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While diabetes does have genetic components to it, there is no doubt that the causes of diabetes and its proper management are deeply routed in dietary factors.
When it comes to the food that diabetics should eat and the foods they should avoid, several factors need to be considered, including carbohydrate content, glycemic index, satiety potential, nutritional content and potential for helping with the symptoms of diabetes. Based on that, here are 10 Top Foods to eat more abundantly and 10 top foods to stay away from or reduce of you have diabetes.
We'll start with 10 Top foods:
Oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, pilchards and sardines are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Although, there has been some controversy regarding the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in diabetes, research studies appear to support the use of fish oil supplementation for patients with type 2 diabetes, suggesting a positive effect on diabetes-related factors like triglyceride levels and blood pressure and no adverse effect on glycemic control.
The humble egg contains almost every nutrient that the body needs and is particularly rich in iron, vitamin B12 and essential fats. The notion that eggs raise cholesterol has been debunked by medical science and in fact, many heart foundation associations have taken the limitations and bans off eggs. Egg breakfasts can provide a good low carbohydrate alternative to processed cereals for diabetics and are also far more satiating then carbohydrate-based breakfasts. Avoid frying eggs in oil, rather dry fry, poach or boil for best results.
Chicken is a good complete protein source and the breast provides a low fat alternative to other chicken parts and the skin. Chicken breast provides a very versatile protein source for diabetics and can be spiced and grilled as is or chopped into a stir-fry or salad.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Greens like kale, collard, spinach and lettuce varieties are powerhouses of diabetes busting nutrients. For example, their high chromium and magnesium levels help to balance blood sugar levels. The also provide a very low calorie and low carbohydrate package. You cant really get too much of these. Use raw greens as a base for salads or add them to stews, soups and stir-fries. Larger leaves can be used to make wraps by filling them with vegetables and protein. Bake kale leaves in the oven under the grill with some salt and spices for delicious, crispy kale chips. Greens can also be juiced and mixed with a small amount of carrot and apple for flavour.
Dairy products, like yogurt are good sources of complete protein and are also rich in many nutrients including the B vitamin riboflavin and the mineral calcium. Yogurt is more digestable than milk, as it contains probiotic cultures.
Ditch the sugary varieties though and avoid adding too much honey or other sugars. Yogurt mixed with a low glycemic index cereal or fruit or some nuts and seeds is a good option.