November 15, 2021
Diabetic Diet: 6 Foods That Help to Control Blood Sugar
Here's a list of foods that those living with diabetes will want to incorporate into their daily diets: veggies, greens, beverages, fruit, grains, fats, and protein. Get the details here!
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A healthy diet is vital for everyone, especially people living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If you’ve been dealing with this disease for a while, you likely already understand how certain foods and drinks can cause blood sugar spikes. Because of that, there’s a great deal of advice on what people with diabetes should avoid eating and drinking.
On the other hand, several foods can positively affect the health of people with diabetes. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at six foods and beverages that can help you get your blood sugar under control – and keep it there.
Raw, Cooked, Roasted Vegetables
If you have diabetes, raw and cooked vegetables should be one of the cornerstones of your diet. Veggies like carrots, zucchini, and green beans are full of nutrients and fiber, which can make it easier to keep your blood glucose levels in range. Along with this, regular consumption of vegetables can make diabetes management more effective in the long term.
However, not all veggies are created equal! If sodium is a dietary concern for you, try to steer clear of heavily salted canned and cooked vegetables, along with sauerkraut and pickles. Meanwhile, some vegetables like corn and potatoes are relatively high in carbohydrates. That doesn’t mean they’re unhealthy, per se, but you’ll need to include them in your carb count.
As a subcategory of vegetables, leafy greens – including spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and many others – come with all the health benefits listed above. These veggies are full of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium.
Research on the effects of leafy greens is even more promising. One small study found that drinking kale juice may positively impact blood pressure and blood glucose levels in people with subclinical hypertension. Meanwhile, increased leafy greens consumption may lower people’s type 2 diabetes risk.
Flavorful, Low-Calorie Drinks
When you’re working to build a healthy diet, what you drink is just as important as what you eat. As a result, you’ll want to avoid sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, and sweetened coffee. The sugars included in these drinks enter the bloodstream more quickly than sugars in foods, resulting in quick, severe blood glucose spikes. In turn, that can lead to dehydration or even diabetic ketoacidosis.
Fortunately, people with diabetes can still choose from a wide variety of healthy beverage options. Water is a clear choice, which you can liven up with a few slices of citrus fruit or some mint leaves. If you’re craving something more flavorful, opt for unsweetened coffee or tea, sugar-free sparkling water, or low-fat milk. Alcohol is also generally okay for people with diabetes – just be sure to enjoy it in moderation and with a meal, not on an empty stomach! Always consult with your healthcare provider.
Melon or Berries
Though they tend to contain higher amounts of carbs than vegetables, fruits can still be a healthy choice for people with diabetes. Along with the vitamins and minerals they offer, many fruits are high in fiber, which helps offset the impact of consuming carbs. However, the way you enjoy fruit matters – instead of drinking juice or eating processed fruits, it’s best to eat whole fresh or frozen fruits.
Blueberries, strawberries, and other berries are an excellent choice for people with diabetes. Thanks to the sheer amount of fiber and antioxidants they contain, the ADA even considers berries to be a diabetes superfood! Another popular fruit, honeydew melon, can help you control your blood glucose levels and can help lower your blood pressure.
Whole-Grain, High-Fiber Foods
We’ve mentioned the positive impact fiber can have on the health of diabetes patients a few times now, and for a good reason! Your body doesn’t digest this nutrient, but it plays an important role. Along with improving your bowel health and reducing cholesterol, fiber can actively help control your blood glucose levels.
Because of that, the carbohydrates included in your diet should be high in fiber. Most whole-grain foods are ideal for this purpose. Emphasize healthy whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal in your diet.
A Little Fat
For the most part, it’s a good idea to avoid fatty foods when you have diabetes. Excess fat intake can lead to weight gain, making it that much harder for you to manage your condition. Some fats (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”) can heighten your risk of cardiovascular disease.
That said, another type of fat can have a positive impact on your health – namely HDL, or “good cholesterol.” When eaten in controlled portions, the fats found in fatty fish like Salmon, mackerel, walnuts, and flaxseeds! Healthy fats may help you better manage your diabetes.
Like anyone else, people with diabetes need to include protein sources in their diet. Many animal-based protein sources – including meat, poultry, and fish – are safe to eat if you have diabetes.
Along with these proteins, people living with diabetes should include plant-based protein sources in their everyday diet. That’s because these proteins are high in fiber and other vital nutrients. Some familiar plant-based protein sources are beans, lentils, nuts, tempeh and tofu.
Keep Your Blood Sugar Under Control with Help from US MED
Building a healthy diet that takes diabetes into account doesn’t need to be complicated. You can get started by eating healthy portions of the foods listed in this article while avoiding foods that can cause blood sugar spikes. Of course, be sure to ask your healthcare team for help if you have any questions!
Are you looking for more information on healthy eating with diabetes? US MED’s blog has all sorts of articles on this very topic. To make things more interesting, just take a look at our database of healthy recipes. You might even find your next favorite diabetes-friendly dish there!
US MED is also proud to be the nation’s top company for diabetes supplies. We are a provider for Medicare (and more than 1000 private insurance carriers). US MED has a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, as well. If you’re interested, check out the diabetes supplies we have to offer!