The 14 Best Foods to Control Type 2 Diabetes
We all know that maintaining a healthy diet is vital in terms of type 2 diabetes prevention and treatment. Generally, the advice given to diabetics is relevant to the general population as well: consume adequate vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish, and less industrial sweets and foods high in fat and salt.
So what are the best foods to control diabetes and add to the menu? There are 12 foods that can help balance blood sugar in your body. These are olive oil, cinnamon, green tea, pulses, green vegetables and oats. These common foods that are already in our kitchen help maintaining adequate blood sugar and prevent diabetes complications:
1. Olive oil
Oil lacks carbohydrates, and therefore does not raise blood sugar levels. In addition, it slows the absorption of foods eaten along with the oil. Olive oil is rich Omega 9 and Omega 3 which help maintain the flexibility of blood vessels, allowing good blood flow. Also oil does not increase insulin levels, thus reducing the non-insulin tolerance that exists in many people and causes an increase in blood sugar levels. Find here more information about the great health benefits of olive oil.
Many studies show that consumption of one teaspoon cinnamon (2.5 g) to three teaspoons a day has a positive effect on reducing blood glucose levels. It was found that the cinnamon can make your cells more sensitive to insulin. Thus, the cells convert sugar into energy more efficiently and control the amount of sugar level in the blood. Diabetics who received cinnamon extract daily for 40 days experienced lower levels of blood sugar after eating, as well as substantial improvements to the heart health. Read here more about how to use cinnamon as a medicine. Adding cinnamon to your diet is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.
3. Green Tea
Green tea contains the antioxidant EGCG, which helps to maintain the flexibility of blood vessels and stabilizing blood glucose levels. A recent study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania found that this element reduces blood sugar levels and prevents its sharp rise after a meal consisting mainly carbohydrates. Read here more about the amazing health benefits of green tea.
Legumes such as lentils, peas, beans and chickpeas are low in fat and calories and also rich in fiber and protein. Dietary fiber slows the rate of sugar absorption into the blood and reduces the glycemic load. They are a great addition to soups, salads and a variety of other dishes.
5. Green Vegetables
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal fresh green leaves vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard and parsley, and other green vegetables (fresh, steamed or frozen) such as celery, cucumber, cauliflower, green beans and kohlrabi contain carbohydrates that release hormones in the gut that reduce appetite. In addition, the researchers found that these vegetables improves insulin sensitivity and thus better regulate blood glucose levels. Eating vegetables like asparagus, garlic and Jerusalem artichoke can help in cases of diabetes and obesity, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes because vegetables are rich in magnesium and are known as effective antioxidants.
Oats contain a high percentage of fiber, B vitamins (especially B1), vitamin E and antioxidants. The large amount of fiber causes a slower absorption of glucose, and combining antioxidants makes the oatmeal recommended food to stabilize blood sugar levels. Click here to find easy and delicious porridge recipes with oatmeal.
7. Red Apples
A recent study conducted in Finland found that men who ate the greatest number of apples (and other foods rich in quercetin) had 20% less deaths related to diabetes or heart complications. Other good sources of quercetin are red grapes, tomatoes, onions, green vegetables and berries. You can find easy and nutritious berry recipes in my e-book The Healing The Healing Berry Guide. This e-book will teach you how to transform your health with berries, and is a must for berry lovers.
8. Vitamin C Rich Foods
Studies show that people with diabetes have lower levels of vitamin C in their body, so rich foods in vitamin C such as berries, citrus fruits, peppers, dark green leafy vegetables, kiwifruit, tomatoes, etc are loaded with antioxidants and are an excellent choice.
9. Cold-Water Fish
Those who suffer from diabetes are twice more likely to suffer also from heart disease. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish, can help to lower “bad “cholesterol and raise your “good” cholesterol. Seafood is a great source for omega 3, such as: halibut, herring, mackerel, oysters, salmon, sardines, trout, tuna and cod. Vegetables, especially green leafy ones, such as: kale, parsley, mint, Brussle sprouts, spinach and watercress, are rich in ALA, one form of omega-3 fatty acids (although ALA isn’t as powerful as the other omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA). Ground flaxseed is also a good source of omega 3. Read here more about the fantastic health benefits of omega 3.
10 . Dark Chocolate
Researchers from Tufts University in Massachusetts found that dark chocolate improves cell sensitivity to insulin and significantly improves the chances of avoiding diabetes. In addition, dark chocolate lowers blood pressure and the amount of “bad” cholesterol in the body, and strengthens the blood vessels. Dark chocolate is a true superfood that is also featured in my e-book about superfoods which is part of the Natural Health Revolution Program. This program will help you to achieve your health, nutrition or weight loss goals.
11 . Grass Fed Beef
There are other things in beef other than protein, iron and vitamin B. There is an element which is part of the beef fat which is called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). The most abundant source of CLA is beef from grass-fed cows. Experiments have shown that CLA works to correct improper utilization of blood sugar and helps fight cancer and heart disease. In a recent study in Norway scientists have added a few grams of CLA to the daily diet of 180 people. They reported that they lost 9% of their body weight in one year. Make sure that the beed is processed as little as possible, as it contains more CLA. Other food sources of CLA in smaller amounts include milk and eggs.
12. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
According to webMD website, the effect of ACV on blood sugar levels is one of the best researched and the most promising. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For example, a small 2007 study with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%. Dilute the ACV in a glass of water and drink (you can add a little bit of honey to improve the taste). Read also my previous article why you should use ACV to lose weight, reduce cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.
Particularly interesting is the research into the potential of okra (also known as lady’s fingers, bamia, bhindi or gumbo) in the treatment of diabetes. The studies have only been done on animal models so far and it’s too early to draw any conclusions, but the preliminary findings are promising. A study from 2011 showed that okra helped reduce the absorption of glucose and lowered blood sugar levels in rats. Another study on rats was conducted in 2011 and provided similar results (see more information in my article about the amazing health benefits of okra).
14. Bitter Melon
Bitter melon, also known as wild cucumber or bitter apple, grows in Asia, East Africa, South America and the Caribbean. It is consumed as food and also has many medicinal effects. It has a strange appearance, almost like a bumpy green banana, and contains three different properties that are proven to help diabetics. Clinical studies continue to evaluate the charantin, polypeptide-p, and vicine, each of which have shown an ability to lower blood sugar. You can read more about bitter melon and how to consume it in my article Bitter Melon Can Treat Pancreatic Cancer and Diabetes.
In summary, these best foods to control diabetes should be added to your daily menu. You can start the day with oatmeal porridge flavored with cinnamon, eat for lunch grass fed beef with poached green vegetables, drink afternoon green tea alongside a red apple, and in the evening eat lentil soup. At bedtime drink another cup of green tea in order to lower blood sugar levels and calm the digestive system before going to sleep. You can also read my article about the independent documentary film that features six people with diabetes who reversed their diabetes in 30 days with one simple change: