Foods can control diabetes to the point where some diabetics can maintain normal blood sugar levels without medication. Although there may be a debate as to whether diet cures the condition, people diagnosed with diabetes can manage their blood glucose levels through certain foods and healthy lifestyle changes.
Research has shown that some people with type 2 diabetes are able to keep their blood sugar levels out of the diabetes range through exercise and a diet that limits their calorie intake to 1,200 to 1,800 a day, according to WebMD.
Even when diabetics still require medication, a proper meal plan can improve their condition significantly for a healthier life. Here are 10 foods with the nutrients to beat diabetes.
1. Black, navy, pinto or kidney beans provide valuable protein without the saturated food from many protein foods. Beans are also high in fiber, magnesium and potassium.
2. Dark, green leafy vegetables are low in carbohydrates and calories, so people can eat a lot of them without fat and fullness. The American Diabetes Association recommends spinach, collards, and kale.
3. Fish with omega-3 fatty acids provide protein and fight the risk of heart disease. The ADA recommends six to nine ounces of fish a week. Diabetics should avoid breaded or fried fish and focus on grilled, broiled or baked fish. Omega-3 rich fish include salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, and mackerel.
4. Fat-free milk and yogurt avoid the fat while providing calcium as well as fortified vitamin D in many dairy products.
5. Whole grains give people a full feeling without the fat and offer nutrients. Whole grains include whole grain bread, whole grain pasta and brown rice. Refined gains lose nutrients during processing.
6. Fruits with low-glycemic levels slowly digest to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels, according to HealthGuide.org. They include apples, pears, peaches, bananas, mangoes and papayas.
7. Almonds, walnuts, and pecans contain unsaturated fats, which help lower bad cholesterol levels. Sunflower oil also contains polyunsaturated fats, Everyday Health noted.
8. Dark chocolate satisfies sweet cravings when eaten in moderation. Natural News recommends unprocessed cocoa without refined sugars. Research indicates dark chocolate could reduce the risk of insulin resistance.
9. Blueberries contain antioxidants that fight damage to the body’s cells from free radicals. Blueberries also make a fat-free snack anytime.
10. Green tea shows promise in preventing progression of type 1 diabetes and helps regulate blood glucose levels for type 2 diabetics in research, according to Natural News. Green tea might also promote weight loss, essential for a healthy diabetic program.