Diabetes has today become one of the most commonly occurring lifestyle diseases, with type 2 diabetes being the commonly occurring type of diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic life-long disease that has an impact on the manner in which your body handles the sugar, glucose. One of the important part of diabetes control is to take insulin or some form of hyperglycemic medication. However, this does not mean that diabetes control ends at this stage. The biggest reality of diabetes is that the food you consume has a huge role to play in determining your blood sugar levels. You are supposed to be taking foods that help in controlling your diabetes, often referred to as diabetes ‘superfoods.’ These are low in fat and on the glycemic index, but they are high in nutrition. They do not cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. Let’s find out what types of stabilizing foods you should have to manage uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.
Role of Food in Managing Diabetes
People who suffer from diabetes have nearly double the risk of also developing heart disease and other mental health disorders, such as depression. However, the fact is that it is possible to not only prevent type 2 diabetes, but in many cases, also reverse type 2 diabetes by eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of diabetes superfoods.
If you want to control or prevent diabetes, then you need to pay attention to your food choices, especially the carbohydrates you are consuming. Following a heart-healthy or a Mediterranean diet can help, and most importantly, losing weight will go a long way in managing your type 2 diabetes.
A diabetic diet does not need to be complicated and neither do you need to give up on all your favorite foods. The best way to control your blood sugar levels is by eating healthy. This should include the foods and beverages that your body absorbs at a slower rate, thus avoiding any spikes or dips in your blood sugar levels. The glycemic index (GI) of foods is what you need to watch for. GI of foods looks at the effect the particular food will have on the body’s blood sugar levels. This is why for people looking to manage their blood sugar levels, opting for foods that have a low or medium GI score is recommended. It is also okay to combine foods with a low GI value with high GI foods, thus balancing your meal.
5 Stabilizing Foods to Manage Uncontrolled Type-2 Diabetes
Some of the stabilizing foods that help in managing blood sugar levels are low in fat and low on GI, but they are high in nutritional value, and thus they do not increase the blood sugar levels. Including more of such foods in your diet will not only help you control your blood sugar, but it will also make you feel healthier than before. Let’s take a look at these diabetes superfoods that help manage uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Stabilizing Food #1: Dark Green Leafy Vegetables (1)
Many studies have shown that including more dark green leafy vegetables in your diet reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and if you already have diabetes, then it helps keep your blood sugar levels under check (1). Dark green leafy vegetables are a powerhouse of many vitamins such as A, B, E, C, and even K. Dark green leafy vegetables are also rich in fiber, but at the same time, they are low in carbohydrates and calories. Some of the best examples of dark leafy vegetables to include in your diet for managing uncontrolled type 2 diabetes would be: broccoli, kale, spinach and collard greens.
Spinach is perhaps one of the vest non-starchy and diabetic-friendly superfood you can include in your diabetes diet. Spinach is rich in fiber which helps diabetics prevent a spike in their blood sugar levels. Spinach is also quite low on the GI and it contains high concentrations of vitamin C and polyphenols, both of which are known to have antioxidant properties that have a role to play in controlling blood sugar levels. You also get sufficient levels of magnesium from spinach, which again reduces the risk of many other lifestyle diseases.
Kale is one of the best sources of fiber when it comes to vegetables. Kale has the ability to make you feel full faster, and the body takes a long time to digest kale. This, thus, ensures that it does not lead to a spike in blood sugar levels.
All these dark green leafy vegetables are great stabilizing foods for management of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in antioxidant content and have a role to play in preventing many types of chronic diseases. An ideal diabetes diet should be a well-balanced mix of complex carbohydrates, high fiber foods and proteins.
Diabetes Stabilizing Food #2: Beans & Legumes (2)
Many studies have successfully shown that consuming beans and other types of legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, can help you control and manage the levels of blood sugar, especially after a meal. Beans and legumes are known to improve type 2 diabetes control. Beans that you should consider adding to your diabetic diet include: kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, chickpeas and lentils.
