What are the Best Foods
for Diabetics to Eat (Part 1)?
you are a diabetic, you may already know that high blood
sugar levels cause destructive changes in your body
leading to various serious medical conditions. A few of
these are plaque in the arteries and heart disease, as
well as damage to the eyes, nerves and kidneys. Eating a
variety of extra nutritious foods can help prevent and
sometimes even reverse the destructive effects of high
blood glucose spikes.
This list of the
best foods for diabetics includes some of the healthiest foods anyone
can eat based on recent scientific research (as of 2012). Many doctors and medical
authorities recommend these foods to everyone for health and longevity.
If you want a real health building diet, include all of these foods
regularly in your meals. Several people I know have tried this and
found that their health improved and they felt better than they had in
So here are the
best foods for diabetics to eat:
Leafy Vegetables – What made
Popeye so healthy? Why do they always tell you to eat your spinach?
Maybe it’s because spinach, along with chard, bok choy, beet greens,
watercress, mustard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens,
cilantro, parsley and collards are very high in nutrition and very low in
carbohydrates and calories. Eat as much as you want, in at least one
Veggies/Salads – Some
medical authorities recommend a raw diet for diabetes. Raw foods are
generally lower glycemic because the fiber in them helps to moderate
blood sugar increases. Not only that, raw food is higher in nutrients
than cooked food. Boiling your vegetables can decrease nutritional
value by as much as 70%. Even steaming food for 5 minutes reduces
nutrients by 40%. So, raw foods can be a very healthy
alternative compared to those that are cooked. But even if you’re not
ready to “go raw”, eating lots of raw fruits, vegetables and nuts every
day is a very good idea, whether you’re diabetic or not.
Here is a list of
some good vegetables to eat raw in salads or with dips (note - if
you're diabetic, avoid carbs in salad dressings): dark green
lettuce (romaine, red), bean sprouts, spinach, baby
greens, cucumber, celery, bell pepper, carrot, beet, arugula, turnip,
shredded red or green cabbage, green or red onions, garlic, tomatoes,
mushrooms, parsley, cilantro, jicama, jerusalem artichokes and
watercress. For salad dressing, use lemon juice or vinegar with a
little olive oil and herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, onion
powder, garlic, shallots, tarragon). Add a few fruits such as chopped
apples, blueberries, orange or tangerine segments or pomegranate seeds.
other nuts – Have you been
reading about how healthy raw nuts (note: baked or
cooked nuts have lost a lot of their nutritional value) are for you? It seems a new article
touting nuts as health food comes out every few months. Nuts have high
nutrient and antioxidant levels. Walnuts, the one type of nut that
contains omega-3 fatty acids, are considered the most nutrient rich nut
of all. Hazelnuts come in a close second, but do not have omega-3’s.
Nuts do have more fat than many other foods, so moderation is
recommended (a small handful per day is good).
– One of the healthiest grains outside of barley is oatmeal.
Interestingly, it is also one of the few grains that helps to feed your
intestinal bacteria (which produce vitamins for your body). Oat bran,
which cooks much more quickly than regular oatmeal and tastes great
(not gluey), is another alternative for this cholesterol lowering food. The
flavor of oat bran, which is similar to cream of wheat, is preferred by
many people over regular steel cut oats. If you use regular oatmeal,
choose the longer cooking whole oats, rather than quick or instant
ones, which have less fiber and other beneficial elements. To add
additional fiber to your oatmeal, add one or two tablespoons of wheat
bran while cooking plus stir in some ground flax seed at the end.
Omega 3 fatty
acids – The one essential
fat that most Americans do not get enough of is Omega-3’s. We get
plenty of saturated fat and cholesterol from animal products and
omega-6 and omega-9 from most vegetable oils, but omega-3’s in the US
diet are rare. Since they are critical for health, especially for the
brain, it’s necessary to go looking for sources of these important
fatty acids. They are only found in a few foods, such as fatty fish
(salmon (wild), sardines, mackerel, herring), flax seeds, omega-3 eggs, walnuts
and a few other foods.
can add more omega-3’s to your diet by using ground flax seeds (best if
If you decide to use ground flax
seeds, be sure to keep them
refrigerated or in the freezer as they oxidize quickly.
Fish is a
good choice, but make sure that the salmon you buy is “wild caught”,
not farmed. Farmed salmon are fed food coloring instead of
nutrition rich krill and they are often fed antibiotics as well.
When cooking your fish, be sure to cook at low temperatures (sautéing
or poaching). Frying foods creates carcinogenic chemicals and
partially destroys the important fatty acids.
What are the Best Foods
for Diabetics to Eat (Part 2)?