Foods that fight diabetes are almonds, apples, apricots and avocados. They lower blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, fighting diabetic complications like heart and kidney disease.
Foods that fight diabetes, like almonds, apples, apricots and avocados, are abundant in nature. Since virtually everything we eat and drink end up in our blood stream, diabetics must find the foods that not only pack lesser punch in spiking, but also assist in lowering, blood sugar levels.
Diet a Key to Fighting Diabetes
Most diabetics rely on insulin injections (for Type 1 diabetes) or medications (for Type 2 diabetes) to control blood sugar. Exercise is also recommended to compliment the medicines. But since the foods and drinks we ingest play the most crucial factor in blood glucose levels, diet is the key to controlling diabetes.
Often, the combination of the right foods maximize metabolism, which, in turn, optimizes the performances of medicines and nutrients. These elements work best in an interplay of roles.
Foods that Fight Diabetes
From Almonds to Avocados
The following is a list of foods that fight diabetes either on its own terms, or symbiotically with other foods:
• Almonds – are a rich source of dietary fiber, good fats and protein. These elements prolong the feeling of fullness, thus lessening hunger pangs and the need to eat again—which is common among diabetics. Natural (not salted, roasted or sugar-coated) almonds combined with mashed potatoes or (even) white bread actually reduces post-meal blood glucose spikes.
Eating 30 gm of almonds a day reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL). Almonds are also rich in calcium, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium and arginine, which assists in blood flow.
• Apples – do help keep the doctors away. Researchers discovered that people eating apple daily have the best blood glucose control. Apples are full of fructose, the fruit sugar that is one major source of carbohydrate energy. Fructose has a low glycemic index (GI), thus it doesn’t raise blood sugar that much. Apples are also rich in soluble fiber, which slows digestion, reducing hungry pangs, and blunt blood glucose swings.
Apples also help in weight loss, which is a major diabetic concern. A medium-sized apple has about 10 mg of vitamin C. Apples are also full of flavonoids, an antioxidant. Research have linked apples to the reduction of heart disease, diabetes, asthma and some types of cancer.
• Apricots – are full of iron, vitamin C and potassium. The fructose in apricots are an alternative source for low GI sugars. Pectin, the soluble fiber abundant in apricots, helps lower LDL cholesterol levels. Their deep orange color gives away the presence of carotenoids—beta carotene in particular—which the body converts to vitamin A.
A word of caution against dried apricots: apricots are treated with sulfur dioxide, before they are dried, as color and nutrient preservative. Sulfites may trigger an asthma attack or allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
• Avocados – are loaded with monounsaturated fats, which is good for the heart, and which also doesn’t promote insulin resistance, unlike other fats. Research have shown that this type of fat stabilizes blood glucose levels. Adding avocado to any carbohydrate rich food like white bread slows digestion, thus controlling blood glucose.
Avocados are rich in LDL-lowering sterols, vitamins E and C, magnesium, folate and potassium. One way of reducing kilojoule intake is substituting avocado as a spread for butter or margarine.
Almonds, apples, apricots and avocados are indeed good for diabetic control. The right combination of foods low in glycemic index – like bananas, barley, buckwheat – and rich in blood glucose lowering nutrients works symbiotically with exercise, medications (sometimes) and an optimistic attitude. Like any approach against any disease with the use of food nutrients, the key has always been moderation.
Other foods rich in nutrients that lower blood sugar are Dried Fruit, Eggplant, and Fennel; or Garlic, Ginger or Grapefruit.
Photo by BluEyedA73 at Flickr.com
Magic Foods for Better Blood Glucose. The Reader’s Digest. (Australia) 2008. 360 pages. Hardbound.
Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal: An A to Z Guide to Safe and Healthy Eating. The Reader’s Digest. 2004, Montreal, Canada. 416 pages. Hardbound.