Choosing the right type of food for consumption is very important for people with diabetes mellitus. Not only can it help keep blood sugar levels well controlled, a healthy diet can also prevent complications of diabetes such as heart disease. Therefore, let’s find out what foods are good for people with diabetes mellitus here.
1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is one of the healthiest foods that is very good for anyone to consume, whether healthy people, especially those with diabetes. Fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring , anchovies , and mackerel are great sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA which have major benefits for heart health. Therefore, people with diabetes who are at risk of heart disease and stroke are advised to get regular intake of these fatty acids.
DHA and EPA can protect the cells that line blood vessels, reduce signs of inflammation and improve artery function. A number of observational studies show that people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart failure and are less likely to die from heart disease.
2. Green Vegetables
Green vegetables are high in nutrients and low in calories. These types of food are also very low in carbohydrates which can lead to increased blood sugar levels.
Spinach, kale and other green vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. In one study, increasing the intake of vitamin C can reduce signs of inflammation and fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
In addition, green vegetables are also a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin . These antioxidants can protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts which are common complications of diabetes.
Cinnamon is a delicious spice that has strong antioxidant activity. Several studies have shown that cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
Long-term diabetes control is usually determined by measuring your hemoglobin A1c, which represents your blood sugar level for 2–3 months. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who consumed cinnamon for 90 days were found to have more than doubled their hemoglobin A1c reduction, compared to those who received only standard care.
Eggs are one of the foods that can provide great benefits for health and can also keep you full longer. Eating eggs regularly can also reduce the risk of heart disease in several ways. Eggs reduce inflammation, increase insulin sensitivity, control levels of “good” or HDL cholesterol, and modify the size and shape of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who consumed two eggs a day as part of a high-protein diet experienced improvements in their cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are also one of the highly recommended foods for people with diabetes. These foods are high in fiber, but low in digestible carbohydrates. In fact, 11 of the 12 grams of carbohydrates in a 28 gram (10 ounce) serving of chia seeds are fiber that doesn’t raise blood sugar. The fiber in chia seeds can actually lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which food moves through the intestines and is absorbed.
Chia seeds that are rich in fiber can also reduce hunger and keep you full longer, which can help you gain a healthy weight. Additionally, chia seeds have been shown to reduce blood pressure and signs of inflammation.
Turmeric is also an herb with tremendous health benefits. Its active ingredient, curcumin , can reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels, while reducing the risk of heart disease.
In addition, curcumin is also believed to be beneficial for kidney health in people with diabetes. This is important because diabetes is one of the main causes of kidney disease.
Unfortunately, curcumin is difficult to properly absorb by the body. So, make sure you consume turmeric with piperine (which is commonly found in black pepper) to increase its absorption.