How This Helps

If you have diabetes, then what you eat is going to matter a lot. The foods you eat are not only going to make a difference in how you control your diabetes, how you feel, and also determine how much energy you have throughout the day. Healthy eating can not only prevent and control diabetes but also help reverse diabetes. Keeping in mind a list of foods for diabetics while you go shopping will help you prepare healthy and diabetes-friendly meals. A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or even prediabetes generally means that the doctor has suggested that you make some modifications to your diet. This is a good time as any to become more educated about how you're eating on a regular basis.

Fortunately, following a diabetes diet does not mean giving up the pleasure of preventing or eating your favorite foods and special family meals. It's still possible to enjoy pizza night, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and partake in holiday meals and holiday dining. This is about your regular daily food choices and meal preparation. A good way to check a diet when you have diabetes is one that makes it possible to set a new normal in regards to your eating habits and food choices. Eating to beat diabetes is significantly more about making wise food alterations than it's about denial and anxiety. 

Here are some foods you should think about, including in your diabetic grocery list. 


Eating choices for diabetics

What are your eating choices if you have type 2 diabetes?

A diet aimed at reducing the risks of diabetes is actually merely a nutritionally-balanced meal program aimed at supporting maintaining glucose levels within range and encouraging a healthy weight.

For those who have type 2 diabetes or even prediabetes, the main focus of a diabetes-focused diet is careful to your weight. However, a diabetic diet is an eating strategy that works to keep you healthy, and so isn't reserved just for individuals with diabetes. Your entire family can enjoy the same foods and snacks, no matter whether others have diabetes or not.


There are a couple of food choices that will matter more if you do have diabetes. We supply you with a few general guidelines that will help you realize just how much and how often to eat to be able to maintain steady blood glucose levels. And, these recommendations hold true for anybody who has diabetes type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, in addition to prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Diet makes a big difference.

If you were diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes recently, you might even reverse your diabetes if you can decrease your weight by about 10%. A crucial factor to keep in mind here is that when had in moderation, nothing will be off-limits for you.

See: Keto diet benefits for weight loss, diabetes & PCOS

Best diabetes foods in your list

The best way to manage your diabetes is by sticking to some of the 'best' diabetes foods that are recommended by doctors and experts worldwide. Here are some things to include in your diabetic food list.

- Whole Grains

A critical step to diabetes management and prevention is to increase the amount of whole grains in your diet. A recent study involving over 200,000 men and women found that consuming brown rice instead of white rice can lower your chances of developing diabetes by nearly 16 percent. The study also established that consuming other whole grains can further reduce this risk.[1]

Another study showed that having a breakfast rich in low glycemic index whole-grain foods such as brown rice and rolled oats can prevent spikes in blood sugar levels during the rest of the day in those who already have diabetes.[2]

This is believed to be because whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, which helps slow down the absorption of blood sugar or glucose into the bloodstream.[3] 

Furthermore, whole grains are packed with many beneficial vitamins and minerals, which makes them a better choice than having refined grains for people with diabetes.[4]

Some good examples of whole-grain food for diabetics include:

Brown rice

• Oats

• Buckwheat

• Quinoa

• Millet

• Rye

• Bulgur

• Whole grain pasta

• Whole grain bread

- Leafy Green Vegetables

Vegetables should definitely be a focal point of your type 2 diabetes food list. In fact, no diabetic diet food list is complete without the inclusion of some leafy green vegetables. Not only are green leafy vegetables filling, but they are also delicious. The best leafy green veggies for diabetics are those that are rich in fiber, low in glycemic index, and preferably also high in nitrates to keep your blood pressure also in check.[5] 

A review of six studies with more than 220,000 adults focused on establishing a link between the consumption of vegetables and fruits and type 2 diabetes. The study concluded that eating one and a half serving of leafy green vegetables every day dramatically reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.[6] Many researchers also believe that eating leafy green vegetables helps people with diabetes due to the high antioxidant content along with the presence of starch digesting enzymes in these vegetables.[7]

Some of the best green leafy vegetables to include in your list of foods for diabetics are:

• Cabbage

Kale

• Spinach

• Collard greens

• Broccoli

• Bok choy

- Fatty Fish

Fatty fish should be a must in your diabetic diet food list. Fatty fish does not only help in the management and prevention of diabetes but is known to have many other health benefits as well. Also known as oily fish, fatty fish are known to have many health benefits, including improving mental ability, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, protecting from cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and even alcohol-related dementia.[8, 9, 10]

As per the advice of the American Heart Association (AHA), a person should try to include two servings of fatty fish each week.[11] The benefits of fatty fish are attributed to the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends a diet high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help enhance blood sugar control and also improve blood lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes.[12] Fatty fishes are known to be a powerful source of both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Some fatty fish you should include in your diabetic grocery list are:

• Tuna

• Herring

• Mackerel

• Whitebait

• Eels

• Kippers

• Sardines

• Salmon

• Trout

• Pilchards

If you are not fond of fish, then you can also include spirulina and kelp as plant-based alternatives in your type 2 diabetes food list.

