It doesn’t have to be challenging to determine which foods are best to consume if you have diabetes.
Your primary objective should be controlling your blood sugar levels to keep things straightforward.
Eating meals that reduce your risk of developing diabetic complications like heart disease is also crucial.
Your food can play a significant part in managing and preventing diabetes.
The following 16 foods are the best for people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2.
1- Fatty fish
The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, found in abundance in fish like salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel, have a significant positive impact on heart health.
Getting enough of these fats regularly is crucial for people with diabetes, who are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke.
DHA and EPA guard the lining cells of your blood vessels, lower inflammation-related markers, and might even enhance the performance of your arteries.
According to studies, individuals who consume fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of acute coronary syndromes, such as heart attacks, and are less likely to pass away from heart disease.
Consuming fatty fish, according to studies, may also help control blood sugar.
68 adults in a study who had Participants with excess weight or obesity who ingested fatty fish showed much more significant reductions in post-meal blood sugar levels than those who had lean fish
Additionally, fish is a fantastic source of high-quality protein, which keeps you full and helps to control blood sugar levels.
2- Leafy greens
Participants with excess weight or obesity who ingested fatty fish showed much more significant post-meal blood sugar level reductions than those who had lean fish.
Leafy green vegetables are very calorie-efficient and nutrient-dense.
They don’t significantly affect blood sugar levels because they contain minimal digestible carbs or carbs that the body can absorb.
Many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, are abundant in spinach, kale, and other leafy greens.
According to some data, people with diabetes have lower vitamin C levels than those without the disease and might also need more vitamin C overall.
Both an effective antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, vitamin C is.
People with diabetes can benefit from increasing their intake of foods high in vitamin C.
cellular damage while decreasing inflammation by increasing their blood vitamin C levels
You don’t need to be concerned about avocados raising your blood sugar levels because they contain less than 1 gram of sugar, little carbs, fiber, and beneficial fats.
Avocado consumption is also linked to better food quality overall and notably lower body weight and body mass index (BMI). Because obesity increases the risk of developing diabetes, avocados are a perfect snack for people with diabetes.
Avocados might offer unique diabetes-prevention-related qualities.
In skeletal muscle and the pancreas, avocation B (Avon), a lipid molecule found only in avocados, suppresses incomplete oxidation, which lowers insulin resistance, according to a 2019 mouse research.
Establishing the link between avocados and the prevention of diabetes will require further human study.
You can lower your risk of heart disease in several ways by regularly eating eggs.
Eggs may reduce inflammation, enhance insulin sensitivity, raise HDL levels (the good cholesterol), and alter the size and shape of LDL (the bad cholesterol).
Having eggs for breakfast could help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels throughout the day, according to a 2019 study. Eggs are high in fat and low in carbohydrates.
In earlier studies, consuming eggs has been linked to heart disease in people with diabetes.
However, a more recent analysis of studies found that eating 6–12 eggs per week as part of a healthy diet did not raise heart disease risk factors in individuals with diabetes.
Furthermore, some research indicates that consuming eggs may lower the risk of stroke.
People with diabetes should eat chia seeds frequently.
They contain a lot of fiber but few carbohydrates that can be digested.
Fiber, which doesn’t raise blood sugar, makes up 11 of the 12 grams of carbohydrates in a 28-gram (1-ounce) serving of chia seeds.
Because food moves through your gut more slowly and is absorbed more slowly, the viscous fiber in chia seeds can lower your blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds may aid in maintaining a healthy weight because fiber curbs appetite and makes you feel full. Chia seeds may additionally support diabetics’ glycemic control.
According to a study involving 77 adults with type 2 diabetes who were overweight or obese, eating chia seeds promotes healthy blood sugar levels.
Weight reduction and aids with maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Chia seeds have also been demonstrated to help lower blood pressure and inflammatory indicators
Budget-friendly, nutrient-dense, and highly healthy beans.
An abundant source of fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as B vitamins, beans are a type of legume.
They also have a shallow glycemic index, essential for controlling diabetes.
Additionally, beans may aid in the prevention of diabetes.
More than 3,000 people with a high risk of cardiovascular disease participated in a study that found that those who consumed more legumes had a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
7- Greek yogurt
A daily serving of yogurt was associated with an 18% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a lengthy study that analyzed health information from more than 100,000 participants.
Depending on your personal goals, it might also assist you in losing weight.
According to studies, yogurt and other dairy products may help people with type 2 diabetes lose weight and improve their body composition.
Yogurt’s high calcium, protein, and a particular kind of fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) content might help you feel fuller for longer.
Additionally, compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has fewer carbohydrates per serving—only 6 to 8 grams.
Furthermore, it contains more protein, which may help people lose weight.
By lowering appetite, which thus lowers calorie consumption.
Nuts are savory and nourishing.
Although some nuts have more fiber than others, most nut varieties are low in net carbohydrates.
According to studies on various nuts, regular consumption may reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar management).
