At HarborChase we know firsthand how important and challenging it can be to maintain a healthy diet. What we eat affects our bodies to a great deal, from the way we look to the way we function. Most people should limit fats and sugars, but if diabetes is in the equation, monitoring harmful ingredients becomes crucial. We believe that instead of focusing on what you cannot eat, you should focus on what you can. According to Health.com, cumin, basil, sage, oregano, and parsley can all boost insulin and help to lower your blood sugar. Nutrients like calcium, omega-3s, vitamin, and fiber can improve your health and are in foods that can prevent diabetes.
1. Beans and Legumes
Beans, chickpeas, and legumes all contain low amounts of saturated fat and calories. They take a while to be digested due to the high amounts of fiber which can be very beneficial for blood sugar regulation, helping to feel full, and lower cholesterol. These foods also have a low glycemic index (http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/what-is-glycemic-index), which simply is the measurement of blood sugar increments caused by the foods you eat. Beans and legumes each have their special place in your diet. According to Harvard Medical School, a daily cup of beans can reduce your blood sugar. Beans are high in calcium, protein, and low in saturated fats. Legumes, such as lentils, are also high in fiber, protein, and contain folate.
2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fishes are considered some of the healthiest food, is it packed with nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and protein. These nutrients can lead to improving heart health and slowing down deteriorating cognitive functions in the brain. Fatty fish have a ton of health benefits including decreasing your risk for diabetes by improving insulin resistance. Some examples of fatty fish are mackerel, trout, tuna, sardines, and salmon.
Berries are an amazing food that can help prevent diabetes and satisfy your sweet tooth! Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all low in carbohydrate, calories, and a glycemic index. They are also al high in fiber, but blackberries and raspberries contain the most. Strawberries also possess folate, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, and anthocyanins. Anthocyanins reduce levels of insulin and help to improve your blood sugar.
4. Dairy (Greek Yogurt)
According to the American Diabetes Association, the conjunction of vitamin D and calcium help immensely in reducing your risk of developing diabetes. Dairy is the best food source that combines both these nutrients. It is best to stick to non-fat or low-fat variations of dairy foods to avoid saturated fats. Some great examples of dairy are cottage cheese, milk, and yogurts. A Harvard School of Public Health study showed that consuming yogurt daily led to an 18% decrease in the risk of developing diabetes. Greek yogurt specifically is low in carbohydrates while being high in probiotics and protein which can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your body's blood sugar control.
Seeds are a great source of protein and other diabetic prevention nutrients like certain foods. Some of the most nutritious types of seeds are chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds. Chia seeds are extremely high in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds can slow down your digestive tract and physically lower blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and inflammation. Flaxseed is renowned for its alpha-linoleic acid, which helps your body convert omega-3 fatty acids and high fiber content. The fiber in flaxseeds partially comes from lignans and directly improves insulin sensitivity. Pumpkin seeds are also high in the plant chemical, lignans, and magnesium, which help your body regulate insulin more efficiently. Pumpkin seeds also have protein and globulins which help in lowering and stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
6. Leafy Greens
Leafy Greens are low in carbohydrates which are linked to raising your blood sugar levels, yet they are low in calories and full of nutrients. Some of the nutrients in leafy greens linked with preventing diabetes are vitamin C and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help with eye health, which can deteriorate, as a negative side effect of diabetes. Some of the best leafy greens foods to eat for diabetes prevention are asparagus, chard, beet greens, kale, and spinach.
A great snack or protein addition to your meal are nuts. They are chock full of fiber and low in carbohydrates. Nuts are also known to decrease inflammation and lower your body's blood sugar. In a study performed by the National Institute of Health, diabetic individuals who ate 30g of walnuts
Daily experienced a significant reduction in insulin levels. Some of the best nuts to include in your diet for diabetes prevention or control are cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans. Even peanut butter has been linked to reducing your chance of getting diabetes.
Including these foods in your diet can help prevent and control diabetes. Consuming these types of foods daily will help control insulin and blood sugar levels, and reduce your risk of diabetes or diabetic complications. Having a healthy diet is extremely important for diabetic control and various health benefits. Check out how HarborChase can help you live your best life or contact HarborChase using the form below.