You’re diabetic. But every time you check your email or visit your favorite websites, all the advice you see is about PREVENTING the disease.
“Too late!” you think as you stare at the screen in frustration.
Sound familiar? Well, I want to change that.
I’m going to share some diabetes secrets with you today. Tricks that could help ANYONE keep their blood sugar smack dab in the middle of the healthy zone.
And that’s true whether someone has ALREADY been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, or if they’re pre-diabetic and want to start making some healthier changes starting now.
Diabetes-friendly foods to put on the menu
Avoiding added sugars is obvious, of course. But why stop THERE?
Keep reading for my top four picks for blood-sugar-supporting superfoods.
If you’re like a lot of folks, one of your first thoughts, when you were diagnosed with diabetes (or pre-diabetes), was, “Oh no, no more sweets!”
And it’s true, you SHOULD try to cut the added sugars from your diet.
But I have good news too. Just because you’re working on keeping your blood sugar in line doesn’t mean you always have to deny your sweet tooth.
In fact, folks watching their numbers often CAN still indulge in something sweet and STILL keep those sugars in check. And that something, of course, is delicious, nutrient-packed berries.
Whether it’s blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries, most berries are swimming in flavonoids called anthocyanins.
Experts say these potent plant pigments can help improve the body’s insulin response. This means indulging in this sweet treat won’t just satisfy a sweet tooth. It could ALSO help support healthy blood sugar levels.
Research shows cinnamon could help some folks improve their insulin sensitivity.
For example, in one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, volunteers with type 2 diabetes took capsules containing one, three, or six grams of cinnamon or a placebo after meals for 40 days.
By the end of the study, the lucky folks who took cinnamon supplements had healthy drops in their blood sugars ranging from 18 to 29 percent. On average, the blood sugar in the people who swallowed the cinnamon was 20 percent lower than those who took a placebo.
To sneak more cinnamon into your own daily diet, try stirring a quarter of a teaspoon into your coffee or tea in the morning. Sprinkle some into plain Greek yogurt, steel-cut oatmeal, cottage cheese, or fruit salad. And for an exotic tasting twist, toss some into your stir-fries.
For best results, look for Ceylon cinnamon. You can find it online and in health food stores.
MORE “better blood sugar” foods
If someone were to try to create a nearly perfect snack for folks battling blood sugar issues, it might turn out to be an exact clone of the walnut.
These little nuggets of delicious flavor are packed with blood-sugar-supporting fiber, omega-3s, and magnesium. Walnuts have been shown to IMPROVE blood sugar control in folks with type 2 diabetes. Plus, they’re filling so you eat less.
In fact, all kinds of nuts and seeds can make good snacking for folks with diabetes or pre-diabetes. They’re typically low on the glycemic index. Just be sure to pick ones that are lower in carbs such as pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamias, peanuts, pine nuts, and peanuts.
4. Sweet potatoes:
After a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, white potatoes are often off the menu. Traditional potatoes tend to send blood sugar soaring.
But it turns out many diabetics don’t need to banish all potatoes from their diet. In fact, when they pick the right kind, they can be part of a healthy diet that keeps blood sugar out of the danger zone.
Despite their name and deliciously sweet flavor, sweet potatoes can often be a part of a diabetes-friendly diet. They’re brimming with vital nutrients, including blood-sugar controlling potassium. But just as importantly, they’re a slower burning carbohydrate. That means, unlike white potatoes, they’re less likely to cause a huge blood sugar spike and drop.
Sweet potatoes are relatively low on the glycemic index. But this is one time when HOW you cook them matters. Heating breaks down the starch in them, making it easier for your body to turn it into sugar.
But the longer the potato cooks, the higher the glycemic index rises. So instead of baking sweet potatoes, go for a faster method such as a quick parboil and stir fry or microwaving.
Adding a sprinkle of blood-sugar friendly cinnamon can bump up the flavor AND the benefits. And keep in mind the purple variety was shown in an animal study to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol.
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