In fact, recommendations by the American Diabetes Association actually recommend diabetics to include no-sodium canned beans or dried beans to many of their meals during the week. The reason why beans are known as diabetes superfood is that they are low on GI and help control blood sugar levels much better than other starchy foods. Beans are rich in fiber and protein, which makes them a nutritional option to include to every meal since there are so many different types of beans available. You can also consider using beans as a replacement for the amount of animal protein you consume. Medical experts consider beans to be a great alternative to meat due to their high protein content (3). Furthermore, beans also have no saturated fats, but contain high amounts of fiber, unlike meat.
Beans are also a powerhouse of soluble fiber, which boosts the presence of healthy gut bacteria, resulting in improved gut health and also decreasing insulin resistance. However, more human studies are still required to substantiate these findings.
Diabetes Stabilizing Food #3: Avocados (4)
Avocados are today’s superfood to manage uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. Packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and heart-healthy fats, Avocados is rich in all types of health benefits, especially for people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes. Diabetics should be adding avocado to their daily diet immediately. Not only does Avocados help control your blood sugar level, but it also helps you lose weight, reduce the level of bad cholesterol and also increases insulin sensitivity. The primary benefit of avocados for type 2 diabetes is that it is low in carbohydrates, which means it has very little to no effect on the levels of blood sugar. Another benefit of avocados is that it is very rich in fiber. In fact, just half of a small avocado contains 4.6 g of fiber and 6 g of carbohydrates. Many studies have shown that fiber supplements for people having type 2 diabetes can lower the levels of fasting blood sugar and also their A1c levels. Avocados cut out the need to take fiber supplements. Simply increasing your fiber intake by consuming low-carb vegetables, fruits and avocados can benefit your blood sugar levels.
Diabetes Stabilizing Food #4: Berries (5)
Berries are a powerhouse of antioxidants and are also rich in fiber, vitamins, and other minerals (6). All this makes berries a great stabilizing food to manage uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. This is why you should consider picking berries over ice cream or a bowl of dessert any day, especially if you are a diabetic. Some of the berries that are excellent for managing type-2 diabetes include: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Berries also fulfill the craving for sweet and remain low on the GI, thus you can have them without any danger of a blood sugar spike. Another reason why berries are well-tolerated by people having type 2 diabetes is that they contain fructose, which is a natural sugar and therefore, does not require insulin to be metabolized. Berries also contain several types of phytonutrients, which are plant-derived chemicals that have many health benefits. Some of the phytonutrients commonly found in berries include: Anthocyanins, hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids, resveratrol and flavonols. These phytonutrients not only provide antioxidants to the body, but they also have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Berries are also good for lowering the bad (LDL) cholesterol in the body and at the same time increases the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol. Berries also lower triglycerides and apart from controlling blood sugar levels, they also have a positive effect on controlling your blood pressure.
Diabetes Stabilizing Food #5: Fish (7)
It should not surprise people to see fish included in the list of stabilizing foods to manage uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. After all, fish has no carbohydrates, so it will not have any impact on your blood sugar levels. Fatty fishes, such as sardines, salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very good for the heart (8). This makes fish a much better source of protein to have when compared to red meat.
In fact, fish is also high in protein and is good for your cardiovascular health (8). Fish is also a great source of vitamin D, which is required for keeping your bones healthy. Vitamin B2, which is required for good eyes, skin, and for producing red blood cells and keeping the nervous system running in top shape is also found in many types of fish. However, this does not mean that you include fried fish or fish sticks in your diet. There are a number of healthy cooking options for fish, including baking it in the oven, poaching and broiling. You can also opt for lightly sautéing the fish. Salmon, especially, tastes delicious when grilled. Another great fish for diabetics is Tilapia. This is a high-protein and low-fat fish, which is not only easy to find but also tastes great as either a frozen or a fresh fillet. It is also easier to prepare than other fishes.
The primary concern when suffering from type 2 diabetes should be to keep a watch on your carbohydrate and fat intake. You should keep your eating plan interesting, as once boredom sets in you will be more prone to eat unhealthy and junk foods. Consuming foods that have a low GI is recommended to keep your diabetes under control.
Experiment with different types of diabetes superfoods until you determine what it is that you like and what does not suit your taste.
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