Diabetes is a condition where the glucose or sugar levels are too high in the blood. It may lead to serious complications that include heart disease, liver disease and kidney failure. Exercising and dieting are ways to control diabetes. In terms of dieting, there are foods that people with diabetes can incorporate as part of their daily meals to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Eating a variety of fruits is one of the best ways to get an adequate amount of fiber. About 35 grams (g) of fruits a day, based on a 2,000-calorie diet is ideal, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines. Avocado, kiwi, apple, pear, raspberries, blackberries and guavas are examples of high-fiber fruits that can help lower blood sugar. Whole grains, vegetables and nuts are also sources of high fiber aside from fruits. Examples of whole grains high in fiber are brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, pumpernickel, rye and oat bran. Beans, broccoli, lentils, artichoke, Lima beans and Brussels sprouts are on the list for vegetables that are high in fiber. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts and flax seeds are high in fiber and should be incorporated into your diet.
“Diabetes Spectrum,” an online journal published on the American Diabetes Association website, states that eating a high-protein diet leads to weight loss, decreased insulin levels and improved glycemia (presence of glucose in the blood). A high-protein diet’s effect on blood sugar improves when coupled with a low-carbohydrate diet. Proteins are usually a meat or a meat substitute, such as cheese, peanut butter or milk. They are important in maintaining healthy muscles and bones.
People with diabetes can get their protein from a variety of sources, such as vegetables (beans, lentils, millet and soybeans), nuts (Brazil, peanuts and pine nuts), lean meat (skinless chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork and veal), shellfish, “white” fish (cod, flounder, trout, tuna in water), egg substitutes and cottage cheese.
Eating low-carbohydrate foods can help lower blood sugar levels. A study conducted by Jorgen Vesti Nielsen, M.D., a Swedish researcher from the Blekingesjukhuset Diabetes Clinic, in Karlshamn, Sweden, shows that a low-carbohydrate diet minimizes the glucose spikes that make it necessary for people with diabetes to take insulin.
Nielsen told Reuters Health that avoiding starch-rich bread, pasta, potatoes, rice and breakfast cereals, as well as limiting carbohydrate intake, to 80 to 90g a day, primarily from vegetables, salad and crisp bread, help lower blood sugar.
Bran, oats porridge, whole wheat tortilla, barley, apple, citrus, berries, peaches, pears, plum, avocados, beans, broccoli, cucumber, onions, mushrooms, spinach and other green leafy vegetables are low in carbohydrates.