- 8 Best Fruits for a Diabetes-Friendly Diet
- Eating appropriate foods
- Understanding portion control
- The role of sugar
- List of foods you should eat when you’ve been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
- List of foods you should avoid if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- Over to you
- 50 Worst Foods for Diabetes
- Fruit Smoothies
- White Bread
- Char-Grilled Meats
- Country-Fried Steak
- French Fries
- Sports Drinks
- Diet Soda
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Frozen Dinners
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Fast Food
- Gluten-Free Foods
- Mixed Coffee Drinks
- Coffee Creamer
- Processed Lunch Meat
- Energy Drinks
- Bottled Tea
- Dried Fruit
- Orange Juice
- Cereal Bars
- Flavored Yogurts
- Potato Chips
- Fat-Free Frozen Yogurt
- Skim Milk
- Fat-Free Vinaigrettes
- Vegetable Oil
- Fruit Snacks
- Sandwich Crackers
- Mac & Cheese
- Flavored Instant Oatmeal
- Instant Noodles
- Mixed Drink Cocktails
- Grilled Cheese
- Jams and Jellies
- Sweetened Cereals
- Chocolate Milk
- Packaged Baked Goods
- Ice Cream
- Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
- The Best and Worst Fruits to Eat If You Have Diabetes
- Myth: I can’t eat fruit if I have diabetes
- Why are fruit and vegetables so good for us?
- Should people with diabetes cut back on fruit because of sugar content?
- Should people with diabetes avoid fruit juice?
- 5-a-day: practical ways to reach the target.
- What else do I need to know?
- Complete Dry Fruits List For Diabetics
- What Are Dry Fruits?
- What Is Diabetes?
- How Can Dry Fruits Help Diabetic Patients?
- Dry Fruits List For Diabetics
- Some Of The Most Common Dry Fruit Dishes For Diabetics
- Questions about nuts
8 Best Fruits for a Diabetes-Friendly Diet
When you’re looking for a diabetes-friendly treat that can help keep your blood sugar within a healthy range, look no farther than the produce drawer of your refrigerator or the fruit basket on your kitchen table.
Believe it or not, the notion that fruit is not safe when you need to watch your A1C is a popular diabetes myth that has been debunked again and again. Indeed, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), many types of fruit are loaded with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber — a powerful nutrient that can help regulate blood sugar levels and decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Fiber — which can also be found in some of the best vegetables for diabetes, as well as whole grains — can further benefit your health because it promotes feelings of fullness, curbing unhealthy cravings and overeating, research shows. Healthy weight maintenance can increase your insulin sensitivity and help in your diabetes management.
So, how do you pick the best fruit for diabetes? While some forms of fruit, like juice, can be bad for diabetes, whole fruits like berries, citrus, apricots, and yes, even apples — can be good for your A1C and overall health, fighting inflammation, normalizing your blood pressure, and more.
But as with any food in your diabetes diet, you have to be smart about counting carbohydrates and tracking what you eat. Portion size is key.
Consume fruit in its whole, natural form, and avoid syrups or any processed fruits with added sugar, which have the tendency to spike your blood sugar. Stick to the produce aisle and the freezer section of your grocery store. If you’re using the glycemic index (GI) or glycemic load — measures of how foods affect your blood sugar levels — to make dietary decisions, most whole fruits are a good choice because they tend to lie low on these rankings.
When you have diabetes, these steps will help keep your blood sugar within a healthy range, thereby lowering your risk of certain diabetes complications, including diabetic retinopathy, or nerve damage; kidney disease; eyesight issues like glaucoma or cataracts; and serious life-threatening illnesses like heart disease and stroke.
The next time you have a hankering for something sweet, consider reaching for one of the following naturally sweet and juicy treats, courtesy of Mother Nature — you can whip one into a diabetes-friendly smoothie or keep it simple and throw it into your bag to munch on while you’re on the go.
Through twenty-five years of working with people with diabetes, when they come in for diabetes education, their first question is most often “What can I eat (or drink).” The next question is often, “What can’t I eat (or drink)?
In this article, we will explore what foods are best to eat when you have just been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes, and what foods are best avoided.
Quick Links (click to jump to specific section)
- Understanding portion control
- The role of sugar
- List of foods you should eat when you’ve been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
- List of foods you should avoid if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
There is no other guide available on the internet that will guide you through the best foods to choose, and the best foods to avoid. Take heed, as some foods in the American diet are detrimental. These are also the same foods that Americans are addicted to.
On occasion, you will be able to eat from the foods to avoid list, such as on a holiday, or your birthday. It shouldn’t become a regular occurrence to eat foods that are best avoided if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes. Also, eating healthier throughout your lifespan, can prevent Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes from ever surfacing at all.
Starting to eat a healthy diet can help you to reverse your Pre-Diabetes, along with regular physical activity, and sometimes medication (most often Metformin). You can either get Type 2 Diabetes in good control, or you can reverse it to a Pre-Diabetes state in some cases, if you work on healthy lifestyle changes.
Though it’s not always possible to reverse Type 2 Diabetes, it is certainly worth a shot. My new book to come out soon, entitled, “The Practical Guide for the Reversal of Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes,” published by The Diabetes Council, will explore this topic in depth. Stay tuned!
Eating appropriate foods
Knowing which foods to eat, and which ones to avoid, can help you to manage your blood sugars, and avoid the long-term complications of diabetes. Keeping your blood sugars in your target ranges will help you to feel better on a daily basis also, as elevated blood sugars can make you moody, and even depressed. This can affect your performance in school, or a work.
Overall healthy choices over the long haul make the biggest difference, along with counting the carbohydrates in foods that contain them. Eat a variety of whole grain foods, seeds, nuts, low-fat or lean protein foods, and a small amount of good fats, and fresh fruits every day.
In general, keep carbohydrates to your recommended amounts. Stay away from soft drinks, sugary candies, processed foods, such as chips. Carbohydrates are also found in breads and grain foods, pastas, rice products, milk products, other sweets and confections, fruit and fruit juices, as well as in starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and beans.
What you should avoid are fats that are considered unhealthy, such as Trans Fats, processed and refined sugars, liquidy sugars, grains that are not whole grain, and are heavily processed, and any other foods that contain refined carbohydrates.
Work with a Certified Diabetes Educator to determine how many carbohydrates you need at each meal and snack. Generally, carbohydrates per meal for women are 30-45 grams, and men should have 45-60 grams at each meal. Snacks should be 15 grams for women, or 15-30 grams for men. Your CDE or doctor may want you to eat a different amount of carbohydrates, based on your individual needs.
I recommend reading the following article:
- Best Piece of Advice Since Your Diagnosis with Type 1 or Type 2
- Registered Dietitians Share Healthy Recipes for Type 2 Diabetes
- Tresiba Review
- Equestrians And Diabetes
- Author Voice: Kyndra Holley
Understanding portion control
Even when you eat healthy foods, you must watch the portions. Using the 9-inch diabetes plate method may help you to keep track of portion sizes. Using your hand to estimate portions, measuring portions, and reading labels for portion sizes can also help you keep your portions in control. One good example of this is a large, healthy-appearing salad that you get from your favorite restaurant.
Request the nutritional information, and you will be surprised that though a salad is healthy, there are many different and varied ingredients in the salad, and combined with the dressing, the salad may be way off the charts in terms of carbohydrates. Nutrition is tricky. Let’s help you make some sense of it.
The role of sugar
Sugar from metabolism of carbohydrate-containing foods breaks down during the process of digestion in the stomach. The sugar enters the blood, and then travels to the body’s cells to be used for energy.
If there is not enough insulin, or if the insulin is not working properly, as is the case in Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, then blood sugar levels remain high, and blood sugar doesn’t get into the cells to be used for energy.
The high levels of sugar in the blood cause damage to body cells and organs over time. Sugar is necessary for life, but when our body doesn’t process it correctly, then we can develop health problems from high sugars.
List of foods you should eat when you’ve been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
The following is a list of lower glycemic index foods from each food group, which will help to keep your blood sugar in your target ranges. Low glycemic index foods don’t raise your blood sugar as fast as high glycemic foods, and that’s important when you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes.
If you don’t eat the right foods most of the time, it can cause you to have high blood sugars, which over time, leads to inflammation of tissues, increasing the risk for cardiovascular complications and other complications from diabetes.
Conversely, if you eat the wrong foods on a rare occasion, such as the holidays, you will still be able to get good management of your blood sugars, and live healthy with your diabetes. You may be able to reverse your Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes. This is not possible in all cases, but it is possible for some people.
Foods that contain carbohydrates, either simple or complex, break down in the body to sugar or glucose molecules. Therefore, of all the macronutrients that we need, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, carbohydrates break down to sugar the fastest, therefore they have the most affect on blood sugars. Carbohydrates are found in all foods that are classified as sugar, fiber, or starches. Fiber, however, takes longer to break down into sugar.
Starches and carbohydrates
Though we watch our amounts of carbohydrates when we have diabetes, we still need a substantial amount of our food intake to be from carbohydrates.
Whole grains are an excellent way to get extra fiber. Our digestive system wins when we eat high fiber, and our blood sugars stay steadier. We don’t feel as hungry, as fiber fills us up. The best ones to have in your pantry to eat in small amounts are:
- Brown rice, wild rice
- Whole wheat breads and snacks (look for 100% whole grains, very little or no added sugars)
- Cereals that are whole grain
- Pasta that is whole wheat
- Oatmeal, amaranth, millet, or quinoa
A small baked sweet potato is also a good source of fiber, and healthy carbohydrates. Remember that these foods are still carbohydrates. Therefore, you must count them toward your allotted carbohydrates at meals and snacks.
Vegetables in a harvest bounty of colors and varieties are a great way to get fiber, with very little carbohydrates, fat, or sodium (salt) content. Remember that for starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, and beans, you must count carbohydrates.
For all intensive purposes, vegetables that are not in the “starchy vegetable” category, are considered “free.” In other words, you don’t have to count the carbohydrates in these vegetables because there are so few carbohydrates in these foods.
The following is a list of vegetables to eat that are loaded with nutrients and fiber. Choose from fresh and frozen varieties (without added sugars or sauces). If you eat canned vegetables, choose low or no sodium varieties, and rinse vegetables in water to remove any excess salt. This list contains only non-starchy vegetables:
- Fresh, frozen, or low- no- salt canned greens
- Spinach, turnip, collard, kale, swiss chard, spinach
- Brussel sprouts
- Squash (yellow, zucchini)
Fruits and fruit juices do have carbohydrates. Fresh or frozen fruit is better than canned fruit, although fruit canned in water, or its own juices is okay. You may want to rinse excess sugar from the juice off the canned fruit. Avoid juice, except during an episode of low blood sugar, where four to six ounces should be enough to correct it, at about 15-20 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
Fruit is a good high-fiber choice when you need something sweet, as opposed to a high-sugar dessert. They can curb sugar cravings for sweeter foods, and by choosing them well, you will get a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from fruit.
Fruit smoothies can be a healthy option if they are made with healthy ingredients, not too many carbohydrates, and they contain protein, such as yogurt. Protein will help slow blood sugar spikes.
Some of the best fruit options for diabetes include:
- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Apricots (skin on)
- Apple (skin on)
- Peaches (skin on)
- Pears (skin on)
- Watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe
- Grapes (green, red, seeds or no seeds)
Fresh fruit is the best option. It is higher in vitamins and minerals than frozen or canned fruit. It’s a good idea to visit a fresh produce stand, or a farmer’s market to get the best fruits in season.
Frozen fruit with no added sugar
Frozen fruit with no sugar added to it is the next best option. When the fruits that you like are no longer in season, pick up some frozen fruits to make sure that you get enough of this food group.
Protein foods are necessary for a healthy diet. They help you to feel full, and you don’t have to count carbohydrates for them unless you put a sweet sauce on them, or bread and fry them. The best way to have your protein is baked, grilled, or broiled. Lean protein foods have fewer saturated fats than meats that are more “fatty,” such as bacon.
For more informative articles I suggest the following:
- ReliOn Insulin: Everything You Need To Know
- 101 Healthy Dessert Recipes
- What is Exogenous Insulin?
- Should I Tell Others About My Diabetes, Or Keep it a Secret?
- If I Have Diabetes, Will I Have to Stop Eating Sugar?
Protein foods to eat when you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- Salmon and other fatty fish
- tuna packed in water
- Turkey (skin off)
- Chicken (skin off)
Protein foods to eat if you are vegetarian with diabetes
When you are a vegetarian with diabetes, it can be a little more challenging to get your protein foods.
If you are a vegetarian, eating meatless proteins can help you to get your needed protein. You can choose from:
- Greek yogurt (non-fat, plain)
- Beans and other legumes
- Natural almonds and walnuts, or other unsalted nuts
- Yogurt (plain)
Low-fat dairy products are fine for diabetes in moderation, and eating a few servings a day can help you to lose some weight.
Dairy foods to eat when you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- Skim milk
- Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- cottage cheese (non-fat)
- Reduced-fat cheese (in moderation)
- Sour cream (non-fat)
Healthy fats for diabetes
When you have diabetes, it’s best for your heart to avoid fats are saturated, or Trans fats. We all need some fat to carry our vitamins and minerals around, to help us feel full, and even to lose weight. The best fats for people with diabetes are monounsaturated fats, followed by polyunsaturated fats.
