When you mention eating more seafood, there is sometimes a debate about mercury. However, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, which can be at a minimal if we consume a wide variety of seafood, instead of sticking to one or two that could have a high mercury content. Please continue to read below to see how to control diabetes with gifts from the sea.
Why Seafood is a Great Choice for Diabetics
There are a number of reasons why seafood is a grat choice for diabetics. The carbohydrate content, or lack thereof, the good fat and protein content, coupled with the fact that they are easy to prepare.
Carbohydrates and Diabetes
Most seafood is carbohydrate free and so it is an excellent choice for diabetics. We need to be careful with the type of carbs we consume as less carb gives us a gradual spike in our blood glucose. I am not proposing a “no carb” campaign, but merely suggesting that we can also get healthy carbs from the foods we eat, such as those found in bananas, potatoes, corn, to name a few.
Unsaturated Fat in Seafood
For the most part, seafood contains a healthy fat (unsaturated). This too is a wise choice for diabetics. Note, our hearts will be happier and healthier in the long run. Some fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. There are numerous benefits we can get from consuming omega-3-fatty acids.
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased cholesterol
- Less hardening of our arteries
- Reduced risk of heart diseases
- For pregnant diabetics, omega-3fatty acids help the baby to develop
Protein in Seafood
They are a good source of high-quality protein. Crabs and lobsters are good sources of protein and they can be enjoyed by diabetics too. Instead of boiling shellfish in salt, using some seasonings and herbs like scallion, onions, thyme, bay leaves and a little butter will make a tasty and healthy seafood, which can be enjoyed by the diabetic and without guilt.
Diabetics can also have shellfish in their soup, salads, and pasta. Adding a little lime or lemon or vinegar could make it more delicious and also less raw.
Quick and Easy for the Whole Family
Most people complain about the little time they have to spend in the kitchen and so this gives them a reason to eat out. However, a research proved that eating more home prepared meals will result in a reduced risk of developing diabetes. Most seafood, especially fish are easy to cook and can be enjoyed by all. The following fish are easy to prepare, high in omega-3-fatty acids and a good source of protein:
- Salmon can be pricey, but an excellent fish, loaded with omega-3 for diabetics and their families. Salmon does not need a lot of time to roast, grill or bake. The ones in the tin are easier to prepare and fairly healthy to consume. This fish is also low in mercury.
- Sardines also have vitamin D and lots of calcium. This is a flavorful fish. The canned one is a healthy choice in helping us to use food from the sea to control diabetes. Because of the calcium content, sardines are also good for healthy bones. Again they are easy to prepare and low in mercury, making them a safe fish to consume.
- Mackerel contains iron, vitamin B12, selenium, riboflavin, and niacin. Pacific Mackerel is low in mercury, but not King Mackerel. Mackerel is easy to prepare and is commonly seen on the supermarket shelves in a tin.
- Herring is great salted, smoked and pickled. These cooking methods are not ideal to use regularly, especially persons with high blood pressure. However, a little goes a far way in adding flavor, so diabetics could consider having a small piece. I buy herring every other month and use a small piece in pasta, just for flavor.
- Trout has a lot of omega-3 fatty acids and can be eaten with little salt and some herbs.
- Tuna is also a bit pricey but counts as a good source of protein for all, especially diabetics. Tuna can be incorporated as a part of your salad or used to make a sandwich. The ones packed in water will be a healthier choice and the calories will also be less.
- Halibut is a large flat fish and as such it is mostly available in the form of a steak or fillet. The flesh is white and firm with a delicious flavor. It dries out easily and so it can be a good fish for steaming or any method which uses a lot of water.
You can enjoy your seafood, especially fish by steaming, roasting, baking or grilling. Diabetics, like others, can enjoy an occasional fried fish, but, in general, we want to reduce the consumption of too many fried foods. Seafood can be very tasty with a zest of lime or lemon, some herbs and spices and a little salt, black pepper, scotch bonnet pepper and butter. Subscribe to the newsletter for the recipes.
Caution-Read and Take Heed
Caution is important at this point. According to Kaushik (2016), diabetic women should be careful how much fish they eat, because a research revealed that diabetic women who ate more than two servings of fish for the week had a higher risk of developing diabetes. Note the results were slightly different for men. It is therefore recommended that we eat a maximum of 2 servings of fish per week if we are diabetic.
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Other Health Benefits of Consuming Seafood
There are other reasons we should eat seafood twice per week. Diabetes alone is too much to live with and so if the diabetic person can reduce their risk of other illnesses, then the blessing would be priceless.
Help for the Arthritis Sufferer
Reduce inflammation. The average illness is due to inflammation, or it is at least made worst due to an inflamed body. This point has been made a number of times throughout this website. This is good news for the person suffering from arthritis.
Seafood Supporting our Brain
Dementia, Parkinson Disease, and Alzheimers can be held at bay if we consume two servings of seafood per week. Cognitive decline has been reduced in older people who eat one to two servings of fish per week.
Seafood is low in calories, have little or no carbohydrate, but is high in omega-3 fatty acids which make it a good protein for diabetics and their families. Protein is known to make us feel full for longer and so this will make us eat less. Thus it has been used by diabetics to achieve a gradual rather than a high spike in blood glucose. This also makes it a good option for persons wanting to lose weight.
Fish and her other counterparts in the sea are also good for other illnesses and have been used to lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol, prevents hardening of our arteries, reduce the risk of heart diseases and are good for pregnant women because the omega-3 fatty acids help the baby to develop.
It is clear that diabetics can use seafood to help to control diabetes and non-diabetics can use it to prevent diabetes. Either way, the health benefits of seafood for diabetics is worth the price.
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Until next time, please make the right food choices as we unite to control diabetes with diet and lifestyle changes.
- Kaushik, Manas, Dariush Mozaffarian, Donna Spiegelman, JoAnn E. Manson, Walter C. Willett, and Frank B. Hu. “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fish Intake, and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. American Society for Nutrition, 2016. Web. 18 Aug. 2016.
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