It can be challenging to prepare the best diabetic food list. Controlling your blood sugar should always be your top priority.
It is equally important to eat healthy food to avoid heart disease and other complications. The key to managing diabetes is your diet.
21 Best Foods for Diabetes Control (Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes)
1. Fatty Fish
People consider fatty fish as one of the most refined foods on the planet.
Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 oils, which can reduce inflammation and other risk factors.
Omega-3 helps to prevent strokes and heart disease. Fatty fish are a good source of protein, which is essential for blood sugar regulation.
Herring, anchovies, mackerel, and salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and EPA, vital for heart health.
It is essential for people who have diabetes to consume enough fats each day.
DHA and EPA protect blood vessels from inflammation and help reduce inflammation. They may also be beneficial for the health of your arteries.
Research has shown that people who eat fatty fish daily have a lower risk of developing heart disease and acute coronary syndromes.
Studies show that eating fatty seafood may help to regulate blood sugar.
An analysis of 68 adults with obesity or overweight showed that those who ate fatty fish after meals had significantly higher blood sugar levels than those who consumed lean fish.
Also, fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein that can help you feel fuller. You can add fatty fish in your diabetic food list.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables
You can find many vitamins and minerals in green veggies. They have a small effect on blood sugar.
There are many benefits of raw vegetables. Kale, Spinach, and Radish are important sources of potassium, vitamin A, calcium, and other nutrients and also high in protein and fiber.
Green leafy vegetables are believed to be suitable for people with diabetes due to their high digestive enzymes and starch antioxidants.
Researchers believe that eating raw vegetables can be a great help to people with diabetes.
Here are the green vegetable options:
- Bok Choy
- Collard Greens
Little research has shown that kale can lower blood sugar and increase blood flow.
As a rule, you can include green vegetables in your diet such as dishes, soups, salads, and snacks.
You can combine raw vegetables with rich protein such as chicken and tofu. You can add this to your diet list for people with diabetes.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains are richer in fiber and contain more nutrients than refined white grains.
People with diabetes should consume fiber-rich foods. Fiber slows down digestion. Slowly absorbing nutrients will ensure that blood sugar levels remain stable.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is lower in whole wheat and whole than white bread and rice and has a more negligible effect on blood sugar.
Here are some delicious, whole grain options you can add to your diet
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain pasta
Peanuts are healthy and delicious.
All nuts are known for its high fiber and low carbs contain. Some have more fiber than others.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided the following information based on the fiber content of nuts:
- Cashews: 7.7 grams
- Pistachios: 5 grams
- Almonds: 2.6 grams
- Walnuts: 2grams
- Nuts: 2 grams
- Macadamia: 1.5 grams
- Brazil nuts: 1.4g
- Pecans: 1.2g
Studies on a variety of nuts have shown that regular eating can reduce inflammation, blood sugar, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and HbA1c (long-term sugar management marker).
Patients with diabetes can benefit from eating peanuts as a way to improve their heart health.
Studies also show that peanuts can improve blood sugar levels. You can add peanuts can in your diet to make it healthy.
They are high in fiber and can lower blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels. You can add this to your diet list for people with diabetes.
5. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits may contain vitamins and minerals that aren’t found in carbohydrates.
Research has shown that citrus fruits, such as lemons, grapefruits, and oranges, have anti-diabetic qualities.
Research suggests two bioflavonoid antioxidants, such as hesperidin and naringin of oranges, benefit diabetic people.
The best source of Vitamin C is also found in citrus fruits
- Vitamin C
High levels of antioxidants present in berries can prevent oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress may be associated with many conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, or other serious diseases.
Research has shown that people with diabetes have high levels of chronic inflammation.
Oxidative stress is a result of an imbalance and unstable ability to produce antioxidants.
High levels of antioxidants and fiber are found in strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. You also get essential other vitamins like:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
You can use fresh berries as breakfast and snacks—frozen berries for smoothies. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are low in the Glycemic Index (GI) compared to regular potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes for people with diabetes because they do not raise blood sugar levels and lower blood sugar.
Vitamin A, Vitamin C. Fiber, and Potassium are an excellent source of sweet potatoes. You can enjoy sweet potatoes preparing it in many different ways.
A balanced diet should include sweet potatoes, a variety of raw vegetables, lean protein, and a healthy side dish such as a salad. You can add this to your diet list for people with diabetes.