Fats to eat if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- Nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds
- Peanut butter, or other nut butters
- Oils (seed and nut oils, plant based oils – olive, corn, soybean, sunflower, Edamame
- Seeds (sesame, chia, flax, sunflower
- Salmon, Tuna, and other fatty fish
- Tofu (not fried)
A large majority of the time, drink water. You may have diet drinks, or unsweetened beverages. You can use artificial sweeteners in your drinks, as benefits outweigh any risks of using sweeteners with diabetes.
List of foods you should avoid if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
You should avoid having too many starches or carbohydrates of any kind. It won’t matter that you are eating the right kinds of carbohydrates, if you eat too many. There are also unhealthy versions of almost every food.
Starchy vegetables are not like the vegetables on the list of foods to eat with diabetes, but they can be eaten in moderation. You should count carbohydrates when you eat these foods.
- Sweet potatoes
- White potatoes
Avoid dried fruits. They have had the water taken out of them, and they are very concentrated with high sugar content. A serving size of dried fruit would only be about a tablespoon, so it’s important that if you do eat it on an occasion to keep portion sizes very small.
Canned fruits are not the best choice for diabetes. If you must pick up canned fruits, get them packed in water or in their own juices, and rinse them off. Juices don’t have any of the healthy fiber in whole, fresh fruits, and they have high sugar content, so avoid them as well.
Fruits to avoid with Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- Dried fruit
- Packaged juices
- Fresh juices that are part of fad cleanses
- Canned fruit in syrup
We must have carbohydrates for energy. That said, we must choose wisely when we have diabetes. Try protein and non-starchy vegetables for snacks, instead of high carbohydrate snacks.
Starches and carbohydrates to avoid when you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- All processed grains
- Cereal with no whole grains and added sugars
- White bread
- White flour
- French fries
- White flour tortillas
- Packaged snacks high in salt and carbohydrates
- Graham crackers
- White rice
- White pasta
- Pastries and confections
Bacon and other meats that are smoked, or processed contain lots of salt, too. Salt can increase your blood pressure and lead to heart disease. Avoiding things like processed deli meats, ham, bacon, bologna, and the like will help you keep your salt content in a better range. These meats are often also high in saturated fats.
Protein foods to avoid if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- processed meats of all types
- Hot dogs
- pepperoni, salami, sausage
- Beef jerky
- Nuts with sweet or salty coatings
- Protein shakes or smoothies with added sugar, and too many carbohydrates
When you bread and fry your meat, you add carbohydrates to a naturally low carbohydrate food. You also add fat. That’s not to say that you can’t occasionally eat a piece of fried chicken, or a fried pork chop. Remember that when you do, you should eat the rest of your meal in low carbohydrate vegetables. You have already had your fat serving, and probably all your carbohydrates in just one portion of fried meat. It’s not that much bang for your buck.
Lean cuts of pork are fine with diabetes. Choose center cut, boneless pork chops, or a tenderloin roast. Sliced pork chops and other pork cuts are sometimes high in fat, so it’s best to stick with leaner cuts, or trim excess fat off of your meats.
Deep fried fish, tofu
Deep fried fish and tofu tend to cancel out any of the good the fish or healthy tofu may do. However, if you wish for an occasional piece of fried fish, or other seafood, then you can have it. Treat it about like the fried chicken we talked about above.
High fat content meat
Meats that are not lean, and contain visible fat marbled through the meat, should be avoided most of the time. They are high in saturated fat.
Dairy to avoid if you have diabetes
Full-fat dairy products are not the best for diabetes. Try organic milk for a richer tasting non-fat milk, or start by moving gradually from higher fat milk to fat-free milk. In regard to milk, 1% or 2% organic milk can be tried for the richer taste. Some people complain that skim milk tastes like water, and this is an excellent tip to get you off high-fat milk.
Avoid these high fat dairy foods if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- Chocolate, strawberry, or other flavored milks
- Whole milk or 2% milk
- Reduced fat or full fat cottage cheese
- Low-fat or full fat yogurt
- Full fat cheeses
Trans Fats should be out of our food chain by 2018. Until then, avoid foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils.
Fats to avoid if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- Frozen foods
- Coffee creamer
- Packaged and processed foods
- Oils that are partially hydrogenated, or do not originate from seeds, nuts, or plant sources
Drinks can be loaded with sugar. When I hold up a 16-ounce Coke, showing that it has a full 15.5 teaspoons of sugar, that usually gets the attention of a person with diabetes. Many beverages have high sugar content. They are even more surprised when they see a 20-ounce Mountain Dew with 18.5 teaspoons of carbohydrates.
When they learn to count carbohydrates, they realize that drinking 4-20 ounce sodas per day is why their blood sugar is so high. Often, stopping sweetened drinks, and sodas can end up helping the person with newly diagnosed Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes get things under control, or even reverse their condition. Sometimes, they are drinking so much sugar, that their pancreas starts to wear out.
Drinks to avoid if you have Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- All sodas, except diet sodas
- All sweetened beverages including:
- Fruit juices
- Coffee with sugar, or flavored coffee drinks such as cappuccino, Frappuccino, etc.
Over to you
We hope that you have learned the best foods and the worst foods for you to eat with your newly diagnosed Pre-Diabetes, or Type 2 Diabetes. Remember that when we have diabetes, we must make some healthy lifestyle changes. Eating healthier is part of it, as is getting regular physical activity, and taking medications for your diabetes if your doctor prescribes it. Let us know if this list helped you to figure out what to keep in your pantry, and what to leave on the store shelf. If you feel that we left anything out, you can comment about that too, in the comment box below.
TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Christine Traxler MD on September 01, 2018
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Last Reviewed: Wednesday, September 5, 2018
50 Worst Foods for Diabetes
Controlling your diabetes requires a careful balance of lifestyle habits, including eating right, exercising, and taking your proper medication. But it can be tricky to navigate proper nutrition, especially with foods that sound healthy but can actually wreak havoc on your blood sugar and overall health (such as some of the below foods diabetics should avoid).
In fact, diabetics are two to four times more likely than people without diabetes to die of heart disease or experience a life-threatening stroke, according to the American Heart Association. It’s even more dangerous for those who don’t control their diabetes; it can lead to heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney disease.
To stay on track, be sure to avoid these 50 foods that will spike your blood sugar and lead to chronic inflammation. Luckily, life with diabetes doesn’t have to be flavor free. “After working with thousands of diabetic individuals over the years, I noticed that many asked me the same question at their first appointment. ‘Can I still eat my favorite foods?'” says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, author of Eat What You Love Diabetes Cookbook. “And the answer from me was always ‘Yes!’ It’s the portion sizes and frequency that makes the most difference, in addition to how the food is prepared.”
As always, be sure to consult with your doctor, registered dietitian, or certified diabetes educator before making any drastic changes to your diet. Some of these recommendations may change if you are suffering from low blood sugar. If you’re looking for what you can enjoy, be sure to stock up on the best foods for diabetes.
Sure, it seems healthy, but a pulverized, low-fiber smoothie made primarily of fruit tops our list of foods diabetics should avoid. “Smoothies can be large whacks of carbs and sugar, especially if there’s no protein or healthy fat that acts similarly to fiber to slow digestion and prevent blood sugar from spiking,” says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN.
You can have bread, but just not the white kind, says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE. “White sandwich bread is a refined grain, not a whole grain. When eaten as is, it has a high glycemic index and can directly lead to elevated blood-sugar levels.” Swap white bread for whole grain or Ezekiel bread.
“They may be tasty come summer, but char-grilled, burnt meats are high in advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which perpetuate damaged cell receptors and causes insulin resistance,” cautions Miriam Jacobson, MS, RD, CNS, CDN. A little bit of char is inevitable when you’re grilling, but if any parts are extremely blackened, cut them off before digging in, the American Diabetes Association advises.
Made with tenderized cube steak and white flour, this pan-fried Southern dish is one you’re better off skipping, Newgent warns. “The combination of high-fat meat coupled with a starchy breading makes this a double-whammy of bad news for folks with diabetes, especially as it relates to their heart health.”
It’s not that you can’t eat potatoes, you just have to be cognizant of how they’re prepared and how much you consume. French fries, for example, are a no-go. “Fried foods are high in simple carbs and fat, which is a tough combination for diabetics. It will raise blood sugar quickly and keep it high for a long time because the fat takes a while to digest,” Zanini explains.
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are at high risk for heart attack and stroke. One of the easiest ways to keep yourself safe is to limit your saturated fat intake. Things like lard, palm oil, and high-fat meats and dairy products should all be consumed in moderation. When buying packaged goods, look for hydrogenated oils on the ingredient label. If you see it listed, that means there’s trans fat in the product (even if it claims “0 g trans fat”), and it’s best to put it back on the shelf.
Sports drinks like Gatorade may be helpful for highly active, healthy people, but people with diabetes should steer clear—even if they hit the gym on the reg. “They can be an unnecessary source of calories, added sugars, and sodium, which are all things people with diabetes should avoid,” Newgent warns. Stay hydrated during your workout with cold H2O—it really is your best bet, or with a natural electrolyte-packed, low-calorie sports drink such as HALO Sport.
You may already know that soda isn’t the best bet for diabetics, but you may not realize just how damaging the beverage can be. “Within the first 10 minutes of drinking a soda, about 10 teaspoons of sugar hit the system. It’s rapidly absorbed and signals an insulin release, which is a problem for people with diabetes since they have insulin resistance,” Jacobson explains.
Sorry—this option isn’t safe either. Jacobson adds, “Diet sodas aren’t much better. Sweeteners are 200 to 600 times sweeter than sugar and signal an insulin release from the pancreas. So even if you’re not drinking straight-up sugar, you’re still signaling a release and perpetuating that dysfunctional physiological response.”
Though you likely assumed sugary donuts and muffins weren’t the best way to kick off your day, we bet you didn’t realize just how awful certain pastries can be. “Cinnamon rolls, for example, can contain more saturated fat and added sugars than people with diabetes should have in an entire day,” cautions Newgent. Yikes!
When most people hear the word “diabetes,” they typically think about things like carbs and sugar. But salt plays a role in diabetes health, too. Dialing back on salt can help lower your blood pressure, and in turn, your risk for heart attack or stroke, two diseases commonly associated with diabetes. And since many frozen dinners are teeming with sodium to act as a flavor-enhancer and preservative, it’s best to keep consumption of the heat-and-serve food to a minimum.
Contrary to popular belief, these fake sweeteners are not healthy for people with diabetes to consume. According to a study in Diabetes Care, drinking artificially-sweetened beverages daily was associated with a 36 percent greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a 67 percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Experts believe the reasoning is because artificial sweeteners are anywhere from 180-20,000 times sweeter than table sugar. Frequent consumption can cause an alteration in your sweet taste bud receptors, which makes vegetables and even fruits taste more bitter than they actually are. This causes you to neglect those foods and go after foods that satisfy that desire for sweetness.
Drop that McDonald’s breakfast sausage and Egg McMuffin because you’re on the one-way road to better health! In a 15-year study consisting of 3,000 adults, it was found that those who ate fast food more than twice a week developed insulin resistance at twice the rate than those who didn’t consume fast food. Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
Believe it or not, gluten-free doesn’t always mean the dish is healthier. Snyder tells us that because the gluten protein provides elasticity and volume in baked goods, often times “gluten-free foods are actually denser and, therefore, will have more carbohydrates per serving .”
Mixed Coffee Drinks
Sure, they look awful tempting topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, but you’ll want to say “no” to sugary coffee drinks, Zanini advises. “A small ice-blended chocolate coffee drink from a café can easily contain over 44 grams of sugar, which is equal to 11 teaspoons. That’s much more than the American Heart Association’s 6 teaspoon recommendation.”
You might not even think about it, but your coffee creamer could be loaded with added sugar you don’t think about—even if you’re just getting the original flavor. To keep your glucose levels in check, opt for low-sugar or sugar-free versions if you must use creamer.
Processed Lunch Meat
Consider this: just two of those thinly-sliced pieces of deli meat can contain more sodium than a bag of pretzels. That’s over 680 milligrams! (And, let’s be honest, who only uses two slices?) A diet high in sodium is especially taxing for patients with diabetes, as it increases your already-heightened risk for high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease.
Speaking of pretzels, this addicting snack isn’t the best choice for diabetics either. The one-two punch that makes pretzels a no-go for diabetics? It’s the combination of being high in heart-taxing sodium and refined, simple carbs that can easily spike your blood sugar.
And the reason isn’t only because they taste awful. Researchers from the University of Calgary found that consuming caffeinated energy drinks (with 200 milligrams of caffeine) can cause blood glucose and insulin levels to spike by upwards of 30 percent and may lead to subsequent problems bringing blood sugar levels down to normal. According to one of the researchers behind the study, the caffeine is at fault for your body’s inability to subsequently stabilize blood sugar as the stimulant persists in your system for four to six hours after consumption. The underlying mechanism behind caffeine’s influence on blood sugar is currently unknown.
