Most of us are familiar with the term: ‘We are what we eat’, but people who are diabetic need to be particularly vigilant about what they include in their diet. Although no diet will be able to completely replace the need for medical treatment if you are diabetic, there are various foods that have been shown to help control blood sugar or that help make living with diabetes easier. Here are five foods or beverages that can be helpful if you have type 2 diabetes.
Recent research has shown that asparagus, an increasingly widely used vegetable in the UK, can help keep blood sugar levels under control and also boosts insulin production. The results of the study found that small amounts of asparagus extract managed to help suppress blood sugar levels, but didn’t have an effect on insulin, however high levels of asparagus extract increased insulin production and had an effect on blood sugar levels. The results of the study were published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Although sparkling water has no direct effect on sugar levels, it can be a handy alternative if you enjoy sparkling drinks. You may also be able to mix it with low sugar juices to give the refreshing taste of a carbonated drink without having to drink drinks containing sugar replacements, which aren’t always that healthy.
Cinnamon isn’t only delicious, but research published in Diabetic Medicine has revealed that it has strong qualities that make it effective at glucose control. Some studies have also shown that cinnamon can reduce bad cholesterol levels and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinamon also helps those with type 2 diabetes by increasing the glucose metabolism to improve blood sugar regulation and also has an insulin-like effect.
In addition to affecting blood sugar levels direction, eating cinnamon slows down the digestion process to avoid spikes in blood sugar after meals.
Just like sparkling water, strawberries are a good alternative food if you are craving something sweet. Instead of reaching for the cake tin, a strawberry can provide you with the sweet taste without the calories and carbohydrates. They are also much higher in fibre than processed confectionary, meaning that you’ll feel fuller for longer.
It’s colder now, so many of us will have already started eating a bowl of hearty oatmeal porridge in the mornings. It’s been shown to have cholesterol-lowering qualities and is a very good source of carbohydrates that keeps you fuller for longer and doesn’t cause spikes in your blood sugar. Unsweetened porridge is also a good breakfast if you are looking to lose weight if you have type 2 diabetes.
Fish are high in good fats, which make them perfect to eat if you already have high cholesterol. It’s been shown that fish can help lower bad levels of cholesterol, which often tends to be high if you have type 2 diabetes. Experts advise that everybody try and eat fish at least twice a week.