Take Action Against Diabetes With The Help Of These Best Foods

The food you eat is one of the things that can get you into trouble with diabetes. If you are pre-diabetic or have diabetes, one of the ways to cure, control or prevent diabetes is to focus on foods that can help cure or reduce your risk of developing this chronic condition. It may seem like a monumental task to try to change your eating habits because let’s face it, many bad foods are quite delicious. Despite this, you can make a change. Some of the best foods for diabetics are delicious too.

Before considering the best foods for diabetics, you need to consider what type of diabetes you have as well as what goals you are aiming for when making dietary changes.

Type I diabetes is not preventable and cannot be cured and requires daily insulin injections. Using diet to control type 1 diabetes is done in order to ensure that complications both long and short term are minimized by blood glucose levels normalization with the help of diet.

Type II diabetes on the other hand can not only be prevented but in some cases can be cured or the reliance on medications or insulin injections by the patient can be significantly reduced.

Making dietary changes for type II diabetes (and increasing daily physical activity levels) is with the aim of helping with weight reduction and help the patient maintain normal body weight. While the causes of type II diabetes are varied, one significant area that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese.

Best Foods for Diabetics

1. Carbohydrates

The body needs carbohydrates that it turns into glucose which is the source of the energy or fuel required by the cells in the body. Carbohydrates are present in most foods except for meat, poultry and fish.

The two types of carbohydrates used by the body are derived from complex carbs (starches) such as beans, pasta, rice, etc. The second type of carbohydrates are known as simple carbohydrates which refer to sugars derived from fruits, vegetables, honey, white table sugar, etc.

If you are a diabetic, you should become well versed in carbohydrates. Diabetics should eat a diet that is higher in carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates in particular than any other type of food. Simple carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels much more quickly than complex carbohydrates (grains, beans, peas, peanuts, soybeans, potatoes, etc) which raise blood sugar levels very slowly.

Simple carbohydrates may not be entirely off limits for diabetics but this is something for you to discuss with your doctor as many “forbidden foods” such as white table sugar many not be completely off limits.

Carbohydrate counting is probably prudent for each diabetic. After a discussion with your doctor on how many carbs you need in a day, you can then decide what your daily mix of carbs will include. You may then be able to enjoy a candy bar here and there as long as you consider how much the candy bar will affect your daily allowable carbohydrate requirements in much the same way you would consider a cup of beans, cup of pasta, etc.

2. Fiber

The reason that complex carbs and whole grains are crucial for a diabetic is mainly because of the fiber content which is why refined “foods” are usually forbidden for a diabetic because they do are usually stripped of fiber and raise blood sugar levels very fast because foods are digested very quickly when they do not contain fiber.

Fiber has many health benefits including relieving constipation, reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering cholesterol, it can help with weight reduction, etc. Fiber rich foods are one of the best foods for diabetics because fiber can help to control blood sugar levels, so adopting a fiber rich diet is a must for anyone wanting to overcome or prevent diabetes.

There are two types of fiber and each of them is very important. The first type is known as soluble fiber and the second is known as insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber

Soluble fiber which is found mainly in beans, oats, certain fruits and vegetables, etc, dissolves in water and turns into a gel in the stomach. The gummy consistency of insoluble fiber helps to slow down the digestion process. This slowing down helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar which is a very powerful role for diabetes cure or management as it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels by preventing glucose from being absorbed too quickly into the blood.

Spikes in blood sugar levels means that there will be excess amounts of glucose in the blood which the body may have trouble transferring to the various cells in the body or storing which could lead to complications and even death if very severe.

Another benefit of soluble fiber is that if you are dealing with insulin resistance which is a common feature of type 2 diabetes development, soluble fiber can help to increase the sensitivity of the body’s cells to insulin so that the insulin is able to remove more glucose from the blood and distribute it to the various cells in the body.

Insoluble fiber

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and passes through the body intact and helps to speed up the movement of food through the intestines which helps prevent constipation.

The insoluble fiber that is derived mostly from whole wheat as well as certain fruits and vegetables has been linked to a lower risk of diabetes.

Various studies have shown that those who consumed fiber rich ( or complex carbohydrate rich) diets were able to achieve and maintain normal blood sugar levels by as much as 90 percent for those with type 2 diabetes and 30 percent for those with type 1 diabetes.

An important feature of a high fiber diet is to ensure that you increase your water intake. Fiber needs a significant amount of water to move through the body and do what it needs to do. Increasing your water intake will also keep you well hydrated which is important for general health and wellbeing.

Consuming more fiber is also a great way to prevent developing diabetes if you have been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic.

3. Healthy fats

No two diabetic diets are ever the same. While one person with diabetes may be advised to consume less fat, another may be required to eat more fats (the healthy kind).

The amount of healthy fat content is something to discuss with your doctor but it has been discovered that some who ate less healthy fats and more carbohydrates may have unwittingly increased the levels of triglycerides in their bodies which has been linked to a greater risk of heart disease in diabetics. This is because fat and protein when compared to carbs, do not raise blood sugar levels quite as fast as the latter and this helps to reduce the levels of triglycerides.

If this is a risk for you, increasing your intake of healthy fats such as olive oil will not only lower blood sugar levels but will also reduce your heart disease risk. Healthy fats like those found in olive oil, avocados and various nuts, are also loaded with antioxidants which are also important for diabetes management as discussed below.

4. Vitamins and minerals

There are many complications that can arise from diabetes that can affect the nerves, eyes, blood vessels, etc, and certain vitamins can help promote healthier eyes, blood vessels, nerves, etc.

Foods containing vitamins C and E as well as the mineral zinc are some of the best foods for diabetics as these vitamins and minerals are known as antioxidants which help to prevent free radical damage to the cells in the body. Damage to the cells from free radicals can increase the risk of developing diabetes related complication such as nerve damage and heart disease. Antioxidants help to protect the cells from free radicals.

Many diabetics have also been found to be deficient in the mineral magnesium and this deficiency can increase the risk of diabetes related eye problems as well as heart disease. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to retina damage so increasing your intake of magnesium can help protect your eyes and your heart from any complications.

Chromium is another mineral that many people with diabetes are deficient in. Chromium is important because it can help the body better manage blood sugar levels. This mineral is found in broccoli, fortified breakfast cereals, grapefruit, etc.

Vitamins and mineral deficiencies are a common issue with people with diabetes so if you are not getting enough of these nutrients from your diet, a good supplement may work.