In its purest form, tea is one of the best weight loss allies you’ll find. But not all teas are created equal—especially those sold in bottles. Rather than getting an antioxidant-rich elixir, you’re simply sipping on a beverage that’s packed with a ton of sugar. Take Arizona Iced Tea With Lemon Flavor as an example. Finishing the entire 23 fluid–ounce can would mean guzzling down a 25 grams of carbs, 24 grams of which are pure sugar.
Don’t be fooled. Yes, these sweet treats are produced by nature, but they sure aren’t innocent. Real fruit contains nutrients like water and fiber, which both help to fill you up. When dried, these sweet and chewy snacks can carry anywhere between 34 and 74 grams of carbs—for raisins and dates, respectively—for one small 1.5-ounce serving.
Sure, it’s natural and overflowing with vitamin C, but it’s loaded with sugar—and totally void of any nutrients like fiber or protein to help slow the sugar spike. An average glass packs 36 grams of sugar—or about what you’d get from popping 4 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts into a blender and hitting frappe. What’s more, most of the sweetness in juice comes from fructose, a type of sugar associated with the development of belly fat.
Get this: Just one commercially prepared blueberry muffin has as many carbs as not one, not two, but five slices of bread! It’s also a fat and calorie-mine, carrying over 520 calories and a third of the day’s fat in one pastry. And eating half now and “saving the rest for later” is nearly impossible; foods rich in carbs, fat, and sugar are downright addicting. A University of Montreal study found that mice who had been fed diets with high levels of those very nutrients displayed withdrawal symptoms and were more sensitive to stressful situations after they were put on a healthier diet.
They might be the perfect early-morning shortcut, but it’s probably best for you to reconsider your grab-and-go meal if you have diabetes. Granola- and cereal-based bars aren’t just high in refined carbs, but they’re also coated in countless grams of syrups and sugars to keep them bound. Cereal bars, in particular, can serve up nearly 30 grams of carbs and 16 of those are straight up sugar. With only 1 gram of fiber, your blood glucose levels will be hitching a ride on the sugar roller coaster.
All those smiling models in yogurt commercials obviously haven’t checked out the ingredients list on their purportedly healthy snack. Most fruit-flavored yogurts on the market contain little precious fruit and are sweetened with sugar instead. It’s not just fruit-flavored yogurts that are the culprits. One well-known brand’s Thick & Creamy Vanilla yogurt serves up 31 grams of carbs—28 of which are sugar—and is only matched with 2.5 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein.
RELATED: The easy guide to cutting back on sugar is finally here.
There’s a reason potato chips are one of the most addicting junk foods. They’re pulverized, soaked in fat, and loaded with salt. Potato chips are a disaster for diabetes because they are a carb and fat bomb that will quickly spike your blood sugar says Nicole Anziani, RD, CDE and Clinical Manager at Fit4D.
Pancakes are a breakfast staple but they’re almost completely void of nutrition. More of a pastry than a nutritious breakfast choice, pancakes are usually loaded with more unhealthy toppings such as sugary syrup and saturated fat-laden butter. “Sugar and saturated fat in combination make the blood sugar spike last longer,” Anziani says.
Fat-Free Frozen Yogurt
Vanilla frozen yogurt
Frozen yogurt seems like the healthier alternative to ice cream, especially without all the fat, but “when you remove that fat, you add more sugar for taste,” Anziani says. “This is an easy way to raise blood sugar.” Not to mention getting fro-yo at a yogurt shop usually means you’ll be adding tons of sugary toppings like candy, syrupy fruit, and hot fudge.
Yogurt parfaits are one of the worst offenders of having a health halo—they sound nutritious, but are secretly a sugar and calorie bomb. Anziani says parfaits are usually all carbs; with flavored yogurt, sweetened granola, and high-sugar fruit puree, they can pack up to 60 grams of blood-sugar-spiking carbs. You’re better off opting for unflavored plain Greek yogurt and adding chia seeds and a handful of blueberries.
Most people assume skim milk is better since all the fat has been taken out. But that’s not the case for diabetics. “When you take out the fat, this becomes a primarily carbohydrate beverage,” Anziani says. “A glass of milk at night will usually result in an elevated blood glucose level in the morning.”
A salad seems like a healthy meal until you destroy it with a caloric dressing. Trying to find a diabetic-friendly dressing is like navigating a minefield of sugar and fat. But even fat-free options aren’t always better for you. “When you remove the fat, something needs to be added in its place for flavor and mouthfeel,” Anziani says. “That’s usually going to be some sort of starch and lots of sugar.” Avoid those unhealthy bottled dressings and drizzle your salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead.
Partially hydrogenated oils are a form of trans fat, which are some of the most inflammatory oils available, explains Anziani. Watch out for vegetable oils that are made with partially-hydrogenated palm and soybean oils, which contain trace amounts of trans fats. Cook with extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil instead.
Don’t be fooled by the word fruit; these little gummies are nothing but sugar bombs. “Even if made with real fruit juice, these are candy and will rapidly raise blood sugar,” Anziani says. Snack on a low-sugar fruit instead, such as blueberries, raspberries, or an apple.
Buttery biscuits aren’t just pure carbs; they’re also potentially laden with other bad-for-you things, too, especially commercial biscuits from the store or a fast-food joint. “If homemade, still a flour and saturated fat bomb leading to inflammation of the body and brain,” Anziani explains. In addition to diabetes, inflammation has been linked to other health complications such as obesity and cancer.
Although all-natural, unsweetened peanut butter is a good food for diabetics, it’s a far cry from the processed peanut butter found in packaged sandwich crackers. These are made with highly refined crackers, Anziani says, and peanut butter made with lots of sugar and salt which will raise blood sugar and blood pressure.
Mac & Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is usually made with white flour and highly refined noodles, mixed with high-fat milk and cheese. Anziani says this combination of refined carbs and saturated fat will lead to inflammation in the body and brain. Macaroni and cheese also has a high glycemic load.
Flavored Instant Oatmeal
Plain oats are one of our best foods for diabetes because they contain a fiber called beta-glucan, which seems to have an anti-diabetic effect. However, flavored oatmeal is usually processed and contains added sugar and other sweetened ingredients. “Pulverized oats are absorbed quickly, and adding extra sugar makes this into a sugar,” Anziani says.
Instant noodles such as the packets of ramen and Cup-o-Noodles aren’t just refined carbohydrates; they can contain up to a day’s worth of sodium, too. This can spike blood sugar, warns Anziani.
Even if saltine crackers were a childhood snack usually paired with chicken noodle soup, they have no place in a diabetes diet. “Think of these as highly refined flour products, which are almost instantaneously absorbed,” Anziani says.
