You may be surprised, but a healthy diet for people with diabetes isn’t that different from one recommended for everybody else.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (peas and beans), and low-fat dairy are the centerpieces, and American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests essentially what is offered to the general public.
That said, people with diabetes may want to pay a little closer attention to their carbohydrate intake.
Fruit, vegetables, and whole grains provide more nutrition per calorie than refined carbohydrates and are also generally much richer in fiber. Because the body digests high-fiber foods more slowly, it leads to a lower risk for high levels of blood sugar.
Roughly 45 to 55 percent of daily calories are recommended to come from carbohydrates. Choosing them wisely is highly important. You’ll want to get fiber-rich carbohydrates from vegetables, whole grains, and fruit.
On the other hand, avoiding highly refined carbohydrates like white bread (buns, etc.) and pasta, as well as candy, sugary soft drinks, and sweets, is important. Refined carbs like these can lead to sharp spikes in blood sugar and boost triglycerides.
All fiber is good for you, but not all fiber is the same. There are two main types: insoluble, which is the kind in whole grains, and soluble, which is found in beans, dried peas, oats, and fruit.
Soluble fiber, in particular, seems to lower blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity. This may mean you’ll need less diabetes medicine. There is even evidence that adopting a healthy diet and a more active lifestyle can reverse diabetes.
Plenty of research indicates that eating more fiber can also reduce the risk of heart disease, which is very important for people with diabetes. Diabetes and heart disease aver very closely linked.
Controlling blood sugar with diabetes is possible by making the right food choices. Avoid refined grains and focus on fiber to give yourself the best chance.