- Fruits

Most people believe that fruits are dangerous for people with diabetes. However, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that having any fruit is acceptable for diabetics, just as long as it is had within a limit.[13]

A relatively recent meta-analysis showed that higher fruit consumption was associated with a significantly lowered risk of type 2 diabetes.[14] What makes a difference in people with diabetes is the intake of processed fruits because the body absorbs processed fruits very quickly, which causes a spike in the blood sugar levels.  Citrus fruits are known to be particularly good for people with diabetes. Not only are citrus fruits great for people with diabetes, but they also ensure that you are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals without getting excess carbohydrates.[15]

Researchers have found that the presence of bioflavonoid antioxidants, known as naringin and hesperidin, are responsible for some of the anti-diabetic effects of citrus fruits such as oranges.[16]  So including citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges, and lemons in your diabetic grocery list is a great way to control your diabetes.

See: Vitamins and Supplements Commonly Used to Reverse Diabetes

Summary

By keeping a close eye on your diabetic diet food list, people with diabetes will be able to successfully maintain their blood sugar under control and also manage their diabetes. In many cases, it is even possible to reverse diabetes by following a strict and healthy diet. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet that includes many of the food listed above can help people with diabetes prevent complications.  Apart from the foods listed above, a list of foods for diabetics can also include probiotic yogurt, sweet potatoes, berries, chia seeds, walnuts, and a variety of beans such as pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, amongst others. Eating such beneficial foods, while also limiting processed and refined foods, can help diabetics manage their condition properly.

See: How Adding Fiber in your Diet Helps Type 2 Diabetes

References

1. Sun, Q., Spiegelman, D., van Dam, R.M., Holmes, M.D., Malik, V.S., Willett, W.C., and Hu, F.B., 2010. White rice, brown rice, & risk of type 2 diabetes in U.S. men & women. Archives of internal medicine, 170(11), pp.961-969.

2. Asif, M., 2014. The prevention and control of type-2 diabetes by changing lifestyle & dietary pattern. Journal of education and health promotion, 3.

3. Montonen, J., Knekt, P., Järvinen, R., Aromaa, A., and Reunanen, A., 2003. Whole-grain and fiber intake & the incidence of type 2 diabetes. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 77(3), pp.622-629.

4. Aune, D., Norat, T., Romundstad, P., and Vatten, L.J., 2013. Whole grain & refined grain consumption & the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review &al of epidemiology, 28(11), pp.845-858.

5. Bondonno, C.P., Liu, A.H., Croft, K.D., Ward, N.C., Yang, X., Considine, M.J., Puddey, I.B., Woodman, R.J. and Hodgson, J.M., 2014. Short-term effects of nitrate-rich green leafy vegetables on blood pressure & arterial stiffness in individuals with high-normal blood pressure. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 77, pp.353-362.

6. Liu, S., Serdula, M., Janket, S.J., Cook, N.R., Sesso, H.D., Willett, W.C., Manson, J.E. and Buring, J.E., 2004. A prospective study of fruit & vegetable intake & the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Diabetes care, 27(12), pp.2993-2996.

7. Tiwari, A.K., Jyothi, A.L., Tejeswini, V.B., Madhusudana, K., Kumar, D.A., Zehra, A. and Agawane, S.B., 2013. Mitigation of starch and glucose-induced postprandial glycemic excursion in rats by antioxidant-rich green-leafy vegetables' juice. Pharmacognosy Magazine, 9(Suppl 1), p.S66.

8. Huang, T.L., Zandi, P.P., Kuller, L.H., Tucker, K.L., Fitzpatrick, A.L., Fried, L.P., Burke, G.L. & Carlson, M.C., 2005. Neurology, 65(9), pp.1409-1414. Benefits of fatty fish on dementia risk are stronger for those without APOE ε4. 

9. Cobiac, L., Clifton, P.M., Abbey, M., Belling, G.B. and Nestel, P.J., 1991. Lipid, lipoprotein, & hemostatic effects of fish vs. fish-oil n− 3 fatty acids in mildly hyperlipidemic males. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 53(5), pp.1210-1216.

10. Din, J.N., Newby, D.E., and Flapan, A.D., 2004. Omega 3 fatty acids & cardiovascular disease—fishing for a natural treatment. Bmj, 328(7430), pp.30-35.

11. www.heart.org. 2020. Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2020].

12. American Diabetes Association, 2019. 5. Lifestyle management: standards of medical care in diabetes—2019. Diabetes Care, 42(Supplement 1), pp.S46-S60.

13.Diabetes.org. 2020. Fruit | ADA. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2020]. 

See: Are bananas good for diabetics

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