Obsessing over everything you cannot eat or drink when faced with diabetes is something many are familiar with. So why not focus on what you can have instead of focusing on what you can’t?
These foods will help you stay healthy even if you are constantly listening to the phrase, ‘Watch your diet, please!’
These little nuggets are much more than being high in fiber content (the fiber is also based purely on plant compounds that helps you feel fuller, steadies blood sugars, and even helps lower cholesterol. Half a cup of black beans packs more than 6 grams of fiber). Packing a serious kick of calcium, these beans help burn body fat making you healthier in the long run. In a half cup of white beans, you will get around 100 milligrams of calcium providing you with about 10% of the recommended daily intake. Both black and white beans make an outstanding protein source; as they are lower in saturated fats compared to other commonly used sources of proteins (white and red meats).
Cooking suggestions: Add them in salads, soups, and more. With the variety available, you can have them every day in a week without repeating them!
The best sources for calcium as well as vitamin D are dairy foods such as fresh milk, cheese, and yogurt. Calcium and vitamin D when combined are a hard hitting anti-diabetes combination. A study has found women who consumed around 1,200 milligrams of calcium and around 800 units of vitamin D daily were 34% less prone to diabetes than those who took lower units of both these nutrients. Nothing provides these nutrients like dairy does, but stick to the fat-free versions as it has a lower concentration of saturated fats.
Cooking suggestions: Drink milk instead of sugary juices and sodas. Enjoy small servings of yogurt and cottage cheese instead of your regular snacks and desserts.
A healthy super food, salmon is recommended by all nutritionists as a must have. The Omega 3 fatty acids are very good for you as this is a type of healthy fat that reduces the risks of various heart diseases, helps fight the weight off at the waist line, and improves insulin uptake – a special benefit for diabetic patients.
Cooking suggestions: Skip the chicken and meat at least once or twice in a week – it simply takes a few spices to rub on and a toss in the oven and it’s done! You can also add canned salmon to omelets and salads.
Heres another super food – tuna! It has high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids as well as amazing amounts of vitamin D! Tuna has been recently found to have very high amounts of Mercury which can trigger neurological problems if consumed in high doses. To combat this, limit the weekly intake to 2 ounces as well as buy canned tuna instead of fresh.
Cooking suggestions: Try delicious tuna and vegetable salad sandwiches and grilled fillets for burgers or on rice.
Barley is rich in something very special – a soluble fiber by the name of Beta-Glucan! Beta-Glucan has been known to reduce total cholesterol by targeting LDL specifically and helps steady blood sugar levels and prevents that sugar rush. As with all fibers, barley helps fill you up while preventing you from binge eating and upsetting your sugar balance.
Cooking suggestions: Buy hulled barley which is unrefined as compared to what we can find at super markets – pearl barley. Simply soak the barley overnight, cook, and add to various soups or stews.
Oats are packed full of fiber content! Just half a cup has 4 grams of fiber. Along with stabilizing your bowel movements so unhealthy substances excrete out, it helps in lowering bad and overall cholesterol levels. The soluble fibers in oats help to slow down the break down of carbohydrates making sure that blood sugar levels stay constant.
Cooking suggestions: The easiest way is to cook some and have it for breakfast! Otherwise search for recipes with oats in them, for example, cakes, cookies and even meatloaf!
Yes, that’s right, a sweet fruit! Berries are known as nature’s candy that is loaded with fiber and polyphenols (antioxidants). The antioxidants found in berries have been known to lower blood pressure and increase good cholesterol. So grab a cup of blackberries or blueberries and enjoy the benefits along with the sweet taste we so crave!
Cooking suggestions: They taste amazing on their own and are also delicious when mixed into oatmeal, salads, or ice creams. You can also freeze fresh berries so you always have some to pop in when you feel the need for something sweet.
Just like the beans mentioned, lentils are also loaded with good fiber (a cup holds 16 grams)! One cup also gives around 360 mcg folate. They are a very good source of proteins if you do not fancy meat and also are loaded with many minerals and vitamins.
Cooking suggestions: They can be added to soups or pastas or just kept as an appetizer or side dish. If you are feeling exotic, hit up a recipe for the famous Indian dish Tadka Daal and enjoy it with chilies and garlic!
Very tiny in size, but we know the health punch associated with them is huge! A great source of fiber and ALA (alpha linolenic acid), it helps in the production of Omega 3 EPA as well as DHA. Increased ALA levels, during studies, have resulted in lower chances of heart diseases, heart attacks and other related issues. Flaxseed also helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
Cooking suggestions: Grind them and include with oat meal and/or smoothies.
Have about an ounce of these nuts daily and enrich your body with 2.6 grams of ALA and 2 grams of fiber. However, make sure you watch your calories if you are on a diet because an ounce of walnuts packs 185 of them!
Cooking suggestions: Have them as a standalone snack! Or, you can add them to your salads and cookies or brownies for an added crunch.