Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly referred to as diabetes, is a chronic disorder. It occurs when the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin or when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin. In either case, the blood sugar cannot get into the cells for storage, leading to severe complications. Diabetes, perhaps more than any other disease, is strongly associated with the diet.
While diabetes in this country is rising quickly, many risk factors, including heavyweight, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, can be reduced by choosing a healthier overall diet. Certain foods are beneficial in giving you more control over the condition – or avoiding diabetes altogether.
If you’ve been you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes; you may think you need to stay away from carb-rich grains altogether if you want to keep your blood sugar levels under control. But some grains are pretty low on the glycemic index (GI), thanks to their high fiber content. Barley has a GI score of only 28, putting it deep into the “low GI” range. In addition to reduced blood glucose levels, barley may also help improve insulin sensitivity.
Just a half-cup of lentils will give you almost eight grams of fiber. That’s more than you get from a cup of brown rice. Fiber is a true friend because it can lower your blood glucose level – as well as your bad cholesterol while making you feel full. The insoluble fiber, in particular, seems to decrease the risk of diabetes.
3. Sourdough Bread
Tangy sourdough bread dough is fermented from wild yeast and bacteria cultures. Sourdough bread is lower on the glycemic index than regular wheat bread, so it’s a better choice if you want to avoid sugar spikes after your sandwiches. The acid produced by the bacteria also helps keep the bread fresher longer.
4. Peanut Butter
Nuts are known to reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, so you can’t go wrong on almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. High-protein peanuts are another good pick because they’re low on the glycemic index and packed with nutrients.
Adding a little spice to your meals doesn’t just enhance the flavor — it may also help you better manage your diabetes. Cinnamon, in particular, has demonstrated some impressive benefits. Studies found that consuming 1 to 6 grams per day of cinnamon significantly impacted subjects’ glucose levels. However, use cinnamon in moderation. Adding cinnamon to everything you eat can lower your blood sugar levels too much, causing potentially life-threatening hypoglycemia.
Leafy green vegetables are highly nutritious and low in calories. Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are good sources of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. Some evidence suggests that people with diabetes have lower vitamin C levels than people without diabetes, and they may have more critical vitamin C requirements. Vitamin C acts as a potent antioxidant and also has anti-inflammatory qualities. Increasing dietary intake of vitamin C-rich foods can help people with diabetes improve their serum vitamin C levels while reducing inflammation and cellular damage.
Regular egg consumption may reduce your heart disease risk in several ways. Eggs may decrease inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and modify the size and shape of your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Research has linked egg consumption with heart disease in people with diabetes.
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