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Top 10 Super-Foods for Type 2 Diabetes

Keep these wonder ingredients on your shopping list and in your pantry.
By Erin O'Donnell
WebMD Magazine - Feature

These 10 tried-and-true staples are win-win foods for people with type 2 diabetes: nutritious and delicious! Put them on your shopping list.

Berries. A smart substitute when you need to limit candy, berries offer sweet flavor, few calories, and lots of fiber. Plus, they have antioxidants, chemicals that help protect against cancer and heart disease. Raspberries, strawberries, and pomegranates (yes, they're considered a berry) also have plenty of ellagic acid, an antioxidant that may counter cancer. Toss fresh or frozen berries in your morning cereal and noontime salads, and keep dried or freeze-dried versions handy for snacking. High-fiber foods like berries help keep blood sugar levels normal.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

Diabetes Symptoms to Never Ignore

One of the keys to leading a healthy life with diabetes is to keep your glucose levels, or blood sugar, in check. As your main source of energy, glucose plays a big role in keeping your body working like it should. If you have either type of diabetes, you need to be aware of symptoms that may mean your glucose is out of balance. If your blood sugar is too low:

Read the Diabetes Symptoms to Never Ignore article > >

Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein, and they may help you lose weight. Research shows that people who eat eggs at breakfast tend to take in fewer calories the rest of the day. The American Heart Association says healthy adults can eat one egg a day. One reason is that they have little saturated fat. (To be safe, talk to your doctor about your blood cholesterol level.) Hard-boil eggs while you prepare dinner. Then store them in the refrigerator so they're ready for a quick breakfast or snack.

Extra virgin olive oil. Called "EVOO" for short, this type of olive oil offers great taste plus type-2-diabetes-friendly monounsaturated fat. "Extra virgin" means the oil is minimally processed, which protects its more than 30 antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compounds, says Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH. Drizzle it on salads, dip bread into it, and use it to sauté meat and veggies. Go easy. Like all oils, it packs 120 calories per tablespoon.

Kale. This nutrition darling is one of healthiest vegetables. One cup delivers 206% of your daily requirement for vitamin A, 134% of your vitamin C requirement, and 684% of your recommended intake of vitamin K (critical for blood clotting and bone health). It's also a top source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help prevent age-related eye diseases. Add chopped kale to soups and salads, or toss it with pasta and pine nuts. You can also tear the leaves into 2-inch pieces, spritz with olive oil, and bake until crisp for a bowlful of kale chips.

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Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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Normal
70-130
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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