Last Updated on Oct 29, 2011
Natural foods are packed with bountiful compounds that have healing and protective effects. Certain foods contain unique ingredients that positively enhance the health of people living with diabetes.
Diabetics are at a greater risk for heart disease. It is said that people with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. Omega 3 fatty acids present in fish decrease the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation, lowering trigycerides and LDL cholesterol.
* Fish oils
Nuts and Oilseeds
Nuts are said to be the nature's best low carb snack. They contain Omega 3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and
Nuts are heart protective. They help to decrease total and LDL cholesterol and have anti-atherogenic effects. Nuts and oilseeds like Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Pistachios, Flax seeds, Sesame seeds should be consumed by diabetics
Dark green leafy vegetables
Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals like Potassium, Fiber, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B and C. They are low on calories and also contain healthy complex carbohydrates in form of fiber. Vegetables like
* Cauliflower and its greens
* Green Beans
* Radish greens
* Spinach, mint, if consumed frequently could largely benefit diabetics in terms of long-term fitness and health.
Fiber is the most essential "nutrient" for a diabetic. Fiber stabilizes blood glucose levels and helps to decrease blood cholesterol.
Foods that provide plenty of fiber are:
* Whole grains (broken wheat, Quinoa)
* Wheat germ
* Wheat bran
One medium apple contains around 4 grams of fiber. Apples contain important compounds called as Phytonutrients and Quercitin, which lower risk for diabetes and heart disease.
Legumes are great sources of protein, fiber and contain essential health-giving compounds like Phytonutrients and Saponins.
* Saponins help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
* Protein and fiber help in weight loss and improve glycemic control.
Research suggests that just two teaspoons of vinegar, taken with a meal, may help keep better blood glucose control. Vinegar contains acetic acid. Acetic acid inhibits the activity of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes. With the presence of vinegar in the intestines, some sugars and starches pass through without being digested, so there is a lesser impact on blood sugars. According to a recent study people consuming a tablespoon of vinegar before lunch and dinner were able to lose an average of 2 pounds over four weeks.
Studies also report average decrease in hemoglobin A1C in people with type 2 diabetes over the course of 12 weeks, taking two teaspoons of apple-cider vinegar daily
Green tea contains anti-inflammatory compounds (antioxidants) to counteract inflammation associated with diabetes. Risk of heart disease has always seemed to increase with excess weight and diabetes. Green tea contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds which help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), naturally found in meat and dairy foods, is now being extensively used as a weight loss supplement. CLA has been found to reduce weight and adipose tissue in various clinical trials. It has also proven to control the blood glucose levels. CLA must be obtained from food or dietary supplements as it cannot be produced by the body.
Even a modest dose of 6.4 g/d, CLA can significantly reduce body weight and fat mass.