Avocados are low in sugar; it has just 1 gram and the quantity of the carbohydrate are also significantly less.
You can increase your diet quality by adding Avocado.
Avocado helps in reducing significantly body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI).
These snacks are excellent for people with diabetes, as they are low in calories but high in fiber.
Avocados might have some unique properties that can prevent diabetes. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
Eggs are full of amazing benefits. They are one of the best foods to satisfy hunger between meals.
You can also reduce your risk of developing heart diseases by eating eggs regularly in various ways.
Eggs can reduce inflammation, insulin sensitivities and can increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
A lot of research suggests that eating eggs could lower your risk of stroke.
Also, eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, and antioxidants help protect the eyes from eye diseases.
Whole eggs are best. The white portion of eggs is less nutritious than the yolk.
Eggs help in managing blood sugar and are suitable for your eyesight and health. Eggs are the best food for diabetes control. You can add garlic in list of foods for diabetics.
10. Chia Seeds
People with diabetes will love to eat Chia seeds.
Chia seeds are high fiber and low in digestible carbs.
Chia seeds are also known to lower blood pressure, as well as reduce inflammation.
Chia seeds can help you lose weight and maintain blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds are a viscous fiber that slows down food’s movement in your digestive system and helps the gut absorb it properly. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
Chia seeds have fiber that can help you maintain a healthy weight. It enables you to feel fuller and reduces your hunger. Chia seeds control blood sugar and are beneficial to people with diabetes.
A study of 77 individuals with type 2 diabetes or obesity showed that chia seed intake could support weight loss.
Beans are healthy, readily available nutritious food.
Beans are healthy and low in calories.
The low Glycemic Index (GI) of beans is very helpful in managing and preventing diabetes.
The low calorie, nutrition content, and fiber make it an excellent option for diabetic people.
Beans have a range of beneficial minerals, including vitamins B, calcium, and fiber. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
Over 3,000 high-risk participants were involved in a study that found that legume-loving individuals had a 35% less chance of developing type-2 diabetes.
12. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great dairy option for diabetic people.
Greek yogurt is lower in carbs than traditional yogurt; it got only 6-8 grams per cup.
Greek yogurt is also rich in protein which can help you lose weight.
A few studies have shown yogurt and dairy products are beneficial in managing blood sugar and reducing the chance of developing heart disease.
Yogurt is good for weight management, and yogurt intake can be associated with lower levels of insulin resistance and blood sugar.
Yogurt can lower your chances of developing diabetes by adding this in your diabetic food list.
One study that included more than 100,000 participants found that daily yogurt consumption was very beneficial, and it lowers the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 18%.
Greek yogurt is packed with high calcium, protein, and a unique fat called CLA (conjugated linolic acid). It may reduce appetite, and you may be able to resist unhealthy food more efficiently.
Broccoli is famous for its nutrition content.
Broccoli’s has low calories, and a high nutritional value that could help you regulates your blood sugar.
Half-cup-cooked broccoli got only 3 grams of digestible carbs and 27 calories with essential nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin C.
Broccoli is an excellent source of antioxidants – lutein and Zeaxanthin.
Both antioxidants lutein, and zeaxanthin can prevent eye diseases.
The rich plant compound available in broccoli can also prevent various diseases. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
One study showed that eating broccoli sprouts helps 10% drop in blood sugar for diabetic patients.
Studies on diabetic patients also showed that eating broccoli sprouts could lower insulin levels and protect them against cellular damage.
14. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil offers many health benefits to your heart.
It contains monounsaturated fat (oleic acids) to improve glycemic controls and reduce triglyceride levels.
For diabetic people, it is essential to manage the Glycemic Index (GI) and triglyceride level, and extra virgin olive oil is very helpful in managing both. So it’s an excellent option for diabetic people.
Additionally, olive oil is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols.
Polyphenols can reduce inflammation and protect your blood vessels.
Extra-virgin oil does not undergo any refinement process, so it got the same health benefits as olive oil. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
Flaxseeds enjoy a strong reputation as a healthy food.
Flaxseeds are also called linseeds and common flax.
Flaxseeds are rich sources of omega-3 fats, fiber, and other nutrients that support heart health.
The insoluble fiber – lignans are found in flaxseeds which help improve blood sugar levels and reduce heart diseases.
Flaxseeds can also lower blood pressure.
