Proper diet is the base of a proper diabetes treatment. It should provide enough carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamin and minerals. It should be moderate, and the amount of fat should be reduced to the level that suits your organism.
Foods rich in sugar should also be reduced to a minimum, in order to avoid any increasing of the blood sugar level after every diet. Large meals also increase the blood sugar level, so nutritionists recommend smaller and more frequent meals.
Carbohydrates have the main role in the diet, including whole grains such as oats, rye, barley, wheat, corn, and rice. The nutrients found in whole grains impede the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into sugar, and thus maintain the blood sugar on a low level for longer.
This is the reason why nutritionists recommend a menu rich in complex carbohydrates, and muesli is the best choice.
Cereals are the basic foods, because they are the main source of carbohydrates in the diet, which means they have high energy value. Cereals also contain protein, mineral salts and vitamins. All the nutrients are found in the grain (shell and germs), and the core contains the largest amount of starch.
Oatmeal controls the blood sugar, of course if you choose a non-sweetened kind.
“Even though it’s a carbohydrate, it’s a very good carbohydrate,” American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Marisa Moore, RD, LD, explained WebMD. Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber, so “it’s slower to digest and it won’t raise your blood sugar as much or as quickly. It’s going to work better at controlling blood sugar over time.”
This high-quality carbohydrate not only provides a steadier source of energy compared to white bread, it can also help you lose some weight. Moore also explained that the soluble fiber in oats “helps to keep us feeling fuller longer.”
This is especially important for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who are actually overweight. “If you reduce the weight, you usually significantly improve the glucose control,” Nonas explained.
Statistics says that barley is not as popular as oats. However, studies show that barley, which is also rich in soluble fiber, can also help you control the blood glucose. Kay Behall, PhD, a research nutritionist at the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, did a research on barley, and she recommends eating boiled pearl barley instead of rice.
Oats and barley are not the only choice, and Moore added, “most whole grains are going to be a great choice for a person with diabetes.”
Broccoli, Spinach And Green Beans
Experts suggest that you diversify your diet by adding a plenty of nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and green beans to your diabetic menu. These foods are rich in fiber and low in carbohydrates, meaning they are ideal for diabetics.
On the other hand, starchy vegetables include peas, potatoes, corn, winter squash, and lima beans. You do not have to avoid consuming these veggies, explains Moore. “They do give us additional nutrients. We want to maintain balance.”
However, starchy vegetables contain more carbohydrates and actually raise the blood sugar more, so it is important to eat proper portion sizes, she added.
Latest studies have confirmed that vegetables are healthy for diabetics.
The results showed that low-fat vegan diet regimens can help patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes control their disease. A study published in DiabetesCare explained that 43% of the people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who followed a special low-fat vegan diet regimen for 22 weeks actually reduced the need to take medications.
This is compared to only 26% of the patients who adhered to the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
On average, vegans lost more weight and reduced the bad cholesterol. Since people diagnosed with diabetes are more prone to heart diseases, taking care of the heart health is as important as the blood sugar control, Moore says.
A study conducted by the Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, showed that by using ½ teaspoon of cinnamon daily, the cells would become more sensitive to insuline.
A 40-day treatment in which diabetics were supposed to take various amount of cinnamon extract confirmed that they had not only lower blood sugar spikes after the meals, but also experienced major improvement in the heart health. And simple as that, you can sprinkle some cinnamon on anything.
Researchers confirm that people who eat nuts on a daily base have lower rate of getting a heart disease compared to people who do not fancy nuts. (Remember, diabetics are at an increased risk of a heart disease.)
Comparing the health condition of people with the healthiest dietary habits, those who also eat nuts actually boast the best health record. There is not enough evidence proving this, but compounds called tocotrienols could be one of the main reasons.
Do not forget the rule that you should not eat too many, since nuts are rich in calories that couls easily become visible on your tighs and waist. You can simply measure 2 tablespoons of nuts and count how many you have, and stick to this number, or simply have a jar of chopped nuts on hand. Add two tablespoons of nuts to your cereals, yoghurt, vegetables, salads, or wherever you find it tasty.
Two tablespoons of vinegar lower the blood sugar. The Arizona State University East did a testing on three different groups of people to compare the results of healthy people, individuals with prediabetes (with developing signs of diabetes), and diabetics. They were given two tablespoons of ordinary vinegar before each of two meals a day.
An hour after they took the vinegar, the blood sugar level in diabetics were 25% lower than without vinegar. Prediabetics showed even better results — the blood sugar was lowered by about half.
Oil does not contain carbohydrates, and therefore does not increase the blood sugar level. Moreover, it slows the absorption of foods consumed along with the oil. It is rich in omega 9 and omega 3 which maintain the flexibility of the blood vessels, providing proper blood flow.
Oil does not increase the insulin level, and thus reduces the non-insuline tolerance, found in many people responsible for high blood sugar level.
A study conducted in Finland recently confirmed that men who eat a lot of apples and other foods rich in quercetin, had 20% lower risk of death caused by diabetes and heart disease. Red grapes, tomatoes, onions, green vegetables and berries are some of the main sources of quercetin.