What is Diabetes?
The human body needs glucose in the bloodstream to expend as energy. We produce a hormone known as insulin to help glucose be converted into energy. Glucose is a sugar we get from eating foods that contain carbohydrates known as simple sugars and starches. Foods such as fruit and fruit juices, or potatoes and cereals would be examples to name just a few. However, when too much glucose enters the bloodstream, and there is not enough insulin to support it, a person does properly regulate fuel to produce energy and the body secretes glucose as waste.
By simply eating the right foods and in the right amounts, it is possible to prevent and control type II diabetes. Here is a diabetic food grocery list of some of the best healthy diabetic foods:
Dark, Leafy Greens in the form of spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, kale, arugula or endive salads, mustard or collard greens, Bok Choy and even seaweed.
Whole Grains such as quinoa, millet, wheat berries, bulgur, brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, popcorn, whole wheat bread or pasta, wild rice, and wheat cereals.
Sweet Potatoes are a lower glycemic food and makes a better alternative to regular high glycemic potatoes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids many fishes contain omega-3, which are helpful to promoting an overall healthy body, Examples include: halibut, snapper, salmon, scallops, tuna, mackerel, sardines, swordfish, and herring. Also high in omega-3’s are walnuts, flaxseeds, soybeans, tofu, and winter squash. Many herbs and spices provide this fatty acid, such as: basil, cloves, oregano and marjoram.
Beans considered a starchy vegetable, make and excellent choice in receiving the necessary fiber to control blood sugar. These include: navy, pinto, kidney, black, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, edamame, anasazi beans, fava beans, lima beans and lentils.
Fruit specifically citrus and berries, which include: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, rasberries, or any other variety you prefer. In moderation higher glycemic fruits such as, watermelon, honeydew, raisins and cantaloupe. Also in this category are tomatoes, which many overlook as being a vegetable and not a fruit.
Fat-Free Dairy Products non-fat yogurt (plain or no sugar added), fat-free or 1% milk, unflavored soy milk, and fat-free cheeses.
Moderation Is Key
One important thing to consider when making your diabetic food list is how to combine these foods to keep insulin and glucose working in harmony. Start by making smaller meals, and eat more often throughout the day. I know in teaching many about proper nutrition that this takes some practice, but it is vital to maintaining best health. Eating these foods in controlled portion sizes at 2-3 hour intervals will ensure a steady stream of glucose in the bloodstream, and give you a constant supply of energy.
American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org
University of Maryland Medical Center. www.umm.edu/altmed
Nutrition Data. www.nutritiondata.com