iabetic patients must follow a restricted diet to keep the levels of blood sugar well-controlled. It is also equally important to consume foods that help in preventing other diabetes complications such as heart diseases. The following is a list of best foods suitable for the patients of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Fatty Fish – Fatty fishes like salmon, herring, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel are the healthiest foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Regular intake of these healthy fats can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease in diabetic patients. EPA and DHA protect the cells lining the blood vessels, improve the functioning of arteries, and reduce markers of inflammation. Regular consumption of fatty fish significantly reduces triglycerides and other inflammatory markers thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases. Fatty fish are rich in protein, help you feel full for a long time, and increase the rate of metabolism.
- Leafy Greens – The low-calorie green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are extremely nutritious and a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Regular intake of these vegetables reduces inflammatory markers and the levels of fasting blood sugar in people with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin found in leafy greens protect the eyes against common diabetic complications such as macular degeneration and cataract.
- Cinnamon – It is a delicious spice with abundant antioxidants. Cinnamon can help reduce levels of blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon intake in controlled quantities can stimulate a reduction in hemoglobin A1c and reduce levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.
- Eggs – Eggs are one of the best foods with amazing health benefits that keep you feeling full for hours. Regular intake of eggs can reduce potential risks to heart disease, decrease inflammation, increase HDL cholesterol, and improve insulin sensitivity. Eggs are a rich source of antioxidants including lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Chia Seeds – Chia seeds with high fiber content and low digestible carbs are extremely good for diabetic patients. The viscous fiber of the chia seeds can lower the levels of blood sugar by slowing down the movement and absorption of food through your gut. The fibers reduce hunger and help you achieve a healthy weight. Chia seeds also reduce blood pressure and other inflammatory markers.
- Turmeric – It is a common spice with curcumin as its active ingredient. Some of its various health benefits include reducing risk to heart diseases, lowering inflammation, and taking down blood sugar levels. It is also beneficial for kidney health in diabetic patients. You can boost the absorption of curcumin by consuming turmeric with piperine in black pepper.
- Greek Yogurt – It is a great dairy product for diabetic patients. The probiotics in Greek yogurt help in controlling blood sugar and reducing risk to heart disease. The conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and high calcium content in Greek yogurt and other similar dairy foods induce weight loss and improve body composition in diabetic people. It is also low in carbs and high in protein, which reduces appetite, decreases calorie intake, and further promotes weight loss.
- Nuts – Nuts are amazingly delicious and highly nutritious with high fiber content and low digestible carbs. Regular consumption of nuts help reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, lower HbA1c, and LDL cholesterol, reduce insulin levels, and improve body composition.
- Broccoli – It is a low-calorie low in digestible carb nutritious vegetable loaded with vitamin C and magnesium. It helps in lowering insulin levels and protects cells against harmful free radicals. It is a good source of important antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – It contains a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid that improves triglycerides, unhealthy levels of HDL, and benefits heart health. Extra-virgin olive oil also increases the fullness hormone GLP-1. This unrefined oil contains antioxidants called polyphenols that help reduce inflammation, decrease blood pressure, protect the cells lining the blood vessels, and prevent LDL cholesterol from being damaged by oxidation.
- Flaxseeds – Flaxseeds contain lignans that help control blood sugar and decrease the risk of heart disease. Regular consumption of flaxseeds significantly improves hemoglobin A1c, prevents strokes, and reduces the dosage of medication required to prevent blood clots. The viscous fibers in flaxseeds improve gut health, provide a feeling of fullness, and enhance insulin sensitivity.
- Strawberries – Strawberries are nutritious fruits rich in fibers and antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are responsible for their red color. They are also loaded with vitamin C. Along with various anti-inflammatory health benefits, anthocyanins help in reducing cholesterol and regulating insulin levels. They improve blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart diseases in diabetic patients.
- Garlic – It is a delicious herb commonly found in more or less every kitchen. Its various health benefits include reducing inflammation, LDL cholesterol, and blood sugar in diabetic patients. It can effectively reduce blood pressure.
- Squash – Squash contains beneficial antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help prevent eye diseases, reduce obesity and regulate insulin levels.