Through eating the right foods, a person can help to prevent, control and even reverse diabetes. Diabetes continues to affect more and more people although most cases can be prevented. Healthy lifestyle changes can help a person to lose weight, regulate their blood sugar, increase their energy levels, improve their overall health and even improve their general mood. Maintaining a balanced whole food diet with proper portion sizes is critical in achieving good health; just as important as it is to strictly reduce the consumption of sugars, salt, highly processed foods, refined grains and flours, red meats and alcohol.
Carbohydrates can have a big impact on a person’s blood sugar levels. Refined Carbohydrates like white breads, pastas, white potatoes and rice can cause blood sugar levels to spike; whereas high-fibre carbohydrates will keep blood sugar levels even. High-fibre complex carbohydrate food choices include whole-grain breads and pastas, brown rice, wild rice, steel-cut oats, rolled oats and bran.
The glycemic index (GI) identifies how quickly foods turn into sugar in a person’s system. Glycemic load identifies the GI and the amount of carbohydrates in a food item, giving an accurate idea of how much it will affect a person’s blood sugar. These indexes and tables are designed to help a person regulate the carbs they eat. A low-glycemic diet includes non-starchy vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole-grains, seeds, nuts, fish and chicken. Extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil is recommended for salad and cooking oils.
Starchy vegetables are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided such as butternut squash, corn, parsnip, peas, pumpkin, white potatoes and yams. Non-starchy vegetables are the healthier choice when watching carbohydrates in your diet. Non-starchy vegetables include alfalfa sprouts, amaranth leaves, artichoke, asparagus, avocados, bean sprouts, green beans, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cabbage, cucumber, eggplant, onions, leafy greens, leeks, mushrooms, peppers, radish, sprouts, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, watercress and zucchini.
Strictly reducing processed foods and sugars is not only important to prevent, control and reverse diabetes, but is important for overall good health and prevention of other diseases. Highly processed foods are often high in sugars, salt, saturated and trans fats, refined flours and artificial ingredients; all of which are damaging to a person’s health.
Reducing sugars from the diet is vital to maintain diabetes and this includes all sugars. Honey, agave, molasses, all syrups, cane crystals, caramel, fructose, sucrose, dextrose and corn sweeteners are all sugars that should be avoided. Artificial sweeteners are not always a good substitute as some have been linked to different cancers amongst other disorders. Diabetes can be controlled, prevented and even reversed through healthy lifestyle practices that will lengthen and improve the quality of your life.
Written by: J. Marshall
Try my Broccoli and Cauliflower Lasagna recipe! Broccoli and cauliflower are excellent healing foods for diabetes. Use whole-grain pasta over regular white pasta for high-fibre carbohydrates.
Try my Traditional Greek Salad recipe! All types of fresh salads are excellent healing foods for diabetes.
• Diabetes Canada / Diet & Nutrition: Beyond the Basics / URL: https://www.diabetes.ca/clinical-practice-education/professional-resources/diet-nutrition-beyond-the-basics
• American Diabetes Association / Food & Fitness / What Can I Eat? / URL: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/
• Help Guide (dot) Org / The Diabetes Diet / URL: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/diet-weight-loss/diabetes-diet-and-food-tips.htm
• Diabetic Living / The 25 Power Foods for Diabetes / URL: http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/food-to-eat/nutrition/top-25-power-foods-diabetes
• Web MD / Diabetes Diet Directory / URL: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-diet-directory
• The World’s Healthiest Foods / What is the Glycemic Index? / URL: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=32
• The University of Sydney / Search for the Glycemic Index / URL: http://www.glycemicindex.com/
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