Medically Reviewed By: Tom Iarocci, MD
People who have type 2 diabetes can't process sugar efficiently, which results in abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood. Uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to complications such as kidney disease, stroke, heart disease and blindness. Fortunately, with lifestyle changes and medications, people with diabetes can get their blood sugar levels under control and help prevent these complications.
Living well with diabetes cannot be reduced to a single superfood—or even a list of such foods. Nevertheless, there are certain foods that everyone should know about. These foods, often called superfoods, have more to offer than the average snack or side dish, and virtually every health site on the web seems to have a list of their own favorite superfoods. Have a look at these 7 stellar choices that can be part of your plan to stabilize your blood sugar level and have a healthier life.
Broccoli is a miraculous food. Low in starch, you can eat more of it and still not upset your glucose control. One cup of chopped broccoli has only 6g of carbs. Like many other types of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and kale, it contains sulforaphane, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
If you love that buttery flavor of perfectly ripe avocado, you don’t have to go without even if you have type 2 diabetes. Avocados have good fats, so they are a great to swap in when you swap out unhealthy fats from your diet. Nonetheless, calories from good fat can still add up, so you do have to watch your portion size. Avocados contain less than 1 gram of sugar per 1 ounce serving, which is 1/5 of a medium avocado. Avocado is also a good source of fiber.
Blueberries are an outstanding superfood. They contain potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and many phytonutrients. They also contain insoluble fiber, which can help your body out in different ways. One cup of blueberries has about 3.6 grams of fiber and 21 grams of carbs. Getting more fiber in your diet of course helps keep your bowels regular, but it can also help your digestion and contribute to a sense of fullness. Various studies have suggested blueberries may have other health benefits; blueberries are naturally cholesterol-free, and the anthocyanins they contain may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Fish is a great food for slimming, as its protein-rich content will keep you satisfied for longer. It’s also a great source of a specific type of fat that's been shown to help combat inflammation. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce body-wide inflammation, which has been implicated in both the development of diabetes and the emergence of certain complications. A diet rich in fish and omega-3 fatty acids may also help curb your risk for cardiovascular disease, which includes both stroke and heart disease.
5.) Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans, also referred to as white kidney beans, are a great pick if you are trying to eat healthy and lose weight. They are full of cholesterol-lowering fiber, and they are also a good source of protein. Slower digestion with these beans can help deliver your carbs in a more even manner, in contrast to the rapid burst that comes from refined carbs and sugar. Cannellini beans are often found dried and can be used in many different types of dishes. These beans can help make you feel full even though they have a relatively low calorie count. One half cup of cooked cannellini beans has about 140 calories, 23g of carbs 10g of protein, 6g of fiber, and 1g fat.
Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, which has been proven to help combat inflammation. The combination of omega-3, fiber, L-arginine, and Vitamin E found in tree nuts like walnuts make them amazing ingredients in any diet. Scientists have found substances in walnuts that may have helpful anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties, as well. Walnuts are in the same category as avocado when it comes to calories, however, so watch out. One ounce of walnuts is about 14 halves or 1/4 cup and contains roughly 185 calories, 18 g fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, and 4 g protein.
7.) Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Any list of diabetes superfoods would be incomplete without the proper homage to dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collards, and kale. These foods are low in calories, low in carbohydrates and have been associated with many different health benefits. Regularly including green leafy vegetables in your diet (two to three servings per week) may help you reduce your risk of certain cancers as well as heart disease.