Most know that salmon is a good choice if you have diabetes because it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve the body’s ability to respond to insulin. Broccoli is another good choice because it’s high in fiber and may reverse the heart damage diabetes can cause. But according to everydayhealth.com salmon and broccoli aren’t the only superfoods for a healthy diabetes diet.
Pumpkin Seeds - a good snack substitute that delivers taste and crunch and is high in iron and unsaturated fats, the kind that are good for your heart. As with any snack, the key is portion control. If you limit yourself to 2 tablespoons, you will be eating less than 5 grams of carbohydrates.
Mixed Nuts - although high in calories, so you can’t eat too many, the good news is that just 2 ounces a day can move you toward a more healthy diet if you have diabetes. Canadian researchers did a three month study that showed mixed nuts can improve in blood sugar levels. The researchers recommend substituting nuts for carbs for the best results.
Chia Seeds - a healthy topping to sprinkle on foods Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your triglycerides and raise your good HDL cholesterol level (goals of many people with diabetes). These seeds also are rich in fiber - 10 grams per ounce - and fiber can make you feel fuller. Sprinkle chia seeds on healthy diet choices like cereal, oatmeal, and low- or no-fat yogurt and ice cream.
Lentils -a type of legume that can help control blood sugar levels. Lentils are loaded with soluble fiber, which digests slowly to keep your blood sugar from spiking. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people with diabetes who consumed 50 grams of fiber a day, especially soluble fiber, were much better at controlling their blood sugar than those who ate less fiber. Lentils also have been shown to increase your energy and improve your mood.
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Sardines - like salmon, sardines are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein, plus they offer a few advantages over some other fatty fish in a diabetes diet: They’re cheap, have lower mercury levels than larger fish such as tuna, and come fresh or canned - if you never developed a taste for the canned variety, try grilling fresh sardines for their brighter flavor. You can also flake a cooked or canned filet into healthy bean soups, stews, pasta sauces, and salads for a change in flavor.
Edamame - green soybeans growing in popularity - so much so that they’re now sold in the freezer departments of supermarkets and warehouse stores. Just boil them for three to five minutes and serve. They’re an excellent source of protein, minerals (including potassium, magnesium, and calcium), and those all-important omega-3 fatty acids.
Beets - high in lipoic acid, one of the many antioxidants that are believed to help prevent your cells from damage caused by aging. Some studies show that lipoic acid is also helpful in healing nerve damage that causes pain and numbness in the hands and feet of people with diabetes. Other research suggests that beets may help lower your blood cholesterol. Roast beets in the oven the way you would a sweet potato and serve as a side dish or add to a healthy salad. Another idea to add some spark to your diet is to shred the beets and add to pancake batter or bread mixes.