Reverse or Control Diabetes: Eating Really Does Make A Difference

Reverse or Control Diabetes: Eating Really Does Make A Difference
Reverse or Control Diabetes: Eating Really Does Make A Difference

It’s the holiday season, which means an endless list of sugary temptations!

Healthy choices around this time of year can be difficult, especially if you have diabetes.

But don’t worry…

This article explores the best foods to reverse or control diabetes, so you can enjoy the holiday season without feeling left out.

Keep reading to find out more…

What Is Diabetes? 

Diabetes is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes high blood sugar. (1)

There are two main types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes: The body doesn’t produce insulin
  2. Type 2 Diabetes: The body can’t use insulin effectively

Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for moving sugar from the blood and into the cells.

Therefore, people with diabetes are prone to unstable blood sugar levels.

If not managed, this can lead to serious conditions like:

  • Kidney failure
  • Nerve damage
  • Blindness
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetic coma

Diabetes affects roughly 10% of the world’s population, and it can increase your risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression. (2)

Fortunately, there are plenty of diet and lifestyle choices you can make to manage diabetes.

Let’s take a closer look…

Diet and Diabetes 

Diet is a key player when it comes to preventing, managing and reversing diabetes.

In fact, research shows that the majority of diabetes cases are largely preventable through lifestyle and dietary choices. (3)

If you’ve already developed diabetes, don’t worry…it’s not too late to make a positive change.

By eating healthier, you can better manage your symptoms.

You can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes as well as other nasty diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Some of the best ways to fight diabetes are:

  1. Low carb diet
  2. Antioxidant-rich foods
  3. Anti-inflammatory diet

Let’s take a closer look…

Low Carb Diet

When you eat carbs, they’re broken down into sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream.

In healthy people, sugar triggers the release of insulin, which keeps blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day.

However, this isn’t always the case for people with diabetes.

More often than not, they don’t use or make insulin effectively.

As a result, blood sugar levels can remain elevated for hours after eating.

This is a big problem because chronically high blood sugar can cause severe harm.

But don’t worry…

Research shows that a low-carb diet can help stabilize blood sugar and reduce the risk of those nasty symptoms. (4)

Simple carbs are generally high in calories and low in protein, which increases food cravings.

This can lead to weight gain—a common problem for diabetics.

Some examples of low carb foods include:

  • Lean meats
  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms

Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Antioxidants are compounds produced in your body and found in foods.

They help protect the cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals help fight pathogens, but if they outnumber the antioxidants, they can overwhelm the body and start attacking healthy cells.

This is called oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress plays a central role in the development of diabetes.

Fortunately, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help fight oxidative stress.

Examples of high antioxidant foods include:

  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Broccoli

Anti Inflammatory Diet 

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is crucial for controlling diabetes.

The biggest culprit of inflammation is sugar.

In a recent study, women who drank one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day had an 83% higher risk of type 2 diabetes, compared with women who drank less than one sugar-sweetened beverage per month. (5)

Highly inflammatory foods include:

  • Grains
  • Rice
  • Seeds
  • Potatoes
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • Beans

Research shows that a low-inflammatory diet is a great option to support your body when you have diabetes. (6)

Top 10 Foods to Control or Reverse Diabetes 

Here are the top ten best foods to help you reverse or control diabetes:

  1. Lean meat
  2. Fatty fish
  3. Nuts
  4. Eggs
  5. Avocados
  6. Leafy greens
  7. Eggplant
  8. Yellow squash
  9. Broccoli
  10. Garlic

Let’s take a look in more detail…

Lean Meat 

Lean meat is high in protein and low in fat, making it a great option for diabetics.

Protein-rich foods keep you feeling fuller for longer and reduce the urge to snack between meals.

What’s more, a recent study shows that protein can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. (7)

Some great lean meat options include:

  • Chicken breast
  • Sirloin beef steak
  • Turkey breast
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Venison
  • Pork tenderloin

Lean, healthy protein should make up a minimum of 25% of each meal.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation.

Research shows that people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart attack and heart disease. (8)

That’s why eating enough of these fats is important for people with diabetes.

Fish is also a great source of high-quality protein, which helps you feel full and stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Sources of fatty fish include:

  • Wild salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Herring

Nuts

Nuts are extremely nutritious and high in antioxidants.

In particular, they contain a micronutrient called polyphenols which fight oxidative stress.

Although nuts are a high-calorie food, believe it or not, they may actually help you lose weight!

One recent study found that overweight women who ate almonds lost a significant amount of weight compared to a control group that did not eat almonds. (9)

Also, walnuts have been shown to reduce inflammation, blood sugar, and bad cholesterol levels. (10)

Diabetics tend to have high blood pressure, but thankfully nuts are rich in magnesium and help lower blood pressure.

Some of the best nuts for diabetes are:

  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia

Eggs

Eggs can be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes because they:

  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Increase good cholesterol levels
  • Modify the size and shape of bad cholesterol levels

They’re also high in protein, support weight management, and decrease food cravings.

Research shows that eating eggs on a regular basis can reduce the risk of heart disease. (11)

If that wasn’t enough, some research suggests that eggs may also reduce the risk of stroke. (12)

It seems like eggs are the holy grail after all!

Avocados

Avocados are high in fiber, low in carbs and sugar.

Plus, they contain antioxidants and are another great option to reduce inflammation.

And if that wasn’t enough, avocados are also a great source of monounsaturated fat and can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Research shows that eating avocados can help you lose weight and improve heart health. (13)

Avocados also support eye health thanks to a nutrient called lutein.

This makes avocados an ideal snack for people with diabetes because macular degeneration is a common problem among diabetics.

That’s one heck of a fruit!

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are low in calories and rich in nutrients.

They contain antioxidants that protect your heart and eyes.

Plus, they’re a great source of vitamin C—an essential vitamin that your body can’t produce.

People with diabetes generally have lower levels of vitamin C.

Over time, this can lead to weight gain and chronic inflammation.

No, not more inflammation!

But don’t worry…

Eating vitamin C-rich foods like leafy greens can help reduce inflammation and prevent cellular damage.

The best leafy greens for people with diabetes are:

  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Collards

Eggplant

Eggplants are high in fiber and low in calories.

Fiber can help you manage your weight because it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which means you’re less likely to overeat.

This is crucial for people with diabetes that need to be mindful of their weight.

People who have diabetes generally have higher levels of cholesterol which can lead to further complications like heart disease.

Amazingly, animal research shows that fiber in eggplants can reduce cholesterol levels. (14)

If you’re still not convinced, human research shows that eating eggplants can improve blood pressure. (15)

Yellow Squash 

Yellow squash is a low-carb, high-fiber, antioxidant-rich vegetable.

It’s also a filling food that’s low in calories and high in manganese—a mineral that helps the body process fats and carbs.

This is particularly helpful if you suffer from diabetes because it slows sugar absorption and reduces inflammation.

Squash is an excellent substitute for potatoes. It has all the benefits without the inflammatory effects.

Broccoli 

Broccoli is one seriously nutritious vegetable!

It is low in carbs and contains all important nutrients such as vitamin C and magnesium, along with plenty of antioxidants.

Research shows that broccoli sprouts may help lower insulin levels in people with diabetes and protect against cellular damage. (16)

If that wasn’t enough, is another good source of lutein and zeaxanthin—important antioxidants that may help prevent eye degeneration. (17)

Garlic

Garlic is small but mighty!

It’s incredibly nutritious and contains a range of vitamins and minerals like:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Selenium
  • Manganese

This tiny food is low in calories and has a host of health benefits.

Research shows that garlic can reduce blood pressure just as effectively as the drug Atenolol.

(18)

It can also help to regulate cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar.  
If you have any more questions about the best foods to reverse or control diabetes, feel free to contact us at Complete Care Health Centers.  
We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.