Gone were the day’s people thought diabetes only affected old people. Diabetes can affect anyone regardless of age, race, gender, or lifestyle. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and it can be managed.
Water is really important for diabetic patients because they are at risk of dehydration. This is because increased blood glucose depletes fluids and to get rid of glucose in the blood, water is required to pass it out through urine. Here are eight foods that are healthy for diabetic people.
Beans as a whole such as brown beans, honey beans, soya beans, kidney beans are perfect for diabetics. It’s very easy for the layman to say beans contains just protein but that is not true. Beans actually contain; protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals depending on the type of beans. The thing is, the percentage content of protein is far greater that the other classes of food combined together while the carbohydrate content in beans is very little but needed. This is one of the reasons why beans are recommended for people with diabetes. Meals like moi moi, akara, tofu and drinks like soy milk are great for people with diabetes.
Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, water, phytochemicals and antioxidants and generally low in calories and carbohydrates, making them an excellent option for diabetics. Calciferous Vegetables such as; red or green cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Asparagus are perfect for diabetics. They could be eaten raw or steamed lightly.
Allium vegetables such as; Garlic, scallions onion, leeks and shallots are allium vegetables known for their antibacterial properties and low carb content are also perfect for diabetics. They help boost immunity as well as reduce inflammation.
Unripe plantain is also great because it has a low glycemic index. This can be made into “swallow” and taken with diabetic friendly meals or made into a snack.
They are still very good reasons to include leafy green vegetables in your diet, whether or not they reduce diabetes risk. They are high in vitamin and minerals, low carbohydrate content, and their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Fresh Fruits
Diabetic patients fear taking fruits because of its fructose content. They think it will increase their blood sugar level. The truth is not all fruits are suitable for diabetics. fruits which contain a high fiber content and low sugar content are good for diabetics.
Fruits with a low glycemic index such as Grapes, Cranberries , Pomegranate, Kiwi fruit, Pears, Plums, Strawberries, Nectarines, Citrus fruits, Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Berries, Peaches, Cherries, Grapefruit, Guava are perfect for diabetics and help in controlling blood sugar. Here’s a point to consider, though, never drink fruit juices made from concentrate. These are packed with sugar and preservatives which are not natural and not suitable.
4. Whole grains
Whole grains such as Whole Oats, Whole Wheat, Brown rice, Barley, Quinoa, Millet, Acha can help to prevent blood sugar spikes during the day in people living with diabetes. This is because whole grains are rich in fiber which can help slow down the absorption of glucose into the blood. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals which make them a better choice than refined carbohydrates.
5. Nuts & Seeds
Eating any kind of nuts or a mixture of nuts such as; Almond nuts, Walnuts, Cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, Groundnut and Tiger nuts are good for diabetics and it helps lower the risks of diabetes and heart diseases as long as it’s eaten in moderation and also balanced with healthy food choices.
6. Dairy products
Dairy products such as egg, yogurt are great for diabetics. This is because they are packed with high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals. Protein not only slows digestion, it also slows glucose absorption, which is very helpful if you have diabetes. Egg intake according to scientists should be limited to three a week. If you only eat egg whites, you can feel comfortable eating more. This is because the saturated fats are contained in the yolk alone.
Also, fermented foods, such as yogurt, contain good bacteria called probiotics. Probiotics have been shown to improve gut health. When searching for yogurts, look for yogurts with high protein content and low carbohydrates, e.g unflavored Greek yogurt or plain unsweetened yogurt.
7. Oils (Palm oil, Groundnut oil, Vegetable oil, Olive oil)
Healthy oils which are good for diabetics include; Groundnut oil, Olive oil, Almond oil, Sesame oil, Avocado oil, Hazelnut oil, Canola oil, Pumpkin seed oil. This is because they are high in monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids. and low in saturated fats.
8. Lean Fish & Poultry
Most fish, seafood and chicken (without the skin) are great for diabetics. This is because they are rich in protein, low in unhealthy saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol. Fish is a natural source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and it does not have any carbohydrate, so it will not cause blood glucose to rise.
Do you know anyone suffering from diabetes or are you a patient, please share and also tell us how you manage the illness.