Mixed Drink Cocktails
Drinking while on diabetes is dangerous as it is since alcohol by itself, (just straight liquor) can cause some diabetics to have a hypoglycemic crash, Anziani warns. “Mixing with juices and sodas can cause blood sugar to spike,” she says. So stay away from high-sugar cocktails and sweetened mixers and instead opt for a glass of red wine every once in a while—as long as your doctor gives the go-ahead.
Grilled cheese is often made with highly refined white bread and lots of fatty cheeses. Like mac and cheese, grilled cheese is nothing more than refined flour and saturated fat. Anziani warns that this can lead to inflammation of the body and also spikes in blood sugar.
Jams and Jellies
Jam and jelly is a double-whammy for people with diabetes. It’s just a sugar that is spread on another refined carbohydrate like bread or crackers, Anziani explains, and are usually devoid of any and all nutrition. ” is just a way of adding more sugar to something that already contains sugar,” she says.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that honey is “all-natural.” It’s still pure fructose, which is a sugar Anziani says. It will spike blood sugar just like regular sugar will, and is still processed in the liver.
Sure, cereal is a convenient breakfast option. But even so-called “healthy” cereals can be dangerous for diabetics. They’re usually packed with carbohydrates, but not much fiber or protein, which is essential for a filling and satisfying breakfast. Not to mention the sugary cereals that can have more sugar than candy per serving. Instead, opt for a more satiating breakfast, such as eggs, sauteed greens, and a serving of avocado.
Pop-Tarts are nothing more than packaged and processed pastries. They’re made with artificial refined flour and a “sugar square,” as Anziani says, which will start your day with excess blood sugar.
Chocolate milk can be a good post-workout recovery drink, but not for diabetics. ” includes the carbohydrate of milk, lactose, plus the added sugar from the chocolate mix to create a double whammy of blood sugar spike,” Anziani says.
“Though its base is corn, corn is highly glycemic and this snack is usually topped with artificial butter topping, caramel sauce, or more unhealthy items,” Anziani says. And yes, even stovetop popcorn is still a carbohydrate-ridden snack.
Packaged Baked Goods
Packaged baked good contain tons of added sugar, usually in more than one form: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and dextrose, to name a few. They’re also packed with artificial ingredients and made with partially hydrogenated oils, which are inflammatory trans fats, Anziani says. These processed sweets will spike blood sugar and lead to inflammation.
Aside from all the sugar, ice cream is usually packed with artery-clogging saturated fat. It can also be a problem for people who mindlessly eat. Ice cream “activates pleasure centers of the brain, blows out dopamine receptors, wanting more and more,” Anziani says. “Many will eat the whole container.”
Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
“While you’ll find chocolate hazelnut butter amidst the other nut butters in the grocery store, it is not the best choice for those living with diabetes. Sugar and palm oil are the first, and most prevalent, ingredients instead of hazelnuts, which can promote high blood sugar and inflammation,” Jenna Braddock, RDN, CSSD, sports dietitian and blogger at MakeHealthyEasy.com, explains. “The protein content is also really low at 2 grams per 2 tablespoons. If you just love this food, look for a brand where hazelnuts are the first ingredient and sugar is as low as possible. Another alternative is other nut butters where cocoa is added without additional sugar.”
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The Best and Worst Fruits to Eat If You Have Diabetes
Best Fruits to Eat
Recipe to Try: Purple Fruit Salad
Whether you have diabetes or not, the consensus from dietitians is the same regarding which fruits are best to eat.
“The best fruits for everyone to eat are the ones that create the least influence on blood sugar, often termed ‘low glycemic load,’-even if you don’t have diabetes,” says Daphne Olivier, RD, CDE, founder of My Food Coach. “These include fruits with rich, deep colors such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, dark cherries and kiwi. The rich color is a result of antioxidants-which we know help to neutralize free radicals-but there are also other benefits to antioxidants that we cannot explain.”
Amber Gourley, MS, RD, of the Disobedient Dietitian agrees: “As a general rule, I tell my clients to go for darker-colored fruits. Studies show that Americans don’t get enough dark purple and red fruits, and these fruits contain some of the best sources of anti-inflammatory antioxidants.”
- Eat More of These Fruits:
- Dark cherries
Worst Fruits to Eat
Recipe to Try: Pineapple & Avocado Salad
One caveat: no fruit is “the worst.” All fruit delivers fiber and nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet. However, bananas, pineapples and mangoes get a bad rap for their higher sugar content compared to berries.
Don’t avoid them altogether, though. Instead, the focus should be on decreasing how quickly your blood sugar rises. For example, if you eat a banana by itself, your blood sugar will rise fairly quickly. “But if you pair fruit with foods that have healthy fats in them, such as blueberries with walnuts or apricots with mozzarella cheese, you will decrease the influence of the fruit on your blood sugar,” Olivier says. “These fats slow down the absorption of the glucose from fruit and prevent your blood sugar from spiking as high.” Nuts and nut butters, plain yogurt, cheese and even avocado will all help blunt your blood sugar response when eating fruit, due to their protein and fat content.
The advice you’ve heard to eat the whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice follows the same reasoning. “The whole fruit has fiber, which is lost in the juice,” Gourley says. Fiber helps slow the absorption of the sugar. “It’s also easy to consume far more carbohydrates than necessary when drinking fruit juice,” she says.
The same goes for dried fruit: “Dried fruit is a great snack, but 1/4 cup has 15 grams of carbohydrates, so I suggest using dried fruit on salads or mixed into plain yogurt instead of eating it alone,” Gourley says.
How Much Fruit Is Too Much?
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that adult men and women consume on average two cups of fruit per day. A one-cup serving would be one piece of fruit, like an apple or peach, or one cup of cut-up fruit. Specific guidelines and amounts can be found at ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Olivier says, “In general, having about a handful size of fruit three times daily is appropriate.” Just remember to pair it with protein or fat. “An apple as a snack can raise blood sugar faster than an apple with almond butter,” she says.
Whether you have diabetes or not, fruit is your friend. Branch out from apples and bananas, and eat a variety of fruits, especially blue, red, and purple fruits like berries, which are high in antioxidants and raise blood sugar the least. Try not to eat fruit alone. Pair it with a healthy fat like nuts or nut butter to slow digestion and the rise of blood sugar. Consume dried fruits and fruit juice in moderation, and if you have diabetes, remember to count the total grams of carbohydrates, not just the grams of sugar.
Myth: I can’t eat fruit if I have diabetes
Why are fruit and vegetables so good for us?
Eating fruits and vegetables is associated with lower risk of developing many health conditions including high blood pressure, heart diseases, strokes, obesity and certain cancers.
It’s even more important for people with diabetes to eat more fruits and vegetables as most of these conditions are more likely to affect them.
