Top Diabetes Superfoods
10 delicious picks to help you stay super healthy!
The day you’re diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes everything changes. Suddenly, making smart lifestyle choices is more important than ever, and one area that your doctor will surely recommend making some big changes in is your diet.
The reality is that a poor diet, which contributes to unhealthy weight gain, is a leading contributor to the development Type 2 diabetes. On the plus side, a healthy diet, one that’s low in fats and sugars and high in nutritional value, can help you better manage blood sugar levels and provide you with greater control over your diabetes. We’ve put together a list of 10 great-tasting and great-for-you superfoods that can help you live a healthier life with Type 2 diabetes. But first, we have to tell you a little more about “superfoods”.
What is a Superfood for Diabetes?
We’ve all heard the term “superfood” in commercials and articles touting the incredible health benefits of a given product or food group. Most of these superfoods are absolutely good for you. They contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients believed to promote physical and mental health and wellness.
However, in the interest of full disclosure, what you might not know is that the actual term “superfood” has as much to do with marketing as it does with proven science. In fact, according to a post about diabetes superfoods done by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), The Food and Drug Administration does not have an official definition for the term “superfood”, as to do so would require a vast amount of scientific research to verify any claims made by “superfood” companies.
So, what do we mean when we say a superfood for diabetes? We mean food choices that will do a super job of helping you control weight gain; foods that have a low glycemic index (GI score) and will not spike blood sugar levels uncontrollably; foods that are great sources of vitamins, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and the healthy fats you need and don’t contain a lot of unhealthy sugars and carbohydrates.
For someone living with Type 2 diabetes, a superfood is really just an intelligent food choice that will help you better manage the disease. But smart and healthy doesn’t mean boring and tasteless. Our top 10 super choices provide plenty of flavor along with promoting better diabetes health.
A healthy diet is an important factor in managing blood glucose levels and controlling Type 2 diabetes. So is following your doctor-prescribed diabetes treatment plan. At Diabetic Warehouse, we offer an huge online selection of glucose meters, test strips and lancets, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, and infusion sets by leading manufacturers, such as Accu-Chek, OneTouch, FreeStyle, DexCom, Easy Comfort, TRUEMetrix and others. You’ll save up to 65% off pharmacy prices and we provide free delivery to your home or office. Learn more about our satisfied customers and great selection at Diabetic Warehouse.
Top 10 Diabetes Superfoods1. Berries
Take your pick - blueberries, strawberries, raspberries – these juicy little treats are big on flavor, low in calories, high in fiber and Vitamin C, and rich in antioxidants believed to promote heart health and reduce the risk of cancer. Berries are a perfectly healthy way to satisfy that sudden sweet tooth. Eat them fresh or keep some frozen berries in the freezer for a delicious ice-cream substitute.2. Tomatoes
This is a superfood that can be enjoyed in so many super ways. As part of the non-starchy fruit family, tomatoes have low GI scores, so they raise blood sugar levels more slowly, making it easier to maintain target levels. They contain Vitamins C and E, as well as a nutrient called lycopene which is believed to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Slice them up and eat them raw. Make a yummy soup. Cook up a homemade tomato sauce. The possibilities are many and they are all diabetes friendly.3. Salmon (and other fatty fish)
Salmon is loaded with the kind of fat that is good for you – Omega 3 fatty acids – which is why it is one of the best sources of protein for those living with diabetes. Salmon is also a great source of fiber. Bake it or grill it over a cedar plank for a delicious lunch or dinner. Better yet, top off a nice garden salad with fresh salmon for a super-delicious, superfood meal.4. Walnuts
A handful of walnuts makes a hearty and healthy anytime snack. These nuts contain little if any carbohydrates, which help maintain blood glucose levels. Their big on fiber and protein, plus they contain healthy fats that can increase “good” cholesterol (HDL) and reduce harmful cholesterol (LDL).5. Beans
Once again, a diabetes superfood that you can enjoy in plenty of different ways – dips, bean salads, in soups, on top of garden salads, with fresh fish or chicken. Beans are a great source of fiber, protein, and potassium. They also have exceptionally low GI scores to help you maintain blood glucose control. Plus, beans come in so many tasty varieties - chickpeas to black beans – that are all heart healthy and diabetes friendly choices.6. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are a healthy source of fiber, which is important for people with diabetes as it helps regulate blood glucose levels. Remember, however, that you must eat the fruit - juicing does not provide the fiber benefits. Additionally, citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C and other nutrients. Your best choices are oranges and grapefruits as they contain lower amounts of sugar than many other citrus fruits. For an easy snack and a quick energy boost, citrus is a great option.7. Whole grains
They key word here is “whole”. If the label doesn’t say whole grains, then you’re getting processed grains which are not healthy diabetic choices. But whole grains like quinoa, farro, and whole oats are great sources of fiber, which can help control blood sugar, and they’re rich in iron, B vitamins, magnesium, and other essential nutrients.8. Cinnamon
What? Cinnamon is on a list of superfoods? Absolutely! Because for those living with diabetes cinnamon is a deliciously sweet addition to cooking and baking that adds zero sugar to the mix. In fact, a study presented by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) points to the fact that cinnamon can reduce glucose levels and LDL cholesterol in people with Type 2 diabetes. Way to go cinnamon!9. Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
These starchy treats are a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene and they’re loaded with fiber and Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are also rich in Vitamin C and potassium. Here’s a thought! Bake your sweet potatoes at 400° Fahrenheit for about an hour (until they’re nice and soft) cut them open and sprinkle on a little cinnamon for a doubly good superfood treat.10. Avocados
Avocados are high-fiber nutritional ninjas, secretly packing over 20 vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, potassium, and healthy fats, into one deliciously versatile veggie. All those healthy fats help you feel full, so you don’t overeat, plus they slow down the digestion of carbohydrates which helps keep blood sugar levels more stable. Add tomatoes (another diabetes superfood) and whip up some fresh guacamole for a delicious salad topping or snack.
BONUS Superfood - Low-fat or Fat-Free Milk & Yogurt
You might be a little surprised to find these on our superfood list. They do contain carbohydrates, which can elevate blood sugar. However, they’re also a great source of calcium and Vitamin D. With more and more research pointing to the connection between Vitamin D and good health, there’s no reason to not indulge once and while. You’ll have to monitor portion sizes carefully and make sure to choose low-fat or zero-fat varieties, preferably with no added sugar. That being said, the occasional fresh fruit and yogurt parfait or smoothie is certainly a delicious addition to any day.
Remember, before making any dietary additions or changes to your diabetes health plan, it’s important to consult with your diabetes care physician. However, in most cases the diabetes superfoods listed above will be right in line with a healthy diabetes diet and lifestyle program.
If you found this post helpful, we hope you’ll check out our other posts about living with diabetes. At Diabetic Warehouse, we’re committed to keeping you informed with diabetes care and treatment news and providing you with tips to make your diabetes health and lifestyle choices a little easier.
We’re also proud to offer savings of up to 65% on diabetic supplies, including glucose meters and test strips, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, insulin syringes and pen needles from leading manufacturers, including FreeStyle, Clever Choice, Bayer, Accu-Chek, One Touch, and True Metrix. We invite you to shop and save on our entire selection at diabeticwarehouse.org.
Diabetic Warehouse is a trusted supplier of diabetes care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticwarehouse.org.