Diabetic Foods You Need in Your Life
There’s a good chance you don’t think much about diabetic foods. You absolutely should.
Right now, 29 million Americans have the disease but 1-in-4 diabetics are unaware they have it and take no steps to control or reverse it.
Another estimated 86 million people are prediabetic.1
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people with diabetes rose from 122 million (1980) to 422 million (2014). In 2015, approximately 1.6 million people died from diabetes – but this does not take into account the other causes of death that were directly impacted by the disease (another estimated 2.2 million).2
Diabetes is a global epidemic.
It was once believed that diabetes only affected the elderly or obese. That is patently untrue and a hazardous belief to hold…one that can have deadly consequences. If you’re under the age of 50 and not considered overweight or obese – that doesn’t mean diabetes isn’t a threat!
3 Primary Forms of Diabetes
- Type 1 – this form is not preventable or reversible. It results from your body’s inability to produce insulin. Approximately 10% (or less) of all diabetes cases are type 1.
- Type 2 – this form is 100% preventable and 100% reversible. It results from your body’s inability to use insulin effectively. Roughly 90% of all diabetes cases are type 2.
- Gestational – this form affects women who are pregnant and is connected to hyperglycemia. This condition can increase complications during pregnancy and delivery as well as raise risk of type 2 diabetes later.3
Over the past three decades, the rate of diabetes has risen globally by staggering amounts. It is running parallel to rising rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles. More than 68% of those with diabetes will die of cardiovascular disease (heart attack or stroke).4 It is the leading cause of blindness, limb amputation, and kidney failure.5
It’s time to fight this disease before you get it. If you already have it (or suspect you might have pre-diabetes) then now is the time to get busy reversing it! Left untreated, it will kill you.
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented (and reversed) almost entirely by getting your eating plan under control with diabetic foods and getting low to moderate exercise each day.
Yes, you read that right. Eating right and mild exercise will prevent (and gradually reverse) this disease that is directly linked to so many other devastating conditions. It’s a fact.
- Red Onions: Onions are good for so many things and incredibly versatile! The active compound in onions that scientists credit for their health benefits is allicin but they are also an excellent source of chromium.
Both help lower blood sugar naturally and possess anti-mutagenic, antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that protect against some of the “ripple effect” that diabetes can cause in your body. Red onions are high in fiber, low in calories, and are considered a low-glycemic food.
- Kale: This diabetic food helps improve blood glucose control and is loaded with vitamins A, K, and C that are essential for vision, skin health, and better mental functioning. This leafy green is low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with protein.
These qualities make it ideal to fight diabetes and obesity simultaneously. Kale is a fantastic heart healthy food that also improves bone health. Adding it to your morning shake is simple and effective or you can dice it fine and throw it over salads (raw) or into soups.
- Garlic: You can’t get more “ancient goodness” than garlic. This powerful disease fighter has been making headlines for millennia. Garlic possesses antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that are good for your cells head to toe. It should come as no surprise that it helps fight diabetes (and pre-diabetes) like a champ.
It improves insulin resistance by blocking your liver’s deactivation of insulin production, making more insulin available for the body to metabolize. Science has verified its’ anti-cancer and immune boosting benefits as well. Garlic contains good amount of vitamin B-6, vitamin C, copper, iron, calcium, selenium, and manganese so add this diabetic food to your eating plan now.
There are many diabetic foods that make winning the fight against this terrible disease a little more attainable. Here are some favorites that will make your new eating plan enjoyable.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Berries (blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries)
- Black pepper
- Broccoli, spinach, greens, romaine lettuce
- Chia seeds
- Coconut oil and olive oil
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and sardines)
- Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
- Greek yogurt (unsweetened with fresh fruit)
- Green tea and coffee
- Melon and citrus
- Nuts and seeds
With summer in full swing and the holidays seemingly always just around the corner, here are some tips to keep the menu safe for the diabetics in your family (and everyone else).
5 Tips to Protect Your Loved Ones with Diabetes
- Omit foods with a ton of refined sugar such as canned baked beans, store-bought cakes, and pre-packaged barbecue sauce. Avoid too many “white” foods such as rice, pasta, sugar, prepared mayo, and flour.
- While most parties offer soda, lemonade, and punch, these are options that diabetics can’t enjoy. Make sure you have plenty of plain or infused water and make a nice pitcher of unsweetened iced tea (you can add some sliced peaches for natural sweetness).
- Alcohol and heat don’t go together but the combination is especially dangerous for diabetics. They cause a drastic insulin spike so consume in moderation, drink a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage, and check your blood sugar a couple of times during the course of the day.
- While chips and salsa are staple fare, consider offering a raw vegetable platter with homemade guacamole for those watching their intake of carbs and sugar. Hummus made fresh and served on sliced cucumbers is a great alternative!
- Let your guests skip the hot dogs and make grilled chicken or fish instead. Grilled or roasted veggies such as squash, sweet potatoes, eggplant, and portabella mushrooms are also fantastic diabetic food options to replace meats and excess carbs.
Most patients diagnosed with diabetes initially struggle to change their way of eating. There’s a simpler method to decrease the bad stuff in your diet while increasing the good things that will help you gain control over your health again.
As a rule of thumb, diabetics should fill half of a 10-inch plate with colorful fruits and veggies. Another quarter of the plate should consist of lean meats, fish, eggs, or cheese. The last quarter can be devoted to starches such as rice or potatoes.
Several of these foods are high in the mineral chromium. You’ll find it in many foods across various food groups. It is one of the most efficient ways to control your blood sugar naturally. By following the “diabetic plate” method of eating (a great guideline for everyone!), you’ll know you’re getting plenty of this valuable nutrient.
A menu specifically intended for diabetics is not only healthy for people with and without the disease, it is delicious! Consider experimenting with ways to enjoy your favorite recipes by substituting diabetic foods! You’re going to be amazed at what you can create!
Such simple things…and you can fight diabetes.
Don’t become a statistic for a completely preventable and reversible disease! Start making changes right now to protect your body by adding these delicious, nutritious, diabetic foods to your diet.
1U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: More than 29 million Americans have diabetes; 1 in 4 doesn’t know
2 World Health Organization: Diabetes
3 Healthline: What Are the Different Types of Diabetes?
4 American Heart Association: Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
5 Mayo Clinic: Type 2 Diabetes