There are many people in the world suffering from diabetes. Diabetes is the most common disease in adults, elder people, and even children. If you have diabetes, you may want to carefully plan your diet. The more your blood sugar level rises, the more dysfunctions your body is exposed to. There are many kinds of food for diabetics.
Diabetes has become so popular because of the increased amount of sugar intake throughout the world. Sugar is not bad for your health, but when consumed too much your start to dysfunction in many ways. You may not notice or feel the changes at first, but as they say ‘Diabetes is a silent killer’.
What Foods to Avoid With Diabetes
Generally, you should first start avoiding highly processed food. Many of these processed foods contain refined carbs that are very bad for our digestive system. Your main objective should be to stay away from sugary drinks, liquid trans fats, and processed grains. To simplify the idea, here is a list of foods you should avoid:
1. Sugary Beverages
Sweetened beverages have a very high amount of sugar in one unit. Drinking them once in a while is okay, while most of us develop a habit of consuming almost every day. They contain a high amount of carbs and fructose. Fructose is a strong resistant to insulin. Consuming these beverages frequently causes fatty liver and other digestive dysfunctions.
2. Trans Fats
Trans fats are industrialized by adding hydrogen to fatty acids. This makes them stable. However, they are extremely unhealthy and increases heart disease risks. Trans fats are found in spreads, sauces, frozen dinners, cream products. Sometimes bakers also use them to extend shelf life. Trans fats are insulin resistant which increases digestive dysfunctions and diseases like fatty liver.
3. Flavored Yogurt
Flavored yogurts are very much different from regular yogurt. They are made with low-fat milk and high carbs and sugar. Fruit-flavored yogurt contains a very high percentage of sugar calories. This means in a 300gm cup, seventy to ninety percent calories come from sugar. A 300gm cup can contain up to 60gm of sugar. A regular yogurt, on the other hand, is very good food for diabetics.
4. Rice, White Bread
Foods like rice, white bread and pasta are highly processed. They contain a high percentage of processed carbs and are bad for diabetics. You must indulge yourself often with refined flour foods. Such industrialized and processed foods contain very little amount of fiber that can absorb the sugar. In many studies around the world, people consuming such foods have had increased blood sugar levels. In many cases, brain dysfunction has been observed.
5. Breakfast Cereals (Sweetened)
Most breakfast cereals that we eat regularly are the most harmful. When you start every day with highly processed sugar and carbs, you are bound to get diabetes. You may want to argue by saying there are different health claims in your cereal box than what you are reading here. But according to doctors, breakfast cereals have more carbs in them, even the healthier cereals. So, if you are diabetic, you may not want to start your day with cereals. Choose a low-carb breakfast instead of eggs.
6. Junk Foods
Restaurant foods and street food vendors often sell food that has very low nutritional value and is loaded with trans fats, sugar, and carbs. Even five star rated restaurants use many kinds of seasonings to make their food taste better. Mostly menus in these restaurants are high-carb food rich in trans fats and artificial sweeteners. You must avoid eating junk foods at all costs.
Best food for diabetes control
We shall now discuss the best food for diabetics and other options. Medicines work best with a proper diet. If you have high blood sugar levels, it is probably best for you to take care of what you eat and what you refrain from eating. It is possible to control diabetes with the right kind of food and it is advisable to stick to the list to avoid risking further illness. Here are some of the best foods that can be recommended for controlling diabetes:
1. Whole grains
Whole grains like brown rice, whole-grain bread, and whole-grain pasta contain a high amount of fiber. People with diabetes need to consume a high amount of fiber as it is said to slow down the digestion process. The slower the digestion process, the slower will be the absorption of nutrients and this will help in controlling the blood sugar levels.
2. Fatty fish
Fatty fish like salmon, trout, and sardines are rich in healthful fats that are important for the proper functioning of the body. If you have diabetes, you need to make sure that your diet is inclusive of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which specifically help in controlling blood sugar levels. This is undoubtedly the best food for diabetics.
Walnuts are an important component of a diabetic’s diet for their Omega3 fatty acids. These are good for the heart and do not contain any inherent sugar. People with diabetes have a higher risk of getting heart diseases or strokes. If you eat walnuts regularly, the chance of getting diabetes will be lowered. As walnuts are loaded with nutrients, they are necessary for the diet of a diabetic person.
Various kinds of berries like blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry are known for their vitamins, manganese and potassium content, which are highly beneficial for a diabetic person. People with diabetes generally have high amounts of oxidative stress. The ample amount of antioxidants present in berries help in relieving this oxidative stress.
5. Probiotic yogurt
Foods with probiotics are extremely helpful for improving health in general. Probiotics are helpful bacteria that help in the digestion process and also prevent heart diseases. Probiotic yogurt has direct links with influencing the insulin sensitivity of the body. However, it is important to consume yogurt without any added sugar. You can have a diabetes-friendly breakfast with this yogurt and added berries.
6. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are known for their Omega3 content. They are also full of antioxidants, which make it an important diet food for the people struggling with diabetes. Chia seeds will also provide you with a high amount of protein and fiber. They are especially helpful for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
7. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an ideal alternative to regular potatoes for their low glucose content and richness in minerals. They are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Due to the low content of glucose, sweet potatoes can be consumed in large quantities by people with diabetes. You can bake, boil or roast a sweet potato for a perfect meal with green veggies.
8. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are known to control insulin levels in the blood. These fruits will have an anti-diabetic effect when consumed regularly. Hesperidin and Naringin are two bioflavonoid antioxidants, which can be credited for the anti-diabetic effects of these fruits. They will also support your system with the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Various kinds of beans like kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, and navy beans are an excellent choice for a diabetic person as they are filling and will keep your stomach full for a long time. They also reduce your intake of carbohydrates, which are extremely harmful to a diabetic patient. Beans have low glucose content and are considered a better alternative to other starchy foods.
10. Green Vegetables
Leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, cabbage, and broccoli are packed with vital nutrients and help in controlling blood sugar levels. Green leafy vegetables have a starch-digesting enzyme, which is extremely useful for people with diabetes. Kale juice is highly nutritious and helps in relieving hypertension, which is a major symptom of diabetes.
Diabetic food chart
Food for diabetics starts with a proper diabetic food chart. Sometimes it might seem difficult to find the right kind of food that you can consume when you have diabetes. Here we have tried to provide a list of foods that you can choose from as per your liking, which will help you to keep your diabetes under control.
Starch & Bread
- Bagel, 4 oz, ¼ cup
- Beans dry/ cooked, ½ cup
- Bread, 1 slice
- Rice, cooked, 1/3 cup
- Apple, 1 (small)
- Apricots, 4 (whole)
- Banana, 1 (small)
- Orange, 1 (small)
- Buttermilk, 1 cup
- Goat’s milk, 1 cup
- Soy milk, 1 cup
- Non-fat, dry, 1/3 cup
- (Either you can take ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw)
- Beef, 1 oz.
- Fish, 1 oz.
- Ham, 1 oz.
- Chicken, no skin, 1 oz.
- Avocado, medium, 2 tbsp
- Bacon, 1 slice
- Cream Cheese, low fat, 1- ½ tbsp
- Oil, 1tsp
- Club soda
- Unsweetened coffee or tea
- Lemon juice
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
Diabetic diet plan to lose weight
There are many kinds of weight loss food for diabetics. Many of us are obsessed with weight loss and will go to all extents to achieve a result. We read many articles from magazines, websites, and newspapers and are always looking for new ways to lose weight. People with Type-2 diabetes must take extra measures to stay fit and keep their weight under control.
1. You need to start exercising
Regular exercising pumps fresh blood into the system, keeping your body active and aware. Physical effort is important to lose weight. Exercising may be difficult but doing it every day makes it easier gradually. Studies have proven people who exercise and follow a proper diet lose body fat more than people who diet only. If you are experiencing foot pain when you exercise it could be peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes. You can get neuropathy insoles to help alleviate this pain.
2. A nutritional breakfast is important with lots of fiber
Skipping breakfast leads to overeating which again destroys the diet’s nutrition. A healthy breakfast like some boiled eggs and fish can greatly help you to lose weight as well as control your blood sugar levels. Drinking a glass of milk is also a healthy breakfast choice with boiled eggs and some boiled green leafy vegetables. Studies show people who follow a low-carb breakfast routine reduce their blood-sugar levels faster than people who do not follow breakfast routines properly.
3. Consult your doctor
You need to consult a doctor for recommending the exact amount of calories that you need to consume in every meal. Overconsumption of calories per meal can lead to malnutrition and inflammation of the organs. Digestive system dysfunction is also expected. when you intake the proper amount of calories per meal, your body absorbs all the nutrients and does not exert any functioning pressure on any organs.
4. Encourage yourself to consume more fiber every day
Keep a minimum level of 31 grams of fiber per meal if you are a man. For women, 25 grams per meal would be sufficient. Fiber intake increases sugar absorption in blood cells. This helps to reduce blood-sugar levels and helps in losing weight simultaneously.
Always try to set small goals. Do not aim for a massive transformation that can seem very far- fetched. Set up small goals to keep motivating yourself in your weight loss journey. You can set up objectives like walking five blocks every day or taking the stairs every time instead of using lifts. Your goals can also be like eating dessert only once a week or eating ice-cream or beverages once in two weeks.
Finally, do not forget to seek help and motivation from everyone around you. Always try to find new and inspiring stories to keep you motivated. There are many food for diabetics, but taking extra measures to keep your body fit is always a good decision. Reject junk foods and indulge in eating lots of leafy green vegetables that are full of fiber.
Hopefully, this article on food for diabetics will help you. Always remember to never lose hope and keep trying. There is always a way to recover. All you have to do is find the right motivation and get physically active.
Writing allows me to pour my heart out in words. So, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 6 years. I strive to bring in a change in the world by taking tiny steps of curating the right message that needs to be conveyed.