Content sourced from: medico.in
Diabetes is on the rise around the world, but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to be a diabetic. In fact, according to the World Diabetes Foundation, eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and improving your living environment can prevent 80% of type 2 diabetes cases. Changing your eating habits can be hard, but you can start by including these nine easy-to-find foods in your weekly meals. They’re packed with powerful nutrients that stabilize your blood sugar levels and help keep you diabetes-free.
Green leafy veggies:
Vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens are healthy for a number of reasons. They’re low in calories but rich in nutrients like vitamin C, beta carotene, and magnesium that may help prevent diabetes. One study found that increasing your intake of leafy green vegetables to about one and a half servings (a serving is 106 g) a day lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14%.
Whether you prefer white beans, soybeans, or lentils, these fiber-rich foods can help stabilize blood sugar. With nearly as much protein as meat, beans are also low in saturated fat, the bad fat that can be harmful to your heart. Try replacing a serving of white rice with a serving of beans. One study found that making this simple switch could significantly lower your risk of metabolic syndrome, a name for a group of risk factors, including extra weight around your belly, that increases the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that has been shown to help prevent diabetes by reducing inflammation in the body, lowering triglycerides, and raising levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, so eating fish a few times a week can help your heart, too.
Low-fat dairy products:
Dairy products are typically rich in calcium and protein, and low-fat versions contain low levels of saturated fat. However, research shows that low-fat yogurt can be helpful in preventing diabetes. A 2011 study found that eating a lot of yogurt significantly reduced the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Just be sure to eat plain yogurt. The ones with added sugar won’t help you prevent diabetes!
This oil is a staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, because it’s filled with monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats, also found in nuts, are important in preventing diabetes because they may help your body control blood sugar more effectively. Use olive oil instead of butter and margarine when you cook to make your meals healthier.
Just like olive oil, nuts are a great way to get monounsaturated fatty acids, and they also are rich in magnesium, another diabetes-fighting nutrient. Studies show people who regularly eat nuts (usually a serving a day) have lower rates of diabetes than those who don’t. Because they are often high in calories, it’s a good idea to swap nuts for unhealthy parts of your diet, like processed snacks or red meat.
Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits taste delicious and offer protection from diabetes. They contain antioxidants that may help your body break down fat and balance insulin levels. Plus, they’re low in calories and a much healthier substitute for desserts!
While refined grains, like white bread, crackers, and cookies, can increase your risk of diabetes, whole grains like wheat bread, quinoa, and brown rice do the exact opposite. Whole grains are rich in fiber, a nutrient that helps your body control blood sugar, and studies show that people who eat more fiber have a reduced risk of diabetes.
This tasty spice does more than flavor your food. It may help prevent diabetes, too! Studies show that cinnamon decreases inflammation and helps the body regulate insulin levels, two important ways to stay diabetes-free. Try using it instead of sugar to add flavor to tea, coffee, or even your favorite desserts.