Diabetes Superfoods

More than 30 million US adults have diabetes and that number is growing each year. There are many foods that can be beneficial to those with diabetes & prediabetes including nuts & seeds, fruits & vegetables, and whole grains. Follow us as we look at a few and their benefits.

 

Nuts - Nuts provide healthy fats and can help curb hunger.

  • Try an ounce of walnuts as a snack to gain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Remember to avoid salted nuts to avoid complications with diabetes.
  • Other great choices include pistachios, almonds & cashews.

Berries – These delicious treats contain antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.

  • Try berries to satisfy a sweet craving.
  • You’ll also get the added benefit of vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and fiber!
  • Berries have a low glycemic index, meaning a sweet treat with a lower risk of a blood sugar spike.

Fish – Omega-3 rich fish include salmon, herring, albacore tuna, and mackerel, among others.

  • The American Diabetes Association recommends eating fish twice per week.
  • Enjoying them baked or grilled rather than fried to avoid the extra calories.
  • Canned tuna & salmon are budget-friendly options for adding fish to your diet.

Sweet potatoes – This delicious vegetable is loaded with vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A & fiber!

  • Sweet tooth kicking in? Try a sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon.
  • Sweet potatoes are ranked lower than white potatoes on the glycemic index, meaning there is a less likely chance of a spike in blood sugar.

Beans – High in fiber and packed with vitamins & minerals, beans such as kidney, pinto or black beans are all great choices.

  • Canned beans are a great time saver. Just make sure to drain and rinse well to remove as much added salt as possible.
  • Beans are high in protein, low in fat, no saturated fat and no cholesterol.

 

Tomatoes – Packed with vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium tomatoes deliver delicious nutrition.

  • Averaging only 32 calories per cup, tomatoes are also very low calorie and low in carbs.
  • Lycopene is what gives tomatoes their color is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to help cholesterol levels.

Whole grains – Loaded with fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, folate and more, whole grains are a great choice for diabetics.

  • Try options such as quinoa, whole grain barley, farro, and whole oats
  • Aim for foods that are 100% whole grain. If opting for cereal or foods with many ingredients, make sure whole grains are the first ingredients.

 

Dark green leafy vegetables – These powerhouse foods are low in calories & carbohydrates and packed with vitamins A, C, E & K, iron, calcium, and potassium.

  • Spinach, cabbage & kale are all great choices.
  • A study by the University of Leicester concluded that 1.5 servings of green leafy vegetables reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14%.

 

 

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Written By: S. Campbell for Access Health Care Physicians, LLC. 

 

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