Fruits and vegetables have a good mix of soluble and insoluble fibre which is good for your bowels and general health – so it makes sense to eat more of them.
Should people with diabetes cut back on fruit because of sugar content?
Managing diabetes has to do with managing your long-term blood glucose, blood fats, blood pressure and your weight, and fruits and vegetables can play a positive role in all these.
The concern has been that because fruits contain sugar, it makes your blood glucose go up. In fact, most fruits have low to medium glycaemic index, so they do not lead to a sharp rise in your blood glucose levels compared to other carbohydrate-containing foods like white or wholemeal bread.
Portion size is very important when considering the biggest effect of fruits on your blood glucose levels after eating so let’s look at this in more detail.
A portion of fruit contains about 15-20g carbohydrate on average, which is similar to a slice of bread. To put things in perspective, just a can of cola contains 35g carb and a medium slice of chocolate cake contains 35g of carbs as well.
So, if you are looking to reduce your carb intake, with the aim to manage blood glucose levels, the advice is to reduce your intake of foods and drinks like ordinary fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, chocolate and other snacks.
When you have done that, you can then begin to look at reducing your portions of starchy foods starting with those that are highly processed and contain added fats, sugars and salt.
It is very unlikely that fruits are the main culprit for high blood glucose levels as there is a tendency to over-estimate consumption of foods that are perceived to be healthy like fruits and vegetables.
Our advice would be to keep a food diary to check how much fruits and veg you are eating. For most people, you don’t have to reduce the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat.
Should people with diabetes avoid fruit juice?
Fruit juices can be high in natural sugars and because they have less fibre than the whole fruits, they are not as beneficial.
Because you can get through a lot of juice within a relatively short period of time, compared to eating the actual fruit, you may end up loading up with a lot of carbs over that period. Depending on how your diabetes is managed, this can result in your blood glucose levels going up, and may affect your weight in the long term as well.
That is why you are better off eating the actual fruit and avoiding juices. If you want to drink fruit juice, limit it to a maximum of a small glass, once a day. Drinking more than that will only increase your blood glucose levels and make you gain weight.
If you drink juice with your a meal, look at how to reduce the carbohydrate in that meal. So, for example, if you usually have a couple of slices of bread with your breakfast, on the day that you decide to have a small glass of juice with your breakfast, you may be better off sacrificing one slice of bread to make room for the extra carbs from the juice. You don’t need to do this every day, but it is an option. And it will stop you having to deal with high blood glucose levels as a result of the juice.
5-a-day: practical ways to reach the target.
Firstly, a portion of fruit and veg is roughly what can fit in your palm. For example:
- a medium size apple, pear or banana
- a handful of grapes
- 3 tablespoon of vegetables
- a bowl of salad
- 1 tablespoon of dried fruits
It is important to spread your intake through the day rather than having it all in one go.
For breakfast, try:
- Adding sliced banana to your cereal for breakfast and remember to reduce your usual amount of cereal to make room for the fruit.
- Adding mushrooms and tomatoes with your cooked breakfast.
- A fruit salad topped with no added sugar yogurt.
For lunch, have a healthy side salad, instead of crisps, with your sandwich and replace snacks with fruits and veg, for example, raisins and sultanas, fruit salads, raw vegetables, vegetable sticks, frozen berries.
For evening meals dish out the vegetables first like carrots, aubergines, broccoli, cabbages etc. and let that form the biggest part of the plate and add more vegetables to your casseroles, stews, soups etc.
What else do I need to know?
- Fruit and vegetables are better eaten raw as some nutrients are lost through cooking. Try steaming, poaching or microwaving rather than boiling in a lot of water if you prefer them cooked and add some spices and herbs if you find vegetables bland.
- Fruit and vegetables have different mix of nutrients, so it is important to have a range of fruits and veg to get more goodness. Challenge yourself to try a different fruit or veg whenever possible.
- Be careful with dried fruits – a portion is just a tablespoon – but it is easy to overdo it especially if you have the whole bowl in front of you.
- Avoid fruit juices and smoothies. If you have to, limit it to a maximum of 1 small glass a day.
- If you go for tinned fruits, choose one that is tinned in the natural juice rather than syrup – always read the label.
Complete Dry Fruits List For Diabetics
- By Sehat
Dehydrated Fruits, or, more commonly known as Dry Fruits, known for their wholesome values, really long shelf life, and great taste, have been in use since the Mesopotamia Civilization. Owing to their origins from the fruit family, however, there is a common diabetic misconception that, dry fruits for diabetic patients, is extremely harmful and should be avoided. Science today has enough material to prove that, if one has the right list of dry fruits for diabetics to eat in right quantities, it can actually help in controlling diabetes.
What Are Dry Fruits?
As the name suggests, dry fruits are fruits (and nuts) from which majority of the natural water is taken out, either using Sun’s natural heat (Natural Process) or using specialized tumblers to dry them quickly (called Dehydrators). Owing to the dehydration process, these fruits enjoy a naturally long shelf life and a very high concentration of Sugar. Also, these fruits, which either carry seeds or, are sometimes the seeds themselves that give life to plants, are a vibrant source of nutrients which benefit humans as well.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease when the blood glucose level in one’s body goes too high. This could occur
- When the insulin secretion by the pancreas is not adequate to help these sugars from food get absorbed into cells to give energy to the body. This is also called the Type 1 Diabetes
- When the pancreas does its work, however, the body itself is not able to process blood sugar. This is the standard occurrence of diabetes, also called Type 2 Diabetes
- Another way of diabetes affects women during the time of their pregnancies only, called Gestational Diabetes
How Can Dry Fruits Help Diabetic Patients?
Dry fruits are extremely rich sources of fibers, Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants. Also, the majority of dry fruits also have a low to medium level Glycemic Index (GI). This makes a majority of them to feature in the list of dry fruits for people with diabetes to eat. Also, know the foods that you can eat and is bread good for diabetes.Some of the benefits include
- Being rich in fiber, dry fruits help in reducing the need to eat regularly, thus reducing the risk of overeating and binge eating of unhealthy food.
- Dry fruits are packed with Vitamins and antioxidants, providing the human body with nutrients that help in functioning better
- Some studies even show that a small portion of nuts (also referred to as super foods) after lunch helps the body to retain the energy faster and keep one active to work.
- Exercise is an integral part of controlling diabetes. Dry Fruits can help provide the energy to the patients in the morning so that the body can be motivated to take that extra effort.
Dry Fruits List For Diabetics
Science has shown that any dry fruit made out of soft fruits are generally great for Diabetic patients as they are high in fiber and low in GI. While Diabetes can consume the majority of dry fruits, some of the most common once are listed below with their benefits
A great source of Fibre, good fats, and proteins, walnuts can potentially prevent one from binging on unnecessary food. This not only helps in controlling hunger, thus helping with weight-loss, walnuts are also a great source of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). This helps reduce inflammation, thus helping with managing diabetes and, in some cases, even Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the greatest sources of fiber, almonds help keep a good digestive system, helping control blood sugar levels. An excellent source of magnesium, almonds also help in improving the quality of bones, muscles and nerve functioning and helps with blood pressure as well.
Excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, berries are considered to be an excellent super food for diabetes. Just add them to non-fat yogurt, and they make an excellent dessert for people with diabetes, provided the urge to gobble these tempting cuties as is.
Another source for fiber, pistachios can be used as dressing over salads and soups. They also make an excellent substitute to breadcrumbs on roasted meats. The mother of a plant, these seeds are a naturally power-packed ingredient. With enough nutrients to provide life to plants and trees, even after many years, these seeds can be used either directly in the morning with your cereals, or as dessert ingredients with non-fat yogurt. These nutrient bundles can also be consumed as power bars or energy bars to help as evening snack between two meals.
Dried Apples, Prunes, Apricots
Rich in minerals and vitamins, together with fiber, these natural foods are great substitute to add some flavor to food without adding additional sugars.
Some Of The Most Common Dry Fruit Dishes For Diabetics
Trail Mixes: Made from a variety of nuts and seeds, these mixes are great as mid meals or evening snacks. Not only do they help kill the immediate hunger, but they are also great sources for proteins, that help in maintaining the muscle and bone functions and fibers.
Home-Made Energy Bars: Energy bars are another high source of proteins that help with your evening hunger pangs. These can also be used in the morning before exercises to energize the body. While readymade energy bars in the market have added sugars which are not healthy for diabetics, the ones made at home can be made using natural ingredients and by adding a little of natural honey is rich in sucrose which is then mixed with dry fruits for sugaring taste.
Dry Fruits As Salad Dressing And Desserts: Dry fruits are naturally sweetened and usually do not require any additional sugar content, in turn, helps the patients with diabetics. This is the primary reason they make an excellent choice for people with diabetes as desserts or as dressing over salads.
A good substitute to binging, with regulated consumption, dry fruits for diabetic patients are ideal for weight control, sugar level regulation and are a good source of proteins and minerals. Limiting the quantity to one portion per day can potentially help keep one healthy and hay.
Last year everyone was talking about how good nuts are for diabetes. This year they’re just as good, and new research shows it. If you aren’t eating lots of nuts yet, I’m going to try to get you started.
Nuts are great because they are seeds and fruit combined. They are literally full of life. According to Wikipedia, while fruit seeds are separate from the fruit itself, in nuts (according to the botanical definition of the term), the seeds and fruit (which the seed will use to grow if planted) are bound up together, making them among the most nutritious foods on the planet.
A new study of 16,000 people in the journal Circulation Research found that “Higher consumption of nuts, especially tree nuts, is associated with lower CVD incidence and mortality among participants with diabetes mellitus. These data support for the prevention of CVD complications and premature deaths among individuals with diabetes.”
Previous research from Louisiana State University (LSU) found that people who regularly eat tree nuts — including almonds, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews — have lower risks for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Their C-reactive protein (a major marker of inflammation) levels were lower. Their HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels were higher.
According to The Huffington Post, the LSU study was funded by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation. Study results often show what the funders wanted them to show, but I tend to believe this one. It appeared in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and was based on analyzing data from NHANES, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the gold standard for this kind of study in the U.S.
This research confirms dozens of other studies. As Editor Diane Fennell wrote in 2011, “Nuts are well known for their nutritional benefits, including their high levels of heart-healthy fats, protein, antioxidants…, plant sterols (natural substances found in plants that can help lower cholesterol), fiber and minerals.”
Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Amy Campbell explained in this article that nuts are good because they have high levels of healthy unsaturated fats, which helps lower levels of LDL “bad cholesterol.”
About pecans, she wrote, “Pecans are a good source of several minerals, including potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and iron, as well as the B vitamins.” Other nuts are also high in nutrients.
Unfortunately, some people are allergic to nuts, and those allergies can be severe, even fatal. If you have questions about nut allergies, see here.
Questions about nuts
• Aren’t they too expensive? On the Raw Food Talk discussion group, a reader posted that prices for organic almonds, walnuts, and cashews ran from $13 to $16 per pound. “Just a pound!!!,” he wrote (exclamation points his.) “I eat a pound in two days.”
Readers commented on several ways to reduce costs, including buying in bulk, buying bags of broken pieces, or buying larger quantities of nuts and freezing them in sealed bags. Some suggested buying from farmers directly. Also, if you shop around, you may find that certain nuts are cheaper than others at different times of year.
• Other sites point out that you can get benefits very similar to nuts by eating seeds, like pumpkin, sesame or sunflower seeds. If you look at the nutritional content of seeds and nuts on a site like this one, you’ll see that nuts and seeds are very similar. You can see a comparison of nine popular nuts here.
• What about nut and seed butters? Are they as good as the whole nuts/seeds? People seem to disagree about this. Some think butters are too processed or too fatty, but I think nut butters or seed butters are great foods. They taste good and can be added to fruits or bread and used in cooking. All nut butters are nutritionally similar. But they are processed, some more than others. Most likely eating whole nuts or seeds might be more nutritious, although you’ll have to check the labels.
• What about peanuts? You may know they aren’t really nuts; they’re legumes. But as I wrote here, legumes are great for you, too. Peanuts are also considered to be seeds. I don’t really see much difference with between peanuts and tree nuts.
• Some believe that raw nuts are far better than roasted nuts, which are what is mostly available in stores.
Holistic health advocate Jared Six wrote,
When you take something like almonds and you roast them at 350 degrees and then you dip them in salt, you have taken one of the healthiest foods on the planet and reduced it to a junk food!
Perhaps Six is overstating the case, but there may be something to this. To me, eating nuts is like taking in pure life force, so it might be best to eat them raw (raw butter is still raw to me.)
In promoting raw seeds and nuts, Six wrote,
Some seeds are so tough and resilient that you could literally take a hand full of them and throw them off the top of a skyscraper to the concrete road below, then run over them with a school bus, and then sweep them up and throw them off a bridge into a river below. When they hit the water they will simply float to the next shore and sprout and grow once they get there!
Do you want some of that energy in your body? I do. So are you eating nuts yet?
Want to learn more about nuts and diabetes? Read “Boost Your Health With the World’s Most Nutritious Nut,” “Pass the Pecans, Please!” “Eating Nuts May Lengthen Life,” “Going Nuts for Diabetes Control” and “Going Nuts for Peanuts,” then try our recipe for Hot and Spicy Nuts.