These foods can help you control your diabetes.
By now, most Americans know that the foods we eat play an important role in our overall health. Food is especially important for people with diabetes. Certain foods containing carbohydrates score high on the glycemic index (GI), which means they boost blood glucose (sugar) levels—something diabetics want to avoid. For American Diabetes Month, here’s a look at five foods that score low on the index and offer other health benefits.
Along with being a good source of protein and fiber, beans are fairly low on the GI. Some good choices include:
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Navy beans
- Kidney beans
When using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse them first.
Many fruits are good for us, but berries are increasingly turning out to be “superfoods” that contain antioxidants and other powerful nutrients. Some berries to add to your diet include:
Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
Low in both calories and carbohydrates, most greens can be used in many ways—eaten raw in salads, sautéed, or added to soups and stews. Good leafy greens include:
- Collard greens
Nuts and Seeds
Although they can be high in fat, nuts and seeds have many proven health benefits. Walnuts and flaxseeds, for example, are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to protect against heart disease.
Many Americans eat foods with processed grains. But whole grains contain more nutrients and have a lower score on the GI. Some options for whole grains include:
- Whole-grain breads and pastas
- Brown rice
- Pearled barley
- Cereals made from barley or bran
Common Foods to Avoid
Along with eating these and other low-GI superfoods, people with diabetes should avoid some foods, including:
- Whole-fat dairy products
- Processed foods high in added sugar
- Sugary drinks, including:
- Energy drinks
- Soft drinks
- Fruit drinks
- Sweet tea
- Meats high in fat
- Coconut or palm oil
At Sparks Regional Medical Center, we know that diabetes can be controlled, and diet is just one part of the equation. Our outpatient Diabetes Self Management program can help people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A doctor’s referral is needed. For help finding a doctor, call us at (479) 709-DOCS (3627) or (877) 709-DOCS.