Blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, can cause severe health issues, particularly in people with diabetes. It can affect every part of your body including the heart, kidneys and eyes. In order to prevent complications caused by increased blood sugar levels it is extremely important to pay attention to the foods and drinks you consume. It is a fact that poor diet is the major cause of the development of type 2 diabetes as well as other degenerative and chronic diseases.
Making some smart dietary choices can prevent or help control type 2 diabetes. Some superfoods can control diabetes by stabilizing or even lowering blood sugar levels when eaten on a regular basis in appropriate portions. Even if you already take diabetes medications, it is essential to understand that what you eat and drink can greatly affect the way you manage the disease.
Top 10 Foods to Stop Diabetes
Several components in cinnamon promote glucose metabolism and reduce cholesterol. Studies have shown that in people with diabetes; only half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder per day can significantly decrease fasting blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity. There are many ways to add cinnamon to your diet. You can sprinkle some in your coffee, stir it in the morning oatmeal, or add it to chicken or fish dishes. You can also soak a medium-sized cinnamon stick in hot water to make a refreshing cup of cinnamon tea.
2. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a starchy vegetable that contains the beta-carotene antioxidant along with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. All of these help control your blood sugar.
Diabetics can use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes for a lower glycemic index alternative. If you like grilled or baked potatoes, try cooking with the skin since most of the nutrients are next to the skin. Sweet potatoes are also tasty when steamed, roasted or stewed as an accompaniment or added to salads, soups, casseroles or other dishes.
Beans are a good source of dietary fiber and are also rich in protein, magnesium and potassium. All of these minerals are very important for those with diabetes. Beans can slow the digestion process and help maintain blood sugar after eating a meal.
You can choose from pinto, navy, white, lime, chickpea, soybeans or black beans depending on what you like to eat. Beans can be incorporated into your diet in many ways including as an ingredient in main dishes, adding to soup or salad, or as a side dish.
4. Dark green leafy vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables are very low in calories and carbohydrates and contain a good amount of vitamin C, insoluble fiber, magnesium and lots of calcium.
All these nutrients are useful for diabetics as they have virtually no impact on blood sugar level. Studies show that leafy vegetables lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.
To prevent or help control diabetes, be sure to eat two servings of dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, kale, green cabbage, mustard greens and other leafy vegetables daily.
Berries of all kinds are filled with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber that can help control your blood sugar levels while also protecting against cancer and heart disease.
You can choose different types of berries like strawberries, blueberries, black berries and so on. Berries are a smart substitute when you feel the need to eat something sweet. You can add fresh berries to cereals or salads, eat the dried versions as a healthy snack, and use them to make low sugar desserts.
Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids should be eaten regularly if they are diabetic. Fish is a good source of protein, and a great substitute for the richest meats in fat.
Aim to eat fish at least twice a week. Cold water fatty fish like salmon, sardines, halibut, herring, mackerel, and tuna are best for diabetics.
You will want to eat baked or grilled fish and try to avoid the bread and fried varieties. If you do not eat fish, consult a doctor about taking fish oil supplements.
7. Whole grains
Whole-grain foods contain a wide variety of nutrients such as magnesium, chromium, omega-3 fatty acids, and folic acid. Whole grains can help keep your blood sugar level and reduce your blood pressure and LDL (bad cholesterol).
Whole grains also contain potent plant chemicals, lignans and flavonoids, which may play a role in preventing heart disease.
One way to add more whole grains to your diet is to simply switch from white rice to brown rice and from refined flour to whole wheat flour.
Walnuts contain healthy fats, vitamins, fiber and a lot of minerals like magnesium and vitamin E that can stabilize your blood sugar level. Walnuts help reduce insulin resistance and fight heart disease. Those who are diabetic, or those who want to avoid type 2 diabetes, should eat nuts on a regular basis. Nuts of all kinds – nuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts and so on – are great for controlling blood sugar. It is best to soak the nuts in water overnight, which helps to neutralize your enzyme inhibitors. In the morning, remove the nuts from the water and have it.
9. Olive Oil
Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants and monounsaturated fats that reduce the risk of heart disease and help keep blood sugar stable by reducing insulin resistance.
Olive oil also helps with weight loss, which is essential for diabetics who are overweight.
Choose extra virgin olive oil because it is minimally processed and contains more than 30 antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. You can dress your salads with olive oil and use it to saute meat and vegetables.
Yogurt is rich in protein, vitamin D and calcium. Several studies have shown that people who eat a lot of calcium-rich foods lose weight more easily and are also less likely to be resistant to insulin. Yogurt also helps build strong bones and teeth. Use nonfat yogurt and eat as is or add it to a bowl of fresh fruit. You can also include low-fat milk in your diet plan to control your blood sugar.
If you have diabetes, plan your diet well and include these superfoods. It is also important to exercise regularly and try to maintain a healthy body weight to control your blood sugar.