Best and Worst Foods for Diabetes - Grace Ngo Foundation

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Friday, 18 September 2015

Best and Worst Foods for Diabetes

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Research proves that making a few key changes to your diet— such as eating more produce, fewer refined carbohydrates, plenty of lean protein, green vegetables and more “good” fat—helps improve blood-sugar control and cuts the risk of diabetes-related complications.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that one or two or even five foods on this list will transform you, You need most of them and even others not mentioned here.
1. Apples: Because they offer so many health advantages, put these at the core of your diet. Apples are naturally low in calories, yet their high fibre content (4 grams) fills you up, battles bad cholesterol, and blunts blood-sugar swings. Eat them whole and unpeeled for the greatest benefit, or make a quick “baked” apple. Enjoy with yogourt and oat bran sprinkles for a nutritious dessert, or serve over oatmeal for breakfast.
2. Avocado Rich: creamy, and packed with beneficial monounsaturated fats, avocado slows digestion and helps keep blood sugar from spiking after a meal. A diet high in good fats may even help reverse insulin resistance, which translates to steadier blood sugar long-term.
3. Barley: Choosing this grain instead of white rice can reduce the rise in blood sugar after a meal by almost 70 per cent—and keep your blood sugar lower and steadier for hours. That’s because the soluble fibre and other compounds in barley dramatically slow the digestion and absorption of the carbohydrate. Even brown rice can’t compare. Add barley to soups, serve it as a side dish, or make it the basis for a stir-fry or casserole. Pearled, hulled, or quick-cooking varieties are all good choices.
4. Beans: When planning a menu, think “bean cuisine” at least twice a week. The soluble fibre in all types of beans (from chickpeas to kidney beans ) puts a lid on high blood sugar. And because they’re rich in protein, beans can stand in for meat in main dishes. Freshly cooked beans is usually preferred. Soaked beans are tender in just 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Beef: Yes beef is a diabetes-friendly food, as long as you choose the leanest cuts and keep portions to one-fourth your plate. Getting enough protein at mealtime keeps you feeling full and satisfied. Plus, it helps maintain muscle mass when you’re losing weight, so your metabolism stays high. To lean up other cuts, put them in the freezer for 20 minutes. This hardens the meat so it’s easier to slice off the fat. Lean cuts can be tenderized and made more flavourful.

6. Berries: Think of them as nature’s M&Ms: sweet, convenient, colourful, and satisfying. Berries are full of fibre and antioxidants. The red and blue varieties also contain natural plant compounds called anthocyanins. Scientists believe these may help lower blood sugar by boosting insulin production.
7. Carrots: Don’t believe what you hear about carrots rapidly raising blood sugar. While the type of sugar they contain is transformed into blood sugar quickly, the amount of sugar in carrots is extremely low. That’s good news because carrots are one of nature’s richest sources of beta-carotene, which is linked to a lower risk of diabetes and better blood-sugar control.
8. Chicken or turkey:
These meats can be high-fat disasters or perfectly healthy fare. It all depends on the cut and how it’s prepared. Breast meat, whether ground or whole, is always lower in fat than dark meat such as thighs and drumsticks. Never eat the skin because of its high saturated fat content, and when buying ground turkey, make sure the package says ground turkey breast.
9. Eggs: Eggs are another excellent, inexpensive source of high-quality protein—so high, in fact, that egg protein is the gold standard nutritionists use to rank all other proteins. An egg or two won’t raise your cholesterol, and will keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours afterward. Such a magic food deserves a little sleight of hand in its preparation.
10. Fish: The single deadliest complications of diabetes is heart disease, and eating fish just once a week can reduce your risk by 40 per cent, according to a Harvard School of Public Health study. The fatty acids in fish reduce inflammation in the body —a major contributor to coronary disease—as well as insulin resistance and diabetes. And unless you’re pregnant, don’t worry too much about potential chemical contaminants. An exhaustive review of the scientific literature on fish and human health by Harvard researchers led to the conclusion that eating it far outweighs any accompanying risks.
11. Flaxseed: these shiny brown seeds hit the diabetes trifecta: They’re rich in protein, fibre, and good fats similar to the kind found in fish. They’re also a source of magnesium, a mineral that’s key to blood-sugar control because it helps cells use insulin. Ground flaxseed spoils quickly, so buy whole seeds in bulk, keep in the fridge, and grind as needed.
12. Milk and yogurt: Both are rich in protein and calcium, which studies show may help people lose weight. And diets that include plenty of dairy may fight insulin resistance, a core problem behind diabetes. Go low-fat or fat-free, though. If you don’t like the taste of skim milk, try 1 percent. It’s a little thicker and creamier
. 13. Nuts: Because of their high fibre and protein content, nuts are “slow burning” foods that are friendly to blood sugar. And even though they contain a lot of fat, it’s that healthful monounsaturated kind again. Roasting really brings out flavour.
14 Seeds Like nuts: Seeds of all types—pumpkin, sunflower, sesame— are filled with good fats, protein, and fibre that work together to keep blood sugar low and stave off heart disease. They’re also a natural source of cholesterol-lowering sterols, the same compounds added to some cholesterol-lowering margarines.

