A larger population of the world is suffering from diabetes or “sugar” as we typically call it in India. Type 2 diabetes often makes several dietary restrictions compulsory. It is because these patients depend on specific medication for blood sugar maintenance. How about the right food for diabetic patients? While medication is still the preferred way for treatment, many experts feel that suitable dietary changes can help in controlling blood sugar levels and boosting insulin resistance simultaneously.
There are many options available when it comes to food for diabetics, including fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and healthy fats. Read on to find out more about the best foods to control diabetes.
12 Best Foods for Diabetic (Sugar) Patients
Here is a list of the best foods that sugar patients must include in your diet to control diabetes and manage blood sugar level as mentioned below:
1. Whole Grain
It is one of the best foods for diabetics, since it can be used in place of refined grain that we consume daily. Whole grain has a higher nutrient and fiber count, leading to slower digestion and no more blood sugar jumps. They also come with lower GI (glycemic index), having a lower effect on the levels of blood sugar as well. Some options include oats, barley, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, etc.
2. Leafy and Green Veggies
If you talk about the best food for sugar patients, then green and leafy vegetables win hands down! They have lower calories and come with beneficial nutrients, fiber, minerals, vitamins and other phytochemicals. They also lower diabetes mellitus risks. If you are diabetic, consume more salads and raw veggies for greater benefits.
Do include nuts in your list of good food for diabetics. They help in improving the levels of blood sugar. For example, almonds help in blood sugar and insulin management after meals. Pistachios contain specific ingredients that lower the levels of glucose, thereby lowering diabetes-related risks greatly. Walnuts also have similar functions.
4. Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt is truly the best food for diabetic patients. This variety comes with rich calcium and protein along with probiotics. It has lower carbohydrates and comes in the low-GI category as well. It may help in combating risks of diabetes mellitus as well. Diabetics may take Greek yogurt with their main meals or even as a snack.
Garlic consumption automatically lowers blood sugar levels (both post-prandial and fasting). It also comes with Vitamins C and B6 that help in blood sugar maintenance and superior metabolism of carbohydrates respectively. Raw garlic may be consumed or it may even be integrated into various food items.
If you were looking for ultra-healthy food for sugar patients, then cinnamon is the way to go. It greatly reduces diabetes risks while boosting insulin release and receptor signaling, thereby enabling better diabetes management.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV (apple cider vinegar) is a marvel for diabetics. It contains healthy vitamins, acetic acid and other beneficial ingredients. It works to lower blood glucose levels after having meals and also boosts insulin functions.
Our humble beans pack more punch than you thought! They come packed with several nutrients and protein along with healthy fiber. They keep the system fuller for a longer period and reduce overall consumption of carbohydrates. Beans come with a lower GI (glycemic index) while lowering the levels of blood sugar simultaneously.
Berries come with antioxidant attributes, while having rich fiber and Vitamin C in tandem with a lower GI (glycemic index) value. Berries help in regulation of blood glucose as well.
10. Fatty Fish
Mackerel or salmon are excellent Omega-3 fatty acid sources. These help in combating several diabetes linked complications such as neuropathy, nephropathy and retinopathy. Thus, fatty fish is one of the best foods for diabetics.
Broccoli and even other vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower or Kale, all contribute towards blood sugar control with the sulforaphane compound. Broccoli is a low-calorie option for regular consumption and comes with iron and Vitamin C as well.
12. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds come with immensely beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants along with magnesium and fiber. They help in lowering type 2 diabetes related risks greatly along with tackling other complications.
Unhealthy Food for Diabetics
There are some food items that diabetics should strictly avoid. Here is a list that you should be aware of:
- Sugary beverages or soft drinks
- Refined sugars, flour (Maida) or white rice/bread
- Food which is deep-fried
- Cakes, biscuits and other sweets
- Fruit juice
- High-fat yogurt
- Dried fruits
- Red Meat
- Packaged snack items
The Bottom Line
Diabetics have several food options to keep blood sugar levels in check and reduce their dependence on medication. These include everything from leafy green vegetables and nuts to garlic and berries. Many of these foods are already consumed in Indian households on a regular basis. Diabetics should work out a healthy and balanced dietary regime for the long run while avoiding foods like sugary beverages, packaged and fried snacks, and the like.
What foods are best for diabetic diet?
Some of the best foods for diabetics include fruits like berries, bananas and oranges, along with vegetables like carrots, broccoli and carrots. Other options also include fatty fish, nuts and more.
What food should diabetics avoid?
Diabetics should avoid fried and packaged snack items along with white bread, white rice and Maida. They should also avoid cakes, sweets and biscuits. Even potatoes should be avoided.
What fruit should diabetics avoid?
Dried fruits are avoidable for diabetics. They should also avoid the consumption of fruit juice. Even mangoes or other fruit varieties contain higher sugar levels. Diabetics should consume the same in limited amounts.
Are bananas good for diabetes?
Bananas are safe for consumption in this regard and are highly nutritious as well. Diabetics should integrate bananas into their daily diet plans.
Are eggs good for diabetes?
Eggs contain rich protein which also helps in blood sugar regulation. This automatically benefits diabetics. Eggs also come with several vital minerals and vitamins.