People who have diabetes need to make important changes to what they eat and how they live in order to lead a healthy life. While some types of foods are well known to spike blood glucose levels, several healthy foods may also cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up suddenly owing to their quick digestion by your body.
Here are six foods that experts recommend you must add to a diabetes-friendly diet.
A stick of cinnamon can do wonders to enhance the taste of an otherwise bland meal. Aside from its use as a flavor enhancer, cinnamon has long been used as a natural treatment of high blood sugar. In fact, several studies have documented the ability of cinnamon to stabilize blood glucose and improve sensitivity to insulin in people with diabetes.
Whole wheat bread
Unlike bread made from refined flour, whole wheat bread contains complex carbohydrates that take time to break down, and it’s a rich source of fiber and essential micronutrients. So satiate your craving for bread with whole wheat bread only.
Legumes and lentils
Kidney beans are a popular diabetes-friendly food, and so are black beans. If you don’t want to compromise on a protein-rich diet but want to eat less meat, replace it with beans in some of your meals.
Similarly, lentils are good for diabetics because the carbohydrates present in them are not digested by the body. Lentils are known to boost gastrointestinal health and they induce a feeling of fullness, so they’re a good addition to diabetes diet.
Flaxseeds, whether taken whole or ground to a fine powder, are known for their tremendous health benefits. One key benefit of flaxseed for diabetes is that it contains compounds that help manage blood sugar levels. Additionally, flaxseeds are a potent source of fiber, which makes them a popular addition in diabetes-friendly meals.
Berries are rich in fiber and have a low GI (glycemic index), which makes them an ideal choice for people with diabetes who crave sweet foods. Indulge yourself with a helping of strawberries or raspberries during the day, or pop a bowl full of blueberries when hunger strikes in between meals.
Garlic is well known as a traditional remedy for high blood sugar. It not only adds a punch to your meals but also helps maintain blood glucose levels. So add a couple of crushed garlic cloves to your soups, salads and main course for a great flavor loaded with health benefits.
What to avoid
Avoid simple carbs and starch-rich foods as they are converted into glucose shortly after consumption, which causes plasma sugar to rise. These include bread, refined flour, white rice, sugar, processed foods, fatty non-vegetarian meals, full-fat milk and other dairy products, fried foods, desserts and fruit juice. While lifestyle choices can greatly improve your blood sugar levels, continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, should be an essential part of your diabetes management plan. So invest in a good CGM system to be able to enjoy a fulfilling life