Diabetes is described as a metabolic disease with a number of life-altering complications. It was commonly felt that once diabetic, then you remain diabetic and yes, you would die from the complications. The result is that we are placed on drugs for diabetes and I am sure your experience may be similar to mine.
You visit the doctor for reviews and testing, and yes, you are told you need to increase the dose, or you have to take medication for other newly developed issues. This leads us to the question, are there foods that control diabetes?
Today we will spend some time looking at some foods to control and possibly eliminate diabetes. We will spend some time looking at foods which are loaded with fibers, or simply have enough fiber to be placed into the group. I will also share some of my experiences with these foods.
Here are the foods to control diabetes:
If you want to have lots of fibers, then you need to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, and grains. The fiber in the food helps it to move through the digestive tract. This is important so that the digestive tract will function properly and also be free of cancer. The bulk in our stool is as a result of the functions of the fiber we eat.
Note that a diet poor in fiber could lead to:
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Kidney stones
When diabetics eat foods rich in fiber, we get a slow, gradual rise in blood glucose, which is a perfect way to control diabetes. The opposite is a fast, and sudden rise, which will mean that your blood glucose could get considerably higher.
Please see below for a list with brief explanations of high fiber foods we should eat to control diabetes. It is important to point out that these foods are low on the glycemic index which means that they will not cause a sudden, high spike in our blood glucose.
- Quinoa. This seed is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is known for its’ magnesium content. Quinoa helps to regulate blood sugar and reduces the risk of cardiovascular illnesses. This is great news for diabetics, as there is a tendency for the two to walk hand-in-hand. I like to use Quinoa as a porridge. I also like to add it to my salads.
- Flaxseed. When you want nutrients galore, then this is the seed to eat. I like to grind this seed and add it to my salads and smoothies. I sometimes purchase the flaxseed powder. Whenever I make flaxseed a part of my lifestyle change, I see differences in my blood glucose readings. Note that flaxseed decreases the risk of insulin resistance. I love the fact that adding 2 tablespoons of flaxseed to my oats, will give me 3.82 grams. This is definitely good news for diabetics. I also sneak it in by including it in my morning smoothies.
- Chia seeds. I had this seed only a few times. It is high in fiber and boosts our energy. I added them to my smoothies. It became gel-like and I hated that result. I will look more into this seed and see what my findings will be.
- Walnuts. I am not a lover of walnut, but I have read where it can improve your mood. It is good for mental health and will help us to control our blood glucose level. I use walnuts in my smoothies at times. I prefer it this way.
- Almonds. I love eating almonds for snacks. A few almonds leave me feeling full and so I eat less. They also result in a slow, gradual rise in my blood glucose, rather than a sudden, high spike. I also like using the almond to make my own almond milk and flour. This way I can avoid the added sugar and have a diabetic-friendly alternative to dairy milk. I also purchase the store bought almond milk and my readings are within the normal range. I, however, avoid the flavored one.
- Peanuts and peanut butter. These work well for me. One tablespoon of peanut butter taken at nights ensure that I have a normal blood glucose reading after my nightly fast (sleep). It is better to make your own peanut butter and of course you need to be careful if you need to lose weight. I, however, had great successes with even the store bought peanut butter and had the best of both worlds with lower blood glucose readings and I also lost weight. Please note that this was combined with other strategies to control my blood sugar.
- Lentils. These are super great for me. I make them into little fritters and loaves, well seasoned and pleasing to the palette. I also use them in rice and soups. Please remember that it has been reported by way of a research that a diet rich in plant-based foods is the ideal diet for diabetics. I love eating all lentils and kidney beans. My glucose readings are usually super low and well in the normal range if and when I consume these at least three times per week along with other strategies to lower my blood glucose.
- Chickpeas. I am not a fan of chickpeas, but I used them in the past when I cooked them with curry and carrots. I also used them in my homemade patties. It’s just too “fleshy” for my liking, but they are high in fiber and will help us to control and possibly eliminate diabetes. I must, however, add that this will have to be a lifestyle change. When you eat these foods and get normal readings for at least a year, then your doctor may gradually reduce your medication until you are taken off. You must, however, maintain this lifestyle to ensure that your body remains inflammation-free and also diabetic-free. I have a stock of beans now when I am shopping again for beans, I will try the chickpeas with different recipes and see if I will tolerate them now that my taste buds are somewhat different.
