No single food will make or break your diet. I frequently say that a good diet with a bit of pie now and then is still a good diet. And a bad diet with a few bites of broccoli is still a bad diet. What really matters is not the individual foods as much as the overall pattern of the diet. There are many paths to a healthy plate – even for people with diabetes. Since each person’s food preferences, lifestyle, diabetes and medications are different, it is reasonable that there is no one diabetic diet. But one thing all good diets contain is more plants than animals. Below are a few foods to put on your shopping list for good blood glucose control, to help prevent the complications of diabetes and for overall good health.
Oats: This breakfast favorite is rich in the fiber beta-glucan which helps lower cholesterol levels and control blood glucose. Think beyond breakfast. Mix oats into ground meat when you make meatballs or meatloaf.
Barley: Also rich in beta-glucan, barley may have even greater effects on blood glucose than oats have.
Salmon: One of my favorite foods from the animal kingdom, salmon is jam-packed with heart-protective fats. Omega-3 fatty acids tame the inflammation that precedes heart disease, lower the risk of irregular heartbeats, and make the blood less sticky and less likely to form clots. Keep a few cans in the pantry for quick, easy meals. And while you’re at it, pick up a couple tins of sardines – also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Peanuts and Peanut Butter: A perfect snack food that won’t raise your blood glucose. Research even suggests that nut and peanut butter consumption is associated with reduced risks of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. Enjoy about an ounce of peanuts (~1/4 cup) or spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on celery sticks. If your snack allows for additional carbohydrate, mix peanuts with dried fruit and whole-grain cereal for an impromptu trail mix or dip apple slices into peanut butter. Don’t limit yourself to peanuts. Choose all types of nuts and nut butters and enjoy them for their different flavors and different nutrient profiles.
Beans: Choose kidney, great northern, pintos, garbanzos and more. Beans ...
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