What you eat can help you control and fight your diabetes. Incorporate these healthy foods into your diet.
Because they offer so many health advantages, put these at the core of your diet. Apples are naturally low in calories, yet their high fibre content (4 grams) fills you up, battles bad cholesterol, and blunts blood-sugar swings. Red Delicious and Granny Smith are also among the top 10 fruits with the most disease-fighting antioxidants.
Eat them whole and unpeeled for the greatest benefit, or make a quick ‘baked’ apple. After washing and chopping one apple, put it in a bowl with a dusting of cinnamon and microwave until soft (about 4 minutes). Enjoy with yogourt and oat bran sprinkles for a nutritious dessert, or serve over oatmeal for breakfast.
Rich, creamy, and packed with beneficial monounsaturated fat, avocado slows digestion and helps keep blood sugar from spiking after a meal. A diet high in good fats may even help reverse insulin resistance, which translates to steadier blood sugar long-term. Try putting mashed avocado on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise or on bread instead of butter. To keep what’s left over from turning brown, spritz the flesh with cooking spray or coat with lemon juice and wrap in plastic.
Choosing this grain instead of white rice can reduce the rise in blood sugar after a meal by almost 70 per cent’and keep your blood sugar lower and steadier for hours. That’s because the soluble fibre and other compounds in barley dramatically slow the digestion and absorption of the carbohydrate. Even brown rice can’t compare. Add barley to soups, serve it as a side dish, or make it the basis for a stir-fry or casserole. Pearled, hulled, or quick-cooking varieties are all crackling good choices.
When menu planning, think ‘bean cuisine‘ at least twice a week. The soluble fibre in all types of beans (from chickpeas to kidney beans to even edamame) puts a lid on high blood sugar. And because they’re rich in protein, beans can stand in for meat in main dishes. Just watch the sodium content. Always rinse canned beans before using. To save time cooking beans, invest in a pressure cooker. Soaked beans are tender in just 10 to 15 minutes.
Think of them as nature’s M&Ms: sweet, convenient, colourful, and satisfying. Berries are full of fibre and antioxidants. The red and blue varieties also contain natural plant compounds called anthocyanins. Scientists believe these may help lower blood sugar by boosting insulin production. Put some in an easy-to-grab location or freeze a handful to suck on or use as ice cubes.
Hey, don’t make that face. Broccoli is filling, fibrous, and full of antioxidants (including a day’s worth of vitamin C in one serving). It’s also rich in chromium, which plays an important role in long-term blood sugar control. If you don’t already love it, either ‘hide’ it in soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles, or sauté it with garlic, soy sauce, and mustard, or dark sesame oil (or any combination thereof) for a taste you’ll fall for.
Don’t believe what you hear about carrots rapidly raising blood sugar. While the type of sugar they contain is transformed into blood sugar quickly, the amount of sugar in carrots is extremely low. That’s good news because carrots are one of nature’s richest sources of beta-carotene, which is linked to a lower risk of diabetes and better blood-sugar control. Sick of raw sticks? Make some ‘fries’ by slicing carrots into thin strips, scattering on a baking sheet, and flavouring with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400°F (200°C) for 40 minutes. Who needs McDonald’s?
Eggs are another excellent, inexpensive source of high-quality protein’so high, in fact, that egg protein is the gold standard nutritionists use to rank all other proteins. An egg or two won’t raise your cholesterol, and will keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours afterward. Such a magic food deserves a little sleight of hand in its preparation. To flip an egg, spritz the skillet with cooking spray, wait for the egg white to bubble and, in one continuous motion, slide the pan quickly toward you and then forward with a slight upward flick of the wrist. Bow to your guests.
The single deadliest complications of diabetes is heart disease, and eating fish just once a week can reduce your risk by 40 per cent, according to a Harvard School of Public Health study. The fatty acids in fish reduce inflammation in the body’a major contributor to coronary disease, as well as insulin resistance and diabetes. And unless you’re pregnant, don’t worry too much about potential chemical contaminants. An exhaustive review of the scientific literature on fish and human health by Harvard researchers led to the conclusion that eating it far outweighs any accompanying risks.
Because of their high fibre and protein content, nuts are ‘slow burning’ foods that are friendly to blood sugar. And even though they contain a lot of fat, it’s that healthful monounsaturated kind again. Roasting really brings out the flavour of nuts and makes them a great addition to fall soups and entrées. Just spread shelled nuts on a cooking sheet and bake at 300°F (150°C) for 7 to 10 minutes.