11 Superfoods for Diabetes
- You are what you eat.So why not be a superstar and eat superfoods? Follow an easy-to-remember mantra from the American Diabetes Association—"create my plate." First, divide your plate in half. Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, then divide the remaining half between grains and starches and proteins.
- Choose the right foods to fill your plate.Certain foods pack a substantial nutritional wallop while also working well within the eating guidelines that people with type 2 diabetes should follow. Turn to these all-star foods when choosing how to fill your plate.
- Citrus FruitOranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes all pack a serious amount of vitamin C. But beyond that, citrus fruits provide soluble fiber. And they smell so good.
- YogurtThere's a good chance you're not getting enough calcium on a daily basis. Low-fat dairy is a great source of calcium, which will help build strong bones, teeth and muscles, as well as potassium and vitamin D.
- BeansA half-cup of beans will give you one-third of your daily recommended allowance of fiber. Beans like lentils and chickpeas are low on the glycemic index scale, too, which means they are less likely to send your blood glucose levels soaring.
- NutsGive up the chips and crackers, and feast on nuts instead. They'll provide protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fat, which is good for your heart. Nuts tend to be high in calories, so watch your portion size.
- KaleKale, spinach, collard greens and other dark green leafy vegetables should make regular appearances in your diet. They're low-carb, low-cal, high in antioxidants, and they're just crying out for space on your plate. Plus, kale provides a tremendous amount of vitamin K, which helps keep your bones healthy.
- BerriesRaspberries, strawberries, blueberries—they're all delicious and good for you, with lots of fiber and antioxidants that provide protection for your cells against damage from free radicals.
- SalmonAre you eating six to nine ounces of fish each week? Aim for salmon and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as sardines, mackerel or albacore tuna. Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect your heart and your arteries, and some research indicates they can also help prevent the development of certain types of dementia.
- Sweet PotatoesVitamin C, potassium, beta carotene—what's not to love about this root vegetable? Plus, one serving will provide about 400 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A—all for about 90 calories. Keep the skin on for extra soluble fiber.
- Whole GrainsWhite bread has a relatively high glycemic index score—about 70—so you're better off opting for whole grain breads. According to the American Diabetes Association, the germ and the bran of the whole grain aren't available in products made with processed grains. By choosing the whole grain bread, you're also getting magnesium, chromium and folate. Put whole grain pastas, pearled barley and oatmeal on your shopping list, too.
- TomatoesWhether you prefer slices of fresh raw tomato or a hot fragrant tomato sauce, you're making a good choice. Tomatoes are full of vitamins A and E, as well as lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and the carotenoid that gives this fruit its rich color.
- EggsEggs have come in and out of favor over the years, but we now know that eggs are a great source of protein with little saturated fat.
- Bonus: Extra Virgin Olive OilThere are two kinds of fat: the "good" fat includes polyunsaturated fat, omega 3 fatty acid and monounsaturated fat that can help lower your LDL cholesterol. And the "bad" fat that includes saturated and trans fats. Olive oil falls into the "healthy" category. Look for ways to replace saturated fat like margarine with olive oil.
11 Superfoods for Diabetes