For people suffering from diabetes mellitus, a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and proteins is recommended. Following the principles of healthy snacks, avoiding some and the predominance of other foods, will help control blood sugar levels, which will save you from complications. Zdravsiti will tell you about ten of the healthiest foods to include in your diet.
1. Leafy vegetables
These are sources of numerous vitamins, which are so essential to maintain metabolic processes. These vegetables also contain minerals and nutrients. They have a positive effect on blood sugar control.
Therefore, the diet should contain:
- various types of cabbage,
- spinach, which is a source of potassium, vitamin A and calcium, as well as valuable protein and fiber. These substances support the work of the heart, intestines, give vigor, stimulate wound healing.
For people with diabetes, leafy vegetables are beneficial because they contain antioxidants as well as enzymes that digest starch.
A 2015 study found that cabbage, or rather its juice, controls blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure. And as you know, hypertension is one of the complications of diabetes.
No. 2. Whole Grain Products
Whole grains contain more fiber and nutrients than refined grains. It is important to include them in the diet, because fiber not only helps control blood sugar levels, but also normalizes digestion.
These foods digest slowly, which gives you a long-lasting feeling of fullness and helps control your blood sugar. Another advantage is the low glycemic index, especially when compared to white bread and rice.
Valuable whole grains include:
- brown rice;
- bread flour products made from whole grain flour;
- bulgur and other cereals.
No. 3. Fatty fish
Fatty fish are a useful addition to any diet, as they are a valuable source of Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are useful and necessary for everyone, regardless of health condition. First of all, they are important for maintaining the functioning of the heart as well as the brain. By the way, the brain is 60% fat.
The American Diabetes Association reports that a diet high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats helps control blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
The diet should include the following types of fish:
Other seafood such as algae can also be sources of beneficial Omega acids.
When preparing food, certain rules must be followed. To exclude the ingestion of trans fats, it is advisable to give up frying. Try baking or steaming.
No. 4. Beans
These legumes are plant-based protein sources that provide fast and long-lasting satiety, which reduces carbohydrate intake. Beans themselves have a low glycemic index and help control blood sugar levels.
The complex carbohydrates in beans provide long-term satiety as they are digested slowly. Another benefit is the ability of beans to lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
The beans contain iron, potassium and magnesium. And it’s a versatile power supply.
No. 5. Walnuts
Nuts are an addition to your diet and contain nutrients that can help support your heart, such as omega-3 fatty acids. It is known that people with diabetes are at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Walnuts contain proteins, B vitamins, magnesium and iron.
No. 6. Citrus
Several studies have shown that citrus fruits: oranges, grapefruits and lemons have anti-diabetic effects. And this is due to the high content of antioxidants. These fruits are also a great source of:
- vitamin C;
- folic acid;
No. 7. Berries
They are valuable sources of antioxidants that suppress oxidative stress. And this is one of the possible causes of heart disease and some types of cancer.
A report published in 2008 provided evidence that people with diabetes have chronic levels of oxidative stress. And it occurs when there is an imbalance in the body between antioxidants and unstable oxygen molecules – free radicals.
The diet should include: blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. These berries contain a large number of antioxidants, fiber, and also:
- vitamin C and K;
The glycemic index of sweet potatoes is much lower than that of regular root vegetables. And it’s a great alternative for people with diabetes. In addition to slow-release carbohydrates, long-term satiety, and blood sugar control, sweet potatoes are a valuable source of:
- fiber to normalize bowel function;
- vitamins A and C to maintain the immune system;
- potassium for heart health.
For a balanced diet, sweet potatoes are recommended to be combined with proteins, green leafy vegetables and herbs.
No. 9. Sugar Free Probiotic Yoghurts
Probiotics are a group of microorganisms that live in the intestines that help normalize digestion and overall health.
Scientific studies have shown that the use of such products allows you to maintain blood sugar levels, reduce the concentration of bad cholesterol in patients suffering from type II diabetes.
The main thing is to choose natural yogurt, without additives and sugar. Probiotic yoghurts contain live cultures.
№10. Chia seeds
It is a superfood with a high dose of antioxidants and Omega-3s. It is also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber.
One of the conditions that allows you to avoid complications of diabetes mellitus is to control blood sugar. Studies from 2017 showed that overweight people lost more weight after six months when they included chia seeds in their diet, compared to those who preferred oat bran.
Nutrition is an important part of diabetes therapy and management. A doctor will help you develop a diet. Eating a healthy and balanced diet will help people manage diabetes, control blood sugar levels, and prevent complications from the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, and others.
Nutrition will help boost antioxidant activity. By the way, the same rules must be followed for gestational diabetes mellitus.
What is important to know if you have diabetes?
- Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is the main goal in the treatment of type I and II diabetes mellitus.
- The norm of blood glucose in a healthy person is 3–6 mmol / l. The diabetic should aim for values below 6 mmol / L on an empty stomach and below 8 mmol / L after a meal.
- When the sugar level fluctuates between 4-10 mmol / l, the person does not feel it.
- Glucose appears in the urine if its blood level rises above 10 mmol / L.
How often should blood sugar be measured?
Your doctor will be able to accurately answer this question. Here are some general guidelines:
- People with type I diabetes need to measure their glucose levels several times every day: before meals, before bed, and sometimes after meals.
- For people with type II diabetes, it is usually sufficient to measure the value once a day. Better to do this at different times.
If you are applying for a new job, where you have to physically work a lot, decide to lead a more active lifestyle, go on a trip, if you are sick, control should be carried out more often. Be sure to visit your doctor and consult.
How do I measure my blood sugar?
A drop of blood from a finger is needed to determine the glucose level. It is obtained with the help of special pens (also called lancets). Inside they have a spring, thanks to which the puncture is carried out very quickly and almost without pain. In modern handles, you can adjust the depth of the puncture, focusing on the thickness of the skin.
Checking your blood sugar at home yourself:
- Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
- Insert the scarifier into the handle.
- Adjust the puncture depth.
- Place the pen to your finger and press the button. It is better to make a puncture on the pad a little from the side. With the central part of the fingertip, a person touches objects when he feels them.
A drop of blood from a finger is applied to a special test strip. There are two main types of test strips. Some of them change color when they chemically react with glucose. By checking the color of the strip with a special scale (usually printed on the package), you can roughly determine the sugar level. This method is not accurate enough.
Another type of strip is used only in conjunction with a meter. This is a small device with a screen that displays the exact glucose level. You need to insert a strip into it and place a drop of blood.
What other tests should a diabetic take?
Blood glucose testing alone is not enough to keep diabetes under control. There are other tests:
- Glycated hemoglobin. This analysis is performed in a laboratory. It is advisable to take the test every 3-4 months. Glycated hemoglobin reflects the average blood glucose level over the past 2–3 months. An increase in the indicator of more than 6.5% indicates an increase in glucose levels.
- Urine glucose. Normally, in the general analysis of urine, glucose is not determined. It appears when its blood level reaches 10 mmol / L or more. If you are constantly monitoring your blood sugar, then there is little point in urine testing. And yet a doctor can prescribe it.
- The level of ketone bodies in the urine. These substances are formed as a result of the breakdown of adipose tissue with a significant increase in blood glucose levels. Their determination helps to detect decompensation of diabetes mellitus in time and take action. There are special test strips to determine the level of ketone bodies in urine.
- Protein level in urine. This test must be taken every 6 months for type I diabetes, once a year for type II diabetes.