- Black Beans. This is one of the healthiest, high fiber food you could use to for diabetes, to treat your heart and for digestive issues. It is an excellent source of plant-based protein and it is loaded with the fibers which are necessary to keep us well. One (1) cup of black beans, boiled with salt will give us 14.96 grams of fiber. Please note that this is more than half of the 25 grams required for women on a daily basis. Men should consume up to 35 grams of fiber. I use these beans to make rice and beans. I also love to use them in a stew, to which I add other vegetables and sweet potatoes and green bananas.
- Kidney Beans. Another plant-based food which is fairly good for fiber intake is the red kidney beans. This gives us approximately 7.9 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup, making it almost 15 grams of fiber per cup. Yes, this is similar to black beans and so I am encouraged o eat my beans. I am encouraged to try new ways to include beans into my diet. I will be sharing some recipes and ideas at a later date. Kidney beans are great for stabilizing blood sugar, lowering the risk of a heart attack, gives us energy and improved memory, and it is loaded with protein. This is another favorite for my stews and soups. For more on beans, please click this article bout the Cannellini Bean. You may also want to read some more about the red kidney beans.
- Split Peas. For 1 cup of split peas, you will get 16.27 grams of fiber. Again this is a great plant-based food to maintain blood sugar levels, keep our hearts healthy and lower our cholesterol. I use split peas in my soups. It is great for thickening and flavor.
- Brussels Sprout. These look like small cabbages, but please note that they are from the same family. They are rich in vitamins and nutrients and are very tasty when seasoned and steamed. The fiber content and the low glycemic load makes it an excellent option for diabetics. We get 4.06 grams of fiber from 1 cup of Brussels Sprout.
- Cabbage. One (1) cup of cooked cabbage gives us a shade under 4 grams of fiber. Cabbage is a good plant-based food for diabetics with numerous other health benefits besides helping to control diabetes. They are excellent for cardiovascular issues, digestive woes, cancer and they are also anti-inflammatory.
- Pumpkin. This is high fiber, low glycemic index, packed with nutrients and makes a good soup and stew. I also like to cook and eat pumpkin with beans or animal protein. Boiled pumpkin can also be added to your smoothies. This plant food is great for diabetics. My readings are kept low when I consume this vegetable for dinner along with the other measures I take to control my diabetes, with the hope to be diabetic-free.
- Squash (butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash). These are like pumpkin in terms of nutrients and glycemic load. They are also good in soups and stews.
- Artichokes. These are low in calories, but high in fiber. It is an antioxidant food with a lot of nutrients.
- Okra. This is rich in calcium and nutrients. It is great in soups and also stews. In Jamaica, okra is steamed with fish.
- Coconut. I love coconuts. They are great in fiber and versatile. I grate and use the coconut in recipes and I simply cut into smaller pieces and eat as a snack.
- Strawberries. One cup of strawberries will give us approximately 2.88 grams of fiber. Strawberries are known to help in the fight against diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. They are also anti-inflammatory and so are useful generally, and if you have arthritis.
- Blueberries. Blueberries have a low glycemic load and are therefore good for diabetics as they will not result in a sudden, high spike in our blood glucose. They are also beneficial to people with cardiovascular issues, eye diseases and they are well known as cancer-fighting foods. I like to use all the berries and coconut water with some choice of green vegetables in my morning smoothies. It’s a smart way to start my day with a lot of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. We get 3.55 grams of fiber from 1 cup of blueberries.
- Raspberries. Our blood sugar will be nicely controlled when we eat more raspberries, but you will also see that it takes care of your skin and bones.
- Blackberries. These berries are great for fiber and will, therefore, help us to control our blood glucose, but they are also super for our bones as well.
- Asian pear. If you are concerned about diabetes, but you are also concerned about keeping your brain in a good condition, then try eating this fruit. They are high in fiber and contains Omega-6-Fatty Acids.
- Avocados. In addition to helping to lower your blood glucose, avocados will help to keep high cholesterol and heart diseases at bay. Please click here for an article I did on the avocado.
It is crystal clear that diabetes can be controlled using foods, especially high-fibre, predominantly plant-based foods. The interesting thing is that as we make the change to whole foods, filled with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, the other health issues with which we struggle also gets fixed. It would appear that we get a high value for our money when we eat whole foods, because the same foods lower our blood pressure, fixes high cholesterol, helps us to maintain a relatively good digestive system, fights cancer and inflammation, reduces our risk of cardiovascular illnesses and we will have the bonus of losing weight. The food list is simple to make. Eat unprocessed foods sold at the market or the produce section of the grocery store/supermarket and the meat shop or the meat section of the grocery store/supermarket.
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