Research shows that your diet can play a major role in your health, especially if you have diabetes. This means that simply sticking to a healthy diabetic meal plan can help you avoid the bothersome and downright dangerous symptoms that occur when this condition is not managed. If you are not sure what you should add to your diet for best results, check out these five delicious, healthy options that belong on any diabetic meal plan.
This healthy option is considered great diabetes food because it contains whole grains. According to the American Diabetes Association, the bran and germ in the whole grain can benefit the body, while the soluble fiber can keep blood sugar balanced. Additional nutrients you will find in oatmeal include potassium, chromium, folate, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. You can add berries to your oatmeal to get even more fiber and antioxidants, or you can opt for cinnamon, which is known for reducing blood glucose levels among those with Type II diabetes.
2. Low-Fat or Fat-Free Yogurt
If you want a tasty treat to enjoy while keeping your diabetes under control, low-fat or fat-free yogurt is a good option, according to the American Diabetes Association. That's because it is light on saturated fat, total fat, and calories. At the same time, it has both protein and carbohydrates, which can help prevent a rise in your blood sugar. In addition, this terrific diabetes food features plenty of calcium and vitamin D, which are two nutrients from which everyone can benefit.
3. Nuts and Seeds
When you want a snack that will help curb your hunger, nuts and seeds are some great options. They come in many varieties, making it hard to get bored of these healthy snacks. Nuts are of particular importance for diabetics because they feature monounsaturated fatty acids, which can reverse insulin resistance. In addition, the American Diabetes Association states that flax seeds and walnuts feature omega-3 fatty acids. Most nuts also have other nutrients, such as magnesium and fiber. Almonds even feature lots of antioxidants, protein and a low glycemic index, while pumpkin seeds are known for their vitamin K, iron and protein. And these are just a few examples of the nuts and seeds you should include on your diabetes diet, so you can always experiment with additional varieties until you find one on which you truly enjoy snacking.
4. Dark Leafy Greens
Even if you do not normally love vegetables, you can surely find a dark green leafy option you can eat on a regular basis. You can choose from spinach, kale, collard greens and mustard greens, to name a few popular options. Whether you toss them in a salad or season them as a side for your dinner, you can benefit from the fact that they are low in carbohydrates, high in vitamin C and rarely have an impact on blood sugar. If you are trying to lose weight, you will appreciate how full these vegetables will keep you due to the extra fiber.
According to Reader's Digest, you can benefit from most types of fish due to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain. This is because diabetics tend to have too little of the healthy cholesterol, called HDL, and too many triglycerides in the body, and omega-3 fatty acids can change this. The best types of fish to eat include mackerel, wild salmon and tuna. For an added boost of nutrients, cook the fish in extra virgin olive oil, which appears on the typical diabetes food list for its ability to reduce inflammation in the body.