A review of 25 random clinical trials found a whole flaxseed supplement helps reducing blood sugar levels.
Further research is required to determine whether flaxseed can be used to prevent or manage diabetes.
Flaxseed has many benefits for your gut and heart health. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
Flaxseeds are high in viscous fiber, which is good for gut health and insulin sensitivity.
Keep flaxseeds in the refrigerator to prevent them from turning rancid.
Flaxseeds can help lower inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease and blood sugar levels, and improve insulin sensitivity. It is one of the best food for diabetes control. You can add flaxseeds in list of foods for diabetics.
16. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent choice for your health.
Despite being made with apples, it has less than 1 gram of carbs in each tablespoon.
Six studies were conducted, and 317 patients with type 2 diabetes were included. A meta-analysis showed that apple cider vinegar could have positive effects on fasting sugar levels and HbA1c.
It can also lower blood sugar levels by up to 20% when combined with carbs-rich food.
Apple cider vinegar could also have antimicrobial or antioxidant benefits. These health benefits require further research.
Add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water daily and consume. But, you should not consume more than two tablespoons of this per day.
Apple cider vinegar could help lower fasting blood glucose levels (fasting). It is one of the best food for diabetes control. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
Strawberries are one of the best nutrients you can add to your daily diet.
Strawberries are full of rich antioxidants called anthocyanins which make them red color.
Anthocyanins can lower insulin levels and cholesterol after eating. They are known to decrease the risk of heart disease in type 2 diabetic people.
Antioxidant polyphenols are also found in strawberries which are beneficial plant compounds.
A 2017 study showed that six weeks of eating strawberries and cranberries improved insulin sensitivity among obese adults.
One cup of strawberry contains 11g of carbohydrates and 46 calories.
Strawberries are low-sugar fruits with solid anti-inflammatory qualities. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
Garlic is highly nutritious with a low-calorie count.
Each clove (3 grams) of raw garlic contains approximately 4 calories.
- Vitamin C: 1% of the Daily Value
- Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
- Manganese: 2% daily (DV).
- Selenium: 1% DV
- Fiber: 0.06 grams
Research suggests that garlic may be able to improve blood glucose management and regulate cholesterol.
Studies proved that garlic is a good choice for people living with diabetes. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
Patients with diabetes who have high blood sugar or inflammation, LDL cholesterol, or high blood pressure may benefit from garlic. It is one of the best food for diabetes control. You can add garlic in list of foods for diabetics.
There are many varieties of squash, and it’s a very healthy vegetable.
It is rich in nutrients and filling food. The most popular types of summer squash are zucchini and Italian squash.
Unlike other vegetables, squash also contains beneficial antioxidants.
Squash is an excellent choice because it contains less sugar than sweet potatoes.
Although very little research has been conducted on humans, a small study showed a reduction in blood sugar in patients with severe type 2 diabetes.
Additional studies on humans will be needed to confirm the health-enhancing qualities of squash.
Squash’s health benefits are great for any meal. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
Both winter squash and summer squash are rich in beneficial antioxidants, which can help lower blood sugar.
20. Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki noodles can have remarkable effects on weight control and diabetes management.
Shirataki noodles come from the konjac root, which is rich in fiber glucomannan.
Glucomannan can be described as a dense type of fiber that makes you feel satisfied and full after eating.
Glucomannan can lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Liquids may contaminate these noodles, so make sure to rinse them well before using them.
Next, cook the noodles over high heat for several mins to get a noodle texture.
Shirataki noodles are rich in glucomannan which is known to manage blood sugar levels and high cholesterol. It is one of the best food for diabetes control. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
You can use cacao as a chocolatey spreads base or treat like chocolate and cocoa butter.
Cacao is bitter or unsweetened without sugar, and it tastes like dark chocolate.
Cacao seeds are rich in antioxidants. Cacao seeds contain epicatechin, which is flavanol.
Flavanol regulates glucose levels by activating essential proteins.
It can stabilize the blood sugar level and is helpful for people with diabetes. It is one of the best food for diabetes control. You can add this in your diabetic food list.
If diabetes is not managed correctly, it can prove fatal by increasing the risk of serious diseases.
Consuming foods that decrease blood sugar, insulin, or inflammation can dramatically lower your risk of developing complications. Remember that these foods can help manage blood sugar. But, healthy blood sugar management requires a balanced and nutritious diet.