15. Oatmeal:

Ever wonder why oatmeal is so good for you? It’s because it’s loaded with soluble fibre which, when mixed with water, forms a paste. Just as it sticks to your bowl, it also forms a gummy barrier between the digestive enzymes in your stomach and the starch molecules in your meal. So it takes longer for your body to convert the carbs you’ve eaten into blood sugar. Don’t like oatmeal in the morning? Buy oat flour and use it as a thickener in soups Or add ground oatmeal (not the instant kind) . You won’t even know it’s there.
16. Olive oil:
This stuff is liquid gold. In fact, it contains an anti- inflammatory component so strong that researchers liken it to aspirin. This may be one reason why people who follow a Mediterranean diet—a traditional way of eating that emphasizes olive oil along with produce, whole grains, and lean meat—have such low rates of heart disease and diabetes, both of which are linked with inflammation. Unlike butter, the good fat in olive oil won’t increase insulin resistance and may even help reverse it. A touch of olive oil also slows digestion, so your meal is less likely to spike your glucose. Dribble it on salads, baked potatoes, pasta…just about anything. 18. Peanut butter One study found that eating peanut butter dampens the appetite for up to 2 hours longer than a low-fibre, high-carb snack, making this childhood favourite a grown-up weight-loss ally. The monounsaturated fats in PB also help control blood sugar.
17. Sweet potatoes: a baked sweet potato instead of a baked white potato, and your blood sugar will rise about 30 percent less. Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and disease- fighting fibre, almost 40 percent of which is the soluble kind that lowers cholesterol and slows digestion. They’re also extra rich in carotenoids, orange and yellow pigments that play
18. Greens: Remember that green vegetables are not left out. Most are fibre rich and low in calorie too, just right for you whether managing diabetes or preventing it.
Best Choices
  • Whole-grain flours, such as whole wheat flour
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice
  • Cereals containing whole-grain ingredients and little added sugar
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Baked sweet or white potato or baked steak fries
  • Whole-grain from millet  or corn tortillas
  • Corn, popcorn or products made from corn
  • Black-eyed cowpea
Worst Choices
  • White flour
  • Processed grains, such as white rice
  • Cereals with little
  • whole grain and lots of sugar
  • White bread
  • French fries
  • Fried white-flour tortillas
Vegetables and Diabetes
Most vegetables contain fiber and are naturally low in fat and sodium (unless they are canned or frozen in sauces). Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn, aren’t included in this category. They are considered part of the breads, grains, and other starches group.
Best Choices:
  • Fresh vegetables, eaten raw or lightly steamed, roasted, or grilled
  • Plain frozen vegetables, lightly steamed
  • Low sodium or unsalted  vegetables
  • Lettuces, greens, kale, spinach, arugula
Worst Choices:
  • Canned vegetables with lots of added sodium
  • Vegetables cooked with lots of added butter, cheese, or sauce
  • Pickles (if you need to limit sodium; otherwise, pickles are okay)
  • Sauerkraut, (same as pickles; limit only if you have blood pressure)

Fruits and Diabetes

Fruits have carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are naturally low in fat (except for avocados) and sodium. Most fruits have more carbs than do vegetables.
Best Choices:
  • Plain fruits such as apples and oranges not more than one a day
  • Fresh fruit
  • Sugar-free or low-sugar jam or preserves
  • No-sugar-added applesauce
  • 100% fruit juice
Worst Choices:
  • Canned fruit with heavy sugar syrup
  • Chewy fruit rolls
  • Regular jam, jelly, and preserves (unless portion is kept small)
  • Sweetened applesauce
  • Fruit punch, fruit drinks, fruit juice drinks
 Source:
  • www.webmd.com

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