The best diabetic diet is a balanced eating plan that is high in nutrients and low in fats and sugars. In order to control their disease, people with diabetes also need to pay attention to the total calories and carbohydrates they consume.
Healthy food choices for the best diabetic diet
It can be confusing to choose healthy foods. Fad diets do not work and can be dangerous if you have diabetes. A good diabetic diet includes foods that have a low glycemic index and are rich in nutrients. Some examples of such foods are beans, which are high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Beans are a good source of protein and contain no saturated fat. Dark green leafy vegetables are also good for diabetics. Spinach, collard, and kale are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals and do not contain any carbohydrates or calories. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are a great source of vitamin C and soluble fiber. Berries are packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients. Berries can be easily consumed in smoothies to add variety to a diabetes diet. Tomatoes are a staple food in many cuisines and are a healthy food choice for diabetics. Fish, whole grains, nuts, and fat-free dairy are also essential components of a diabetic diet to provide nourishment without unnecessary calorie loading.
Choosing non-starchy vegetables
The best diabetic diet includes all food groups. While potatoes are a well-known starchy vegetable and should be avoided, diabetics can include many non-starchy vegetables in their diet to add taste and nutrition. Diabetes-friendly vegetables are low in carbohydrates and have a low glycemic index. These include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, okra, peppers, sprouts, and leeks. Diabetics should aim to eat a colorful rainbow of vegetables to ensure they are getting all the essential nutrients.
Choosing the right fruits
Dried fruits have a high carbohydrate density and should be avoided by diabetics. Instead, people with diabetes should eat fruits with a low glycemic index and a high fructose and fiber content. The fructose in fruits can help with sugar cravings. Good fruit choices for a diabetic diet include apple, banana, watermelon, pear, and strawberry.
Protein sources in a diabetic diet
A balanced and healthy diet includes good quality proteins. Diabetics should obtain their protein nutrition from fish, seafood, chicken, cheese, and eggs. Vegetarians can include plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, peas, soy, edamame, hummus, nuts, and tofu in their diabetic diet. Fish that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids are the best. These include salmon, tuna, and sardines. Seafood such as crabs, oysters, shrimps, and scallops are also good for diabetics. Egg whites, reduced-fat cheese, and cottage cheese are good sources of protein for people with diabetes. Meat lovers with diabetes can include trimmed fat beef, lamb, and pork in their diet in controlled portions.
Choosing the right drinks
The best diabetic diet includes plenty of water for hydration. Water can be flavored with lemon for added taste. Other drinks that are low in calories and carbohydrates are unsweetened tea and coffee, diet sodas, and low-calorie drink mixes. Diabetics should avoid regular sodas, bottled juices, sweetened tea and coffee, and energy drinks. Low-fat milk and fresh juices with no added sugar can also be included in a diabetic diet.
Monitoring the glycemic index of foods
Foods that contain carbohydrates result in an increase in the blood sugar level. The glycemic index of a food is a measure of how likely that food is to cause a spike in blood sugar. The best diabetic diet is rich in low glycemic index foods. Examples of foods with a very low glycemic index include whole wheat, oatmeal, barley, bran, and pasta as well as legumes, lentils, and sweet potato. Foods with a medium glycemic index can also be included in a diabetic diet. These include rye, pita bread, couscous, and brown rice. Diabetics should avoid foods with a high glycemic index. These include white bread, white rice, pumpkin, potato, popcorn, pretzels, melon, and pineapple. The more processed the food, the higher its glycemic index is likely to be.
The best diet makes it possible for people with blood sugar issues to eat healthy and to manage their disease with food. A diabetic diet can result in an overall healthier lifestyle and can reduce the risk of many other life-threatening conditions like heart disease.