that are not only good for helping regulate your blood sugar, but also are loaded with vitamins and minerals that can provide other health benefits as well.
7 foods for diabetics
Beans for diabetics
Black, pinto, and kidney beans are all beans that are loaded with fiber, making their impact on blood sugar levels minimal. Beans are a good source of magnesium and potassium – these nutrients help lower blood pressure. Beans are also a wonderful way to get protein into your diet, as one cup of beans gives you a whopping 16g of protein, the equivalent of 2 ounces of meat. But unlike meat, beans have no saturated fat – and no cholesterol – this can help lower the risk of developing heart disease.
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Dark green leafy vegetables for diabetics
Spinach, kale, and other dark green leafy veggies, are a good option for diabetics, as they are low in digestible carbs, helping them not affect blood sugar levels. Dark green leafy vegetables also provide folate, a B vitamin, and are rich in anti-oxidants, both of which help with heart health. These anti-oxidants can also help prevent diabetic complications, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Sweet potato and diabetes
Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and low on the glycemic index, meaning they will not raise or spike your blood sugar as much as normal potatoes do. Sweet potatoes are also rich in beta carotene, a type of Vitamin A, that helps support your vision by preventing macular degeneration. They’re also a good source of Vitamin C, Potassium, Niacin, Phosphorus, and B12.
Omega 3 and diabetes – how fish helps
Fish, such as salmon, halibut, lake trout, herring, and tuna are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Your body cannot naturally make these fatty acids, so they must be obtained via diet. Omega 3’s have numerous health benefits, including reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, but are especially important, as they have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, a condition that is often caused by diabetes. The American Heart Association recommends consuming Omega 3 rich fish, two times a week, to help with the prevention of heart disease.
Berries for diabetics
Berries get their sweetness from fructose, a type of natural sugar that is metabolized in the body without using insulin, so they don’t have a large affect on your blood sugar levels. Red colored berries contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and blood sugar after consumption. Berries are high in Vitamin C, which is vital for repairing and maintaining teeth and bones, which is important as diabetics can experience diabetic related teeth and dental issues.
Nuts for diabetics
Nuts are very low in digestible carbohydrates. They don’t do much to your blood sugar levels, making them an excellent choice for diabetics. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are high in vitamin E. Vitamin E has been shown to help inhibit the development of plaque that can cause arteries to become clogged or blocked. Many nuts also contain an amino acid called L-arginine, an amino acid that helps strengthen arteries and can improve circulation.
Walnuts are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, these fatty acids have been shown to lower levels of bad cholesterol and reduce blood pressure levels. Additionally, peanuts, and pistachios all lower levels of bad cholesterol as well.
Eggs and diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, eggs are an excellent food choice for diabetics, since 1 egg has only .5 g of carbohydrates, meaning they should have a minimal impact on blood sugar. Eggs are beneficial in regulating cholesterol levels, since they raise your HDL levels, more commonly referred to as “good cholesterol,” while having minimal impact on total cholesterol.
Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is important in regulating blood pressure and preventing heart disease. Eggs are full of vitamins and minerals, like as iron, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and vitamin B5. They also contain all 9 essential amino acids, and are high in protein.