Diabetes Diet Plan – Food to Fight Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes association, 23.6 million people in the United States—that’s 8 million people—have diabetes. The good news is that the number of undiagnosed diabetes is down–way down; and that this is a disease that is primarily self-managed. Nutrition—the foods you eat—and your lifestyle can help you control, or even prevent this disease, if you are pre-diabetic.
How to get started on your Diabetes Diet Plan
- Know your numbers—talk with an educator for target blood glucose levels and keep a log.
- Make a commitment and go public with it—clue in family and friends so they help you stay on track.
- Keep an eye on blood pressure and cholesterol, and lose weight if you need to. If you feel better overall you will be in better control.
- Be active—shoot for 30-45 minutes at least 3 times a week, even if it is in 10 minute increments, and chose an activity you love. Dancing, swimming, yoga, or tai-chi. Your body is made to move—use it!
Your diabetes diet plan: What are the right foods to eat?
According to the American Diabetes Association there are certain super foods for both type 1 and 2 diabetics that contain nutrients that are especially important to people with diabetes, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E. They are high in fiber, which helps you feel full longer and keeps your glycemic index low so they don’t spike blood sugar (thus increasing hunger). They also help maintain healthy levels of blood pressure and blood fats (like cholesterol), which are important for all of us, but especially so for diabetics.
Leafy greens—the darker the better. These are so low in carbohydrates you can eat as much as you want. Substitute spinach for romaine to get high amounts of Vitamin A.
Fruits high in Vitamin C—Oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit and strawberries all have high amounts of Vitamin C. Stick to whole fruits instead of juice. Fiber in whole fruit slows sugar absorption so you get the nutrients without sending your blood sugar sky high.
Substitute beans for proteins a few times a week—Eaten in the right size portion beans deliver many nutrients and the high fiber content keeps you feeling full longer. If you buy canned, look for low or no sodium.
Sweet potatoes—substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes. They’re high in vitamin A and fiber, and low in glycemic index, so they don’t raise your blood sugar at the same level as a regular potato.
Cinnamon–Research has shown cinnamon reduces inflammation and may help treat Type 2 diabetes by lowering sugar levels. Also recent studies confirm found that simply smelling cinnamon boosted several areas in the brain that involved in everything from memory to attention and focus. As little as a quarter teaspoon a day can improve insulin resistance.
Get your calcium from foods—Good food sources of calcium are spinach, kale, broccoli, white beans, and low fat dairy.
Eat foods high in Vitamin D—Vitamin D is necessary for your body to absorb calcium. Foods high in Vitamin D are salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, fortified whole grain cereal, and fat free milk. These fish are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, known to help both heart disease and diabetes.
Eat nuts—these once forbidden treats should be a part of any diet. With high amounts of Vitamin E and healthy fats they can stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you satisfied. The key is not eating too many—about 1 ½ ounces a day. Use nuts as a snack or a condiment, sprinkled on cereal or yogurt.
Green Tea–Studies show that chronic inflammation—caused by high-fat foods, lack of exercise, and eating too few fruits, vegetables, and good fats—can thwart the body’s ability to absorb blood sugar. Green tea is packed with flavonoids—powerful inflammation-fighters.
Vinegar—old wives tale or not?–A study at Arizona State University East tested three different groups of people to see what the results would be in healthy people, those with prediabetes (they had signs diabetes was developing), and confirmed diabetics. Before each of two meals a day, the subjects were given 2 tablespoons of ordinary vinegar.
The results: An hour after the vinegar treatment, the diabetics had blood sugar levels that were 25 percent lower than without vinegar. The prediabetics had an even better result: Their levels were lower by about half.
Remember that exercise is essential for people with diabetes. Diabetes can be challenging, but with the right treatment and information it can be a whole lot easier.
Try this delicious Spinach Waldorf Salad and feel good about yourself.
This information is intended for reference only and not as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor.