Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are health conditions related to elevated blood sugar levels. Accordingly, if you consume foods that have low levels of sugar, you stand a better chance of reversing your diabetic situation. There are other foods you should avoid aside from sugar that can aggravate your diabetes.
Foods to Avoid
Deli meats, hot dogs, foods with lots of sodium, refined white flour and large portions of potatoes, corn and peas should be avoided. Those foods at the very least should be eaten sparingly, if at all. Fruit juices and fruits canned in syrup should be extremely limited in your diet, as should the presence of other sources of refined sugar.
Foods to Eat
On the other hand, there are foods that are considered not only healthy for type 2 diabetics, but could lead to a reversal of the condition. The following 14 super foods help burn fat, reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar levels and provide other health benefits.
- Dark chocolate, with no added sugar
- Collard greens
- Wild-caught fish
- Steel cut oats, such as oatmeal
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Cannellini beans
- Sweet potatoes
Out with the Bad
Looking at that list, you don’t see any drive-through fried foods, cheeseburgers, pizzas or sugar-filled baked goods like doughnuts, cake, pie and pastries. Sorry about that. Generally speaking, if you avoid refined sugar, salt and white flour, you will automatically be eating many of the foods which are recommended for diabetics.
Foods high in dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates are good, foods with little nutritional value and simple carbohydrates are not so good for diabetics. Simple carbs result in sugar spikes which are caused by an overabundance of blood glucose. When this happens regularly you increase the risk of developing a prediabetic or diabetic state.
In with the Good
Some good starches for you to eat include a baked sweet potato, whole grains, quinoa, brown rice, millet or amaranth. Load up on the fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens like kale, romaine lettuce and Napa cabbage. You get few calories and low levels of carbohydrates, almost no salt or fat, and tons of filling dietary fiber in most vegetables. Fresh, organic, raw vegetables are good, but you can also lightly steam, grill or roast your veggies.
Frozen vegetables are fine, as long as they have not been frozen in some sugary, syrupy, high-sodium solution. When eating vegetables, eat the rainbow. A diet of red, orange, dark green, white and even purple vegetables (eggplant for example) provides the full spectrum of health benefits. Fresh fruit, salmon caught in the wild, lean cuts of organic poultry, some organic dairy products (lactose is relatively high in sugar), beans, nuts and seeds, organic eggs are also approved for diabetics.
Steer clear of whole milk and regular yogurt, instead choosing low-fat yogurt (with no sugar added) and coconut milk or almond milk. Unsweetened tea, green tea, coffee without sugar, coconut water and filtered water are acceptable beverages. Incorporating regular physical activity and drinking lots of approved liquids every day will boost the ability of smart nutrition habits to effectively treat, and possibly reverse, your diabetes condition.