What Should Diabetics Eat?
Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables is a sure way to meet your daily nutritional needs and satisfy hunger. Because most fruits contain sugar, diabetics have a concern about the suitability of certain fruits. Diabetes is a severe, though manageable condition in which the body strives to control blood sugar levels. In this article, we will discuss healthy fruits and vegetables for people suffering from diabetes.
10 Fruits for Diabetics
Citrus fruits are quite versatile and super easy to add to meals. Try adding lemons and limes to your sauces, seafood, iced tea, and water. You can make your own fruit water by adding slices of your best citrus fruits to a pitcher of water. Leave the water to sit overnight, and the following morning, you have a refreshing drink.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is a type that is highly beneficial to the body. You can eat avocados raw or serve sliced in salsas or guacamole.
You would love berries when you eat them raw or add them to your oatmeal. To enjoy this fruit as a diabetic, put fresh or frozen berries into a saucepan and add a tablespoon or two of water. Cook on low or medium heat until the berries are broken down into a thick sauce.
Cantaloupes are super refreshing, as they contain a lot of water and minerals. They are entirely safe for diabetics, however, portion control is key.
Apples are delicious and fit perfectly as a snack or dessert. When you cook apples, what you get is a deeper flavor than what your regular apple fruit gives. You can add this to your cooked desserts and spice it with some ginger or cinnamon.
What`s more? You can marinate your apples in honey and spices, then cook them on a grill. You may then roll the apples in crushed pecans or walnuts.
Figs provide the body with iron, high dietary fiber, antioxidants, and a lot of minerals. They particularly aid weight loss, owing to their low glucose content. If you choose to consume dried figs, your consumption should be low.
Blueberries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that are particularly low in glycemic index and are safe for diabetics.
Raspberries are high in fiber, which is nutritious for diabetics. Their antioxidant and vitamin levels are also remarkable.
Red grapes are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and fruit sugar. As much as this fruit is good for diabetics, portion control is essential, so they don`t experience a spike in blood glucose levels.
Watermelons are bursting with fiber, minerals, and high water content. Diabetics can have this fruit and enjoy feeling full for a long period without raising their blood sugar levels.
Best Vegetables for Diabetics
Diabetics are advised to eat a wide variety of foods that include various vegetables. Here are some of the best vegetables for people suffering from diabetes.
Low-GI (Glycemic Index) vegetables are great at preventing sugar spikes. The GI ranking of any food indicates how quickly the body absorbs glucose from that food. The absorption of blood sugar from high-GI foods is faster than that of low-GI foods. Diabetics are advised to eat vegetables with a low GI score to prevent blood sugar spikes. Here are some popular vegetables with low GI:
- snow peas
- green beans
Nitrates are naturally-occurring chemicals in certain vegetables. People who eat natural, nitrate-rich foods enjoy reduced blood pressure and better circulatory health. It is healthier to eat vegetables with naturally high nitrate content, rather than the ones that manufacturers add during processing. Here are some nitrate-rich vegetables you should consider eating:
- beets and beet juice
Protein-rich foods help people feel fuller for longer, and as a result, they have less urge to snack between meals. There are certain factors that determine each individual`s daily protein recommendations. Some of such factors are their sex, size, activity level, among other factors. Your doctor would be in the best position to advise you on your daily protein recommendation.
Certain categories of people need more protein than others: pregnant or lactating women, highly active people, and those with large bodies are in this category.
These are some of the vegetables you should consider consuming for higher protein intake:
- bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- mustard greens
Fiber from natural foods is great for reducing constipation, unhealthy cholesterol, and dealing with excessive weight. The right amount of fiber intake per day is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, however, this varies, depending on body size and some other health factors. Here`s a list of vegetables and fruits with high fiber content that you can consume regularly:
- Brussels sprouts
- split peas
So Why Consume Vegetables?
Vegetables contain healthy carbohydrates that are safe for diabetics. Besides being suitable for their condition, they get loads of nutrients and some good amount of energy supply.
Did you know that low-to-moderate-GI vegetables like carrots are great at improving blood glucose control and reducing the risk of weight gain? They are the go-to foods for diabetics.
Good Heart Health
Simple Meal Options for Diabetics
- quinoa with pepper or vinaigrette season
- almond butter on sprouted-grain bread with a topping of crushed red pepper flakes and avocado
- low-sodium cottage cheese spread on toasted sweet potato slices.
- tofu burger patty with avocado and spinach
- spinach salad with tomatoes, bell peppers, chia seeds, and some goat’s cheese
- avocado, cherry tomato, and chickpea salad
- hard-boiled eggs and roasted beets with turmeric and black pepper
- quinoa and fruit with unsweetened Greek yogurt and cinnamon
Some Diabetes Facts
- It was in 1889 that Josef von Mering and Oskar Minkowski discovered the role of the pancreas in diabetes.
- Back in the day, doctors tested for diabetes by asking people who tasted urine as a job to taste if the testee`s urine was sweet. There were other diagnostic measures such as checking to see if urine attracted ants or flies.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults.
People with diabetes are twice at risk of developing heart disease than people without diabetes.
- In 1970, Ames Diagnostics created the first portable blood glucose meter, called the Ames Reflectance Meter.
- Dr. Elliot P. Joslin referred to diabetes as “the best of the chronic diseases” because it is “clean, seldom unsightly, not contagious, often painless and susceptible to treatment.”
- Studies show that about one-third of people with diabetes don`t know they have the disease.
- Type-2 diabetes usually does not have any symptoms, leaving sufferers unaware of the condition.
- Only about five percent of people with diabetes have type-1 diabetes.
- Bariatric surgery reduces the symptoms of diabetes in obese people.
- People manage type 1 diabetes with an insulin pump or insulin injections.
- Type 2 diabetes was commonly known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, although some require insulin to control their blood sugar levels.
- Diabetes affects about 400 million adults worldwide.
- There are people in the United States who can`t afford insulin.
- Patients can manage type 2 diabetes by dieting, exercising, and taking medications.