Nuts may also help people with diabetes strengthen their cardiovascular system.
In a 2019 study, tree nuts, like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios, reduced the risk of heart disease and death in more than 16,000 participants with type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, studies show that nuts can lower blood sugar levels.
According to a study on people with type 2 diabetes, Walnut oil daily reduces blood glucose levels.
The fact that people with type 2 diabetes frequently have elevated insulin levels related to obesity makes this finding significant.
One of the most nourishing vegetables available is broccoli.
In addition to essential nutrients like vitamin C and magnesium, a half cup of cooked broccoli only has 27 calories and 3 grams of digestible carbohydrates.
Managing your blood sugar levels may also be aided by broccoli.
One study discovered that eating broccoli sprouts helped people with diabetes lower their blood glucose levels.
Sulforaphane, a substance found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and sprouts, is probably to blame for this drop in blood sugar levels.
10-Extra-virgin olive oil
Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat found in extra-virgin olive oil, may help with glycemic control, lower fasting and post-meal triglyceride levels, and have antioxidant effects.
Because people with diabetes frequently struggle to control their blood sugar levels and have high triglyceride levels, this is crucial.
The satiation hormone GLP-1 may also be stimulated by oleic acid.
Olive oil was the only fat found in a thorough analysis of 32 studies looking at various types of fat to lower the risk of heart disease.
Polyphenols another type of antioxidant found in olive oil.
Polyphenols lower blood pressure, protect the cells lining your blood vessels, prevent oxidation from harming your LDL (bad) cholesterol, and reduce inflammation.
Olive oil extra virgin is not refined.
Consequently, it keeps the antioxidants and other qualities that make it healthy.
Because many extra-virgin olive oils are blended with less expensive oils like corn and soy, select this type from a reputable supplier.
Flaxseeds sometimes referred to as common flax or linseeds, are rich in fiber, special plant chemicals, and heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
They include lignans, which comprise a percentage of their insoluble fiber and may help lower the risk of heart disease and enhance blood sugar control.
Twenty-five randomized clinical studies revealed a strong link between whole flaxseed consumption and lower blood sugar levels.
Blood pressure may be reduced by flaxseeds as well.
Daily use of flaxseed powder, according to a 2016 research including individuals with prediabetes, reduced blood pressure but did not improve glycemic control or insulin resistance.
Flaxseed’s potential to prevent or control diabetes requires further study.
Overall though, flaxseed is suitable for your gut and heart health.
Furthermore, flaxseeds have a high viscous fiber content that enhances gut health, insulin sensitivity, and feelings of fullness.
12-Apple cider vinegar and vinegar
Both ordinary and apple cider vinegar offers a lot of health advantages.
The fruit’s sugar gets fermented into acetic acid even though it is created from apples. The finished item has fewer than 1 gram of carbohydrates per tablespoon.
Vinegar lowers HbA1c and fasting blood sugar levels, according to a meta-analysis of six research including 317 persons with type 2 diabetes.
Antimicrobial and antioxidant actions are only a couple of the health benefits that apple cider vinegar may possess. To prove its health advantages, additional research is necessary.
Start by consuming 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily, mixed in a glass of water before each meal, to introduce it into your diet.
Add 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water each day before each meal to incorporate it into your diet. To ensure that the taste is not too overpowering, consider adding 1 teaspoon per glass of water. A maximum of 4 tablespoons should be consumed each day.
The anthocyanins that give strawberries their red color are a significant source of antioxidants.
Additionally, polyphenols, which are healthy plant substances with antioxidant properties, are present.
In adults with overweight and obese but without diabetes, a 2017 study found that consuming the polyphenols from strawberries and cranberries for six weeks increased insulin sensitivity.
This is crucial because impaired insulin sensitivity can result in elevated blood sugar levels.
Strawberries have a calorie count of 53.1 and 12.7 grams of carbohydrates, of which three are fiber, per 1-cup serving.
Furthermore, this serving contains more than 100% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin C, which has additional anti-inflammatory advantages for heart health.
Garlic is surprisingly nutrient-dense for its small size and low-calorie content.
Manganese is found in raw garlic and is found in one clove (3 grams), or around 4 calories. 2 percent of the daily value (DV)
A 2% daily value for vitamin B6
Citrus C: 1 percent of DV
Selenium: 1 percent of the DV
Fiber: 0.06 grams
Garlic, according to research, helps manage blood sugar levels and can control cholesterol.
Even though the meta-analysis stated above only examined servings from 0.05 to 1.5 grams, numerous studies that conclude that garlic is a proven beneficial alternative for persons with diabetes contain abnormal dietary quantities of garlic.
One garlic clove weighs around 3 grams for reference.
Garlic may help lower blood pressure and maintain healthy cholesterol levels, according to research.
One of the healthiest vegetables is squash, which comes in many different kinds.
It has a low glycemic index and is calorie and glycemic index rich and satisfying.
Acorn, pumpkin, and butternut are examples of hard-shelled winter types.
