On this and the next pages you'll find a list of the best foods for diabetes, that will allow you not just to control the condition, but even reverse it. See how many of them you can include in your everyday diet.
On this page we'll discuss:
In part 2 you'll find information on: fenugreek, nuts, onions and garlic, tea, turmeric and vinegar.
Apples are loaded with soluble fiber - number one for blunting blood sugar swings.
A medium apple dishes up an impressive 4 g. of fiber, mostly pectin, which is also known for its ability to lower cholesterol.
If you want to lose some weight - which in itself would help you control blood sugar - try eating three small apples a day.
A study from the State University of Rio de Janeiro found that doing so as part of a reduced-calorie diet not only helped women lose more weight but also helped them to lower their blood sugar more than women who ate another food instead of apples.
On average, apples have only 80 kcal each, but they're packed with antioxidants compounds called flavonoids.
One study found that eating a small apple with its skin provided total antioxidant and anti cancer activity equal to 1,500 mg of vitamin C.
Apples rank near the bottom of the Glycemic Index - right along with dried beans, one of the very best regulators of blood sugar. That's way they're both considered excellent foods for diabetes.
The type of sugar in apples, fructose, doesn't spur a rapid rise in blood sugar. The fruit keeps the throttle on insulin, and foods that do this invariably also lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
Because avocados are full of fat (about 25 to 30 g. each), most people don't consider them a good foods for diabetes and steer clear of them.
The fact is that the type of fat in avocado is monounsaturated, the same heart-healthy kind found in olive oil that won't increase insulin resistance - as saturated fats would do - but it may actually help to keep blood sugar in check.
If you add avocado to a sandwich or anything else loaded with carbs, it will slow down digestion of the meal, making it easier on your blood sugar.
Avocados are also rich in sterols, compounds shown to lower cholesterol, another problems that comes along with diabetes.
You don't need to eat a huge amount to get the benefits. Just 1/5 of a fruit will provide only 55 kcal and a little avocado goes a long way.
If you've never tried this grain, prepare to be amazed. Whether pearled, hulled or quick cooking, this grain is one of the best foods for diabetes you could find.
Unlike white rice, which has a sky-high GL, barley's is low, thanks to its significant stash of soluble fiber.
Eating barley instead of white rice slashes the effect on your blood sugar by almost 70%.
Add it to soups, use it instead of Arborio rice in risotto and serve it as a nutty, flavorful side dish.
Because its insoluble fiber slows the rate at which food leaves the stomach, barley also helps you feel full on fewer calories.
Do you only have beans once in a while in the form of beans on toast? Well, it's time to broaden your horizon.
All beans, canned or dried, from black to white, from chickpeas to cannellini, are one of the best foods for diabetes, as they can tame both insulin and blood sugar levels.
The soluble fiber in beans slows down digestion, leading to slow steady blood sugar rise rather than a sharp surge.
This kind of fiber actually causes the creation of more insulin-receptor site on cells, which means the insulin has more places to dock and is siphoned off, so less circulates in the system, which is good.
They also contain loads of protein, which doesn't raise blood sugar and actually helps your body to process the carbs in a meal more efficiently.
And if you want to lose weight, beans are the ideal food for you. Not only are they incredibly filling, they also pack a heap of nutrition in a relatively low-calorie package.
Better still, some of the starch in beans is a type called resistant starch that the body can't even digest, so calories don't count.
Beans are also full of folate, a B vitamin that may help to reduce some of the nasty consequences of diabetes by helping to keep arteries clean.
Beans are not only good food for people with type 2 diabetes, but even people with Type 1 were able to cut the insulin needs by 38%, according to one study. And those with Type 2 who had gone on insulin injection, virtually eliminated the need for any injections by increasing their consumption of beans.
As berries seem so sweet on your taste buds, you might think that they can't be good foods for diabetes and it's best to avoid them.
But the type of sugar they contain is fructose, which causes a much slower rise in blood sugar than table sugar does.
Berries are full of fiber as well as red-blue plant compounds called anthocyanins that help to keep blood sugar in check by boosting insulin production.
They are especially rich in powerful disease-fighting antioxidants, which can help repair much of the damage caused by free radicals.
So they can help keep your eyes healthy, reduce risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and keeping your arteries clean, avoiding most of the diabetes-related complications.
If you want to find a way to lower the GL of dishes (pasta, casseroles and potatoes), then add broccoli to them.
Because they're big on volume and small in calories, broccoli are the ideal food for diabetes.
Not only do broccoli have very little impact on blood sugar, they're one of the best food sources of chromium, a mineral required for insulin to function normally.
One serving (80g.) of broccoli provides almost half of your daily chromium requirements.
Broccoli are also packed with vitamin C. A British population study found that people with the highest blood levels of vitamin C were less likely to have elevated levels of glycated hemoglobin, a long-term indicator of high blood sugar.
Like all vegetables, Brussels sprouts are very kind to your blood sugar and some of the best foods for diabetes.
But they do more than that, they have lots of soluble fiber (2g. per 80g. serving), which forms a gel in your stomach that acts as a barrier between food and the enzymes that break it down, slowing the digestion of your meal (even if you've eaten high GL foods with it).
Did you know that 2/3 of the calories in Brussels sprouts come from protein? This means that even though they seem substantial, they're very low in carbs.
Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts too contain lots of vitamin C (48mg. per 80g. serving), a must have nutrient, according to studies, for fending off complications of diabetes.
The major component of chicory, one of the earliest and most widely used coffee substitutes, is inulin. Studies have shown that inulin helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Chicory and other inulin-containing herbs, such as Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion and endive, can all be roasted and used as coffee substitutes.
Fortunately, you don't have to do that yourself; you can buy coffee mixed with chicory or plain roasted chicory to brew into a tasty beverage.
Chicory grows wild in many places and can be collected and used in salads, or instead of spinach in many dishes.
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