Diabetes is not a death sentence. If anything, diabetes is a warning to start taking your health more seriously, and adopting a healthy lifestyle so you will have fewer complications, more joy in living and take the good times even more preciously. Diabetes is a sentence of rejuvenated life! Your body basically tell you it’s time to grow up and stop living like you’re 13 years old and chugging down popcorn and soda all the time. So whether you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or are just trying to prevent it from becoming an issue years in advance because your family struggles with it, the first step is in realizing that diet is everything. If you can master a healthy diet and keep physically active, you’re going to have a great long life. So let’s start your new adventure in health with just 14 basic foods that you’re going to learn to love.
1. Mediterranean Food
These meals are high in virgin olive oil, which is believed to have antioxidant properties and "polyphenols” that can combat inflammation. In fact, a study mentioned in the British Medical Journal stated that eating Mediterranean food could slash the odds of diabetes by 83 percent, even if it’s hereditary. Four table spoons of olive oil a day is good for you, so substitute butter and vegetable oil with authentic virgin olive oil.
Not just vegetables but greens, like lake, collard greens and spinach. These greens have lutein, which is excellent for eyesight. This will help counteract eye problems that could result from the disease. Besides that all, vegetables have high amounts of B vitamins, calcium, iron, fiber and vitamin C. Broccoli and asparagus are also frequently listed as power foods.
Embrace beans, but not the refried kind anymore. Instead, think kidney beans, lentils, cannelloni beans and chickpeas. Don’t just eat them in burritos, but put them in salad. They are great for dieting, since they are low calorie and low fat. They also have protein which fuels you and high fiber which not only helps battle heart disease and reduced the chance of developing diabetes, but also slows the release of glucose into the blood. This will stop blood sugar spikes.
Nuts can help lower the risk of heart disease and that’s significant because people with diabetes tend to develop heart problems. The belief is that tocotrienols compounds in nuts help to manage control the problem. Aim for two tablespoons of nuts but don’t overeat since they are high in calories.
5. Dark Chocolate
You don’t have to say goodbye to all sweets. Just substitute milk chocolate with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity, which has a beneficial effect on treatment or prevention. Dark chocolate also reduced blood pressure and improved blood vessel flow. And yes, any kind of sweetness should be very limited…an occasional treat, not a regular meal.
You don’t have to give up meat if you’re going on the diabetes offensive. Just buy better quality meat. Steak actually has good stuff inside…protein, iron, B-vitamins and perhaps something else called Conjugated Linoleic Acid, which is shown to correct blood sugar metabolism, along with other beneficial effects. The highest concentration of CLA comes from range-fed beef. Eating better quality meat, means better quality effects. Eat in moderation, about three ounces is enough.
Keeping your blood sugar down is priority number one, so if good food makes it spike, knowing that two tablespoons of vinegar before a meal can keep it down is a lifesaver. A study at Arizona State University East showed that ordinary vinegar helped not only pre-diabetic test subjects but even full diabetics.
Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and so fish, and cold water fish specifically, is highly recommended as cheap meat substitute. It has good fat, omega 3 fatty acids and that works wonders for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. It also increases HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) or good cholesterol. Cold fish include tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines, though you should eat moderately and not in abundance because of higher mercury content, especially in mackerel and tuna.
9. High Fiber Foods
High fiber foods, as high as 50 grams a day, helped improve blood sugar levels and the efficacy rate, according to a study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, was as effective as some diabetes medications. Health nutritionists state that the more good foods you take in (vegetables, fruits, brown rice, whole grains, legumes) the better, as opposed to eating just one high-fiber food.
10. Other Non-Starchy Vegetables
Non-green vegetables that aren’t starchy don’t tend to affect blood glucose at all and have high fiber content, which goes a long way in prevention and even diabetes reversal. These foods include mushrooms, red peppers, eggplant, onions and garlic.
Many fruits are good for you, from apples to avocados. However, apples may well be the best because they have been scientifically studied to fend off bad cholesterol, by up to 40 percent according to a Ohio State University study. Not only does it have antioxidants, but a certain type of antioxidant unique to the apple, that lowers LDL, which brings about heart problems. It also specifically helps in diabetes prevention, in addition to its indirect benefits. A Harvard School of Public Health study found that eating five or more apples a week lowered the risk of developing diabetes.
12. Green Tea
Chronic inflammation is another diabetes problem and this is exacerbated by living life "normally”, or unhealthily, by not exercising, eating foods with lots of fat, and avoiding vegetables and fruits. However, green tea has flavonoids which fight inflammation. If you’re used to drinking coffee, switch to green tea.
Berries also contain flavonoids, which are health-helpers and diabetes fighters. They help control blood sugar and decrease inflammation. Blueberries contain anthocyanins, and two or more servings a week reduced the development of type 2 diabetes. Cranberries contained cholesterol-controlling phytonutrients and anthocyanins, while raspberries also contained ellagic acid, which can lower blood sugar.
Oatmeal has high fiber content and the most of all other grains, which helps to lower bad cholesterol and also slow the rise in blood glucose levels; the fiber delays the process of the stomach emptying out and creates more of a barrier between the enzymes and absorptive surfaces. Remember though that steel cut oatmeal (which takes a while to cook) is lower on the glycemic index, which is better for managing blood sugar levels, while the instant and sugar-infused alternative is not that great for you.
18. Peanut Butter
22. Chicken and Turkey
25. Coconut Oil