It can be confusing and overwhelming when it comes to figuring out what you can eat when you have diabetes. Everyone talks about what you shouldn’t eat if you have diabetes, but what foods can you eat? Believe it or not, you have more options than you probably realize. The only thing is that you need to know the best types of food to choose from when cooking, having a snack, or even eating out.
Eat well while choosing the right food, here are examples of food to eat:
- Fiber-rich foods. Eating foods high in fiber may lower your blood sugar in as little as a few weeks. Fiber aids in slowing your blood sugar rising after eating a meal. The American Diabetes Association suggests that diabetics should aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed in a day. Examples of foods high in fiber: high fiber breakfast cereals, oatmeal, lentils, beans (although they do contain carbohydrates, ½ cup provides as much protein as an ounce of meat without the saturated fat.), and whole grains.
- Dark leafy vegetables. Spinach, kale, and collard greens are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, plus these foods are low in calories and carbohydrates.
- Lentils. This is a great food choice because lentils are packed with fiber and protein. You can easily add lentils to your soup or salad.
- Sweet Potatoes. Switch out a sweet potato for a regular potato to get your vitamin A and fiber. You can even sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on them. Craving something sweet, you can make sweet potato blondies.
- Beans. All beans are good for your diet and can be easily added to salads, soups, and main dishes or you can make a meatless chili with all beans. Some good beans are black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, etc. This is very healthy because beans are not digested quickly so your blood sugar levels are not affected.
- Fish. The best fish is high Omega-3 fatty acids. Examples are salmon, albacore tuna, and trout. Fish should be baked or grilled not breaded and deep fried.
- Nuts. This is a good snack to keep on hand. Some nuts, like walnuts, contain Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Popcorn. This is another good snack to have around. It has a low glycemic index so it will have a slow impact on your blood sugar, not to mention it is low in calories and low fat. Air popped popcorn is the best, but do not add butter or salt to keep it healthy.
- Berries. These are great for when you have a sweet tooth or add some to your oatmeal or yogurt. Berries contain antioxidants and vitamins.
- Avocados. This is another food that contains omega-3 fatty acids. You can substitute mayonnaise, salad dressing and butter with mashed avocado. Keep in mind that a small amount will go a long way.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your meals, you just have to plan ahead to make sure you are choosing the right foods. There are so many healthy options for you to add to your diet. Keeping the right foods in your home will help eliminate grabbing for a food that will spike your blood sugar. What you eat definitely affects how you feel and your mood. The American Diabetes Association is a great resource to help plan your meals and learn more about diabetes.
Need help choosing a meal plan that is right for you or learning where to start in managing your diabetes, call us to learn how one of our caregivers can assist in your diabetes management (480) 618-5995