An edible peel is present on summer squash. Italian squash and zucchini are the two most popular kinds.
Squash has antioxidants that are good for you like most veggies do. The beautiful thing about squash is that it contains less sugar than sweet potatoes.
Pumpkin polysaccharides, which are also present in squash, have been shown to increase insulin tolerance and lower blood glucose levels in rats, according to research.
According to a modest study in humans, squash reduced high blood glucose levels in adults rapidly and efficiently, despite the lack of studies on humans.
in extremely unwell diabetic individuals
To prove squash’s health advantages, more human research is required.
However, squash is a fantastic complement to any dish due to its many health advantages.
Diabetes and weight management benefit greatly from shiitake noodles.
The konjac root fiber glucomannan, abundant in these noodles, is extracted.
Shirataki is a type of rice or noodles made from this plant, which is grown in Japan.
It makes you feel satisfied and full to consume glucomannan, a type of viscous fiber.
Additionally, it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels after meals and enhance heart disease risk factors in individuals with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
In one experiment, diabetic rats received glucomannan, which markedly decreased their fasting blood glucose, serum insulin, and cholesterol levels.
Additionally, there are only 10 calories and 3 grams of digestible carbs in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of shirataki noodles.
However, it would help to thoroughly rinse the noodles before using them because they are sometimes packed with fishy liquid.
Then, cook the noodles for some minutes over high heat in a pan without any additional fat for a noodle-like texture.
1- Refined grains
Because refined grains lack fiber and are high in carbohydrates, they can cause blood sugar levels to rise more quickly than whole grains. Examples of refined grains include white bread, pasta, and rice.
One literature review found that whole grain rice, as opposed to white rice, was significantly more effective at regulating blood sugar levels after a meal.
A concentrated quantity of sugar is included in each serving of sugar-sweetened beverages, including soda, sweet tea, and energy drinks, which can cause blood sugar levels to surge. These beverages also lack essential nutrients
Alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum for those with diabetes. This is due to the possibility of low blood sugar is increased by alcohol, especially if it is drunk on an empty stomach.
The majority of morning cereal kinds have a lot of added sugar. Certain products contain as much sugar per serving as some desserts.
Each serving of candy contains a significant quantity of sugar. It typically has a high glycemic index, which means that blood sugar levels are likely to spike and then drop after eating.
Cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, salami, and other processed meats have high salt content and other unhealthy additives. Additionally, an increased risk of heart disease has been linked to eating processed meats.
If you have diabetes, it’s best to stick to whole fruit whenever possible, even though 100% fruit juice can be occasionally enjoyed in moderation.
Fruit juice lacks the fiber required to help stabilize blood sugar levels but contains all the carbohydrates and sugar found in fresh fruit, which explains why.
The plate method can help support healthy blood sugar levels without counting or measuring your food. To create a nutritionally balanced meal, you must adjust the portions of specific food groups on your plate.
Place non-starchy vegetables, like leafy greens, broccoli, squash, or cauliflower, in the middle of your plate.
Proteins like chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, tofu, and lean beef or pork should make up one-fourth of your plate.
A healthy source of carbohydrates should be present on the remaining quarter of the plate, such as whole grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, fruit, or dairy products.
A low-calorie beverage, like water, unsweetened tea, black coffee, or club soda, should be consumed with your meal to help you stay hydrated.
A valuable tool for regulating blood sugar levels is the glycemic index. Their glycemic index classifies foods as having a high, low, or medium GI to indicate how much they raise blood sugar levels.
When using this approach, try to avoid foods with high glycemic indexes and restrict your intake of those with low or medium glycemic indexes.
This article further details the glycemic index and how to utilize it to regulate blood sugar levels better.
By keeping track of how many carbohydrates you eat throughout the day, carb counting is a well-liked technique for controlling blood sugar levels.
Monitoring the grams of carbohydrates in the food you eat is required. You might occasionally need to change the insulin dosage depending on how many carbohydrates you consume.
Depending on your age, size, and level of activity, as well as other variables, you should eat different amounts of carbohydrates at each meal and snack.
You can develop a personalized carb-counting plan based on your needs with a registered dietitian or physician.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be challenging or time-consuming when you have diabetes.
Here is a one-day sample menu with a few quick meal suggestions to get you started:
Breakfast: an omelet with peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms
A handful of almonds for breakfast
Grilled chicken salad for lunch with spinach, tomatoes, avocado, onions, cucumber, and balsamic vinaigrette
Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries and walnuts makes a tasty afternoon snack.
Dinner will be salmon baked in the oven with quinoa and herbs.
Snack for later: sliced vegetables and hummus
Diabetes raises your chance of developing several dangerous illnesses when it is not well treated.
However, consuming foods that lower inflammation, blood sugar, and insulin levels can significantly lower your risk of problems.
Just keep in mind that while these foods may aid blood sugar control, eating a balanced, nutritious diet is still the most crucial aspect of healthy blood sugar management.