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Foods That Help Control Diabetes

written by: Ravneet Kaur • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 4/12/2011

There are numerous myths surrounding food and diet for diabetes. There are actually some foods that help diabetes and we will discuss them in this article.

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    Diabetes and Food

    If you are suffering from diabetes, you know that you must eat a healthy balanced diet, which will not cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up. There are some special foods that help diabetes and are recommended by doctors for diabetics to keep blood glucose levels from rising and regulating the body’s need for insulin. Diabetics should rely on a diet that will keep their blood glucose normal and help prevent coronary or renal diseases. For diabetics, it is better to take foods that are low in carbohydrates and calories. The body easily digests carbohydrates, thus the sugar levels rise suddenly. Thus you should regulate the use of carbs in your diabetes diet with foods containing fiber, which take time for digestion and thus do not pose a sudden risk of raising blood sugar.

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    Essential Foods for Diabetics

    A diet plan for diabetics is based on age, weight, height, gender, physical activity and type of diabetes. Before selecting your diet, you should be conscious about some complications, such as high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. If you want to control diabetes, you must act upon the advice of your dietitian. When you visit your dietitian, they will tell you which foods are good for you and which you must avoid.

    When it comes to selecting foods that help control diabetes, diabetic patients should take easily digested and non-greasy food items, such as vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains. Being a diabetic, you should choose foods that are steamed, baked, roasted, poached or grilled.

    Use peanut oil or olive oil for cooking because they contain less saturated fat, which is not good for a diabetic and can raise cholesterol levels.

    Eat five or six small meals, instead of three heavy meals per day. It will help in proper digestion, thus regulating blood glucose levels.

    1) Vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and beans are recommended foods that help control diabetes. High fiber foods should be consumed more because they reduce the level of blood glucose in your body.

    2) Fresh green vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, bitter gourd, peas, apricots, watermelon, peaches, apples, kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, green beans, oatmeal, bran, yogurt and fish are good for the health of diabetics.

    3) Low calorie drinks should be preferred by a diabetic.

    4) Skim or low fat milk is better than whole milk.

    Research says that at least one teaspoon of powdered cinnamon every day helps keep blood glucose levels low and improves blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Scientists claim cinnamon has insulin-like properties and also helps in digestion.

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    Diabetic Patient Must Avoid These Foods

    The list of foods that diabetics should avoid is long. Some of them are as follows:

    1) Do not eat fatty foods, such as oily and fried foods, because bad fats increase the risk of heart disease.

    2) Avoid bakery products, especially cakes and biscuits, which are high in proteins, calories and sugar.

    3) Restrict the intake of tea, coffee and refined flour, which are feared to cause constipation and digestive disturbance, which are indirectly linked with diabetes.

    4) Try to avoid alcoholic drinks, as these contain a large amount of carbohydrates and sugar.

    5) Do not consume high calorie and protein meals.

    6) Consumption of too much salt may cause cardiovascular diseases.

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    Bottom Line

    Learning about foods that help diabetes is important for diabetics. A diabetic person should take lighter meals instead of heavy ones. Daily long walks and any kind of less stressful physical activity are considered as the best workouts for a diabetic person. Consult your doctor before starting a dietary and exercise regimen.

    Remember, maintaining a healthy weight will help you keep fatal diseases away and live a happy and prosperous life.

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    References

    1. Cinnamon for Diabetes: http://www.diabetes-guide.org/cinnamon-diabetes.htm

    2. Diabetic Diet: 6 Foods That May Help Control Blood Sugar: http://diabetes.webmd.com/features/diabetic-diet-6-foods-control-blood-sugar

    3. Diabetes Diet and Food Tips: http://www.helpguide.org/life/healthy_diet_diabetes.htm