Diabetic Food List
For diabetics, eating healthy is extremely important. But in a study conducted to see whether most diabetics know the difference between healthy and non-healthy foods, most of them were unaware of good food choices. In this article, we will be going over an effective diabetic food list for you to follow. Eating right will help you control your blood sugar, and more so, is the most important factor when it comes to diabetic treatment. Here are some of the healthy categories:
Grains & Starchy Vegetables
Whole Grain Foods
Legumes & Lentils
There are two types of vegetables: starchy and non-starchy. Starchy vegetables include potatoes, corn and beans, and non-starchy vegetables include broccoli, tomatoes, and zucchini. What is the difference between starchy and non-starchy vegetables? It is the total content of starch, which is a carb type. The main type of carb in your diet is starch, which can also be found in foods like bread, cereal, and pasta. Here are some of the following starch vegetables:
Non-starchy vegetables are essential for diabetics as well. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends diabetics to eat fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables without added salt, fat, or sugar. Here are some of the following Non-starchy vegetables:
- Green Beans
- Baby Corn
- Brussel Sprouts
- Pea Pods
When eating canned vegetables, you should drain, rinse them with water to get rid of nearly 40% of sodium. Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables are rich in nutrients. Vegetables are rich in potassium, vitamin K, folate, magnesium, iron, and zinc, as well as beneficial antioxidants. A shared element of starchy and non-starchy vegetables is that they are both high fiber foods. Most starchy vegetables contain 4-6% fiber, and most non-starchy vegetables contain 2-3.5% fiber. Overall, you must understand that both starchy and non-starchy vegetables are good sources of fiber, promoting digestive health, and reducing your risk for developing diabetes.
In a previous article, we discussed the 10 Best Fruits for Diabetics. Fruits are essential for diabetics because many of them have a low glycemic index (GI), which is a rating that indicates how quickly food is absorbed. The lower the score, the better for diabetics. Fruits have a low GI index, which means that your body will not absorb them as fast as some other foods.
Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (powerful plant compounds). Eating fruit will reduce your risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and will enhance your health. If you have diabetes, it is recommended that you eat fruit in their whole and original form, rather than in smoothies or canned fruits. If you plan on blending fruits to make smoothies, you should keep in mind that they tend to have high sugars because smoothies are processed by your body much quicker.
The Best Fruits For Diabetics Include:
- Berries are one of the best fruits for diabetics. They are tasty, refreshing, and contain antioxidants that are helpful to fight off diseases. From blueberries to strawberries, the ADA identifies berries as a “diabetes superfood” for what they contain: Antioxidants, Vitamins, and Fiber. Additionally, Berries have a low glycemic index and great nutritional content. Berries go well with other items as well such as yogurt or breakfast items. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries have scores below 40. Since berries have a low-carb density, you are safe with berries as long as you control the amount you intake. Berries are the first of the 10 best fruits for diabetics.
- Cherries are another great fruit for diabetics. They have a low glycemic index. For reference, a cup of cherries has 78 calories, 19 g of carbs, and is good at fighting off inflammation. They have antioxidants that help against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The sweet or tart cherries contain elements that boost insulin, helping control blood sugar levels. These chemicals are known as anthocyanins, which has been observed to have some correlation with reduced diabetic risk.
- Peaches are a great choice as well. Not only can it easily be incorporated into your diabetic diet, but they contain rich nutritional content, with vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and work with many side dishes. A medium peach has 15 g of carbs, low in fat, and is easy to eat.
- One Small Peach: Calories: 31, Carbs: 7.5 g, Fiber: 1.2 g
- One Large Peach: Calories: 61, Carbs: 15 g, Fiber: 1.4 g
- One Cup of Sliced Peach: Calories: 69, Carbs: 16.2 g, Fiber; 2.5 g
- As discussed before, added sugar in canned and processed food is quite a bit more harmful than eating natural, fresh peaches.
- A Cup of Canned Peach: Calories: 160, 32.55 g of sugar
- Like some of the fruits, apricots are an excellent addition to anyone’s diabetic meal plan. For reference, an apricot has 17 calories, 4 g of carbs. They go well with most breakfast items and have been shown to be effective for diabetic patients. Apricots have a glycemic index of 34, dried apricots have a GI of 30. Apricots contain vitamin E, which is a major factor contributing to the stabilized blood sugar levels. Vitamin E serves as an antioxidant, which can help diabetics. By having a half cup of dried apricots, you will boost your vitamin E intake by 3 mg and accounts for 19% of the recommended daily intake. A cup of fresh apricots contains 1.5 mg of vitamin E, which accounts for 10% of recommended daily intake.
- Apples. Everyone knows what apples are. But is everyone aware of the major advantages apples provide for diabetics? An apple is a wonderful choice for anyone. A small apple contains 77 calories, 21 g of carbs. They are loaded with fiber, are good sources of vitamin C, and their outer apple skin is extremely nutritious with many beneficial antioxidants. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), eating apples is beneficial for the balance it provides. In a medium-sized apple, there are 25 g of carbs, with 19g being sugar.
- Most of the sugar within apples comes from fructose. Unlike processed sugars, found in packaged foods, apples have 4 g of dietary fiber. The fiber is helpful because it helps slow the absorption of sugars within your body, in turn, decreasing the likelihood of rising spikes in blood sugar and insulin. Apples have a glycemic index of around 36, which indicates that it is a good option. Moreover, apples have minimal impact on insulin levels in the body. With control, apples are a great supplement to your diabetic meal plan.
- Oranges, too, are an excellent fruit for diabetics. Even one orange a day satisfies your daily vitamin C requirement. In addition to it having a low glycemic index rating associated with it, an orange contains folate, potassium, which works to level blood pressure. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has identified citrus fruits as a diabetic superfood. Since fiber takes time to process by your body, it leads to a gradual release of sugar into your bloodstream. For raw oranges, the glycemic index tends to be between 40 and 43.
- Like the other set of fruits we discussed, pears are also an excellent source of fiber, a good source of vitamin K, and can be easily incorporated into your diabetes meal plan. They have a low glycemic index, with a multitude of nutritional benefits that all work to keep your blood sugar levels at a minimum. Some benefits of pears include fighting inflammation, serving as antihyperglycemic, and helping with digestion.
- Medium-sized Pear: 101 Cal, 27 g carbs, 5.5 g Fiber, 7.65 g of Vitamin C, 206 mg of Potassium
- Surprisingly, many people have not eaten a kiwi. Kiwis are a great source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. A large kiwi contains 56 calories, 13 g of carbs. They are rich in vitamin C. It increases your body’s ability to fight off certain diseases. Studies show that people that ate more kiwi and citrus fruits had fewer respiratory problems, and noticed reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it lowers your triglycerides and promotes a healthy heart.
- Overall, avocados are great sources of fiber. One half of a small avocado contains 5.9 g of carbs and 4.6 g of fiber. Here is the minimum recommended daily fiber intake: Men: 30g, Women 21g
- Plums are known to have a low-glycemic index. Therefore, they can help keep blood sugar levels normal. A serving of plums (two plums) contains 60 calories, 15 g of carbs, and 2 g of fiber. They are an excellent source of vitamin C. As it goes with any food you eat, you must eat plums in a controlled fashion.
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