Diabetic Diet: 6 Foods That May Help Control Blood Sugar
While there's no substitute for a balanced diabetic diet, adding certain foods may help those with diabetes keep sugar levels in check.
Broccoli, Spinach, and Green Beans
Add plenty of nonstarchy vegetables, such
as broccoli, spinach, and green beans, to your diabetic diet, diabetes experts
say. These foods are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, which make them
ideal for people with diabetes.
In contrast, starchy vegetables include
peas, potatoes, corn, winter squash, and lima beans. There's no need to cut
them from the diet, Moore says. "They do give us additional nutrients. We
want to maintain balance." But because starchy vegetables have more
carbohydrates and raise blood sugar more, it's important to stick to proper
portion sizes, she says.
There's new evidence, too, that vegetables
are healthy for people with diabetes.
Researchers have found that a low-fat vegan
diet may help type 2 diabetes patients to better manage their disease. In a
study published in DiabetesCare, 43% of people with type 2 diabetes who
followed a low-fat vegan diet for 22 weeks reduced the need to take diabetes medications. That's compared to only 26% who adhered to
the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
On average, the vegan group also lost more
weight and lowered levels of bad cholesterol. Because people with diabetes are more prone
disease, eating with heart
health in mind matters as much as blood sugar control, Moore
Some diabetes patients shy away from strawberries because of their
sweetness, says Moore. But a cup of strawberries makes for a healthy snack that
won't raise blood sugar too much. They're a much better option than a cookie or
"They're pretty low in calories and carbohydrates," she says. What's
more, strawberries are high in fiber and water, so people will feel fuller
longer. The longer that people with diabetes can stay full, the fewer
carbohydrates they'll consume overall, she says.