An estimated thirty-three percent of adults aged 65 or older have diabetes. Research shows that making a few changes to your diet, such as eating more produce, fewer refined carbohydrates, plenty of lean protein, and more ‘good’ fat helps improve blood-sugar control and cuts the risk of diabetes-related complications. Don’t assume that only one or two of these foods on this list will transform you. You need most of these foods because together, they represent a new approach to eating and a healthier lifestyle. Every time you go to the store from now on, take this list of foods with you. If your favorite store has a delivery service, sign up and automatically get your groceries every few weeks! Here is a list of healthy foods for fighting diabetes in seniors.
Healthy Foods for Fighting Diabetes
Avocados are fantastic to have in your kitchen since they have less than one gram of sugar, few carbohydrates, a high fiber content, and healthy fats. Avocado consumption is also associated with improved overall diet quality and weight loss. Try it on some toast for breakfast; you might love it!
Beans are cheap and super nutritious. Beans are a type of legume-rich in B vitamins, beneficial minerals (calcium, potassium, and magnesium), and fiber. They also have a very low glycemic index, which is vital for managing diabetes. Beans also help prevent diabetes.
Berries are full of fiber and antioxidants. The red and blue varieties also contain natural plant compounds called anthocyanins. Scientists believe these may help lower blood sugar by boosting insulin production. Put some in an easy-to-grab location or freeze a handful to use as ice cubes in your water.
Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables to consume. A half-cup of cooked broccoli contains only 27 calories and 3 grams of digestible carbs, along with essential nutrients like vitamin C and magnesium. In addition to this, studies show that those with diabetes have found that eating broccoli sprouts help lower insulin levels and protect against cellular damage. Broccoli is another excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, essential antioxidants that help prevent eye diseases.
Eggs provide fantastic health benefits. Eggs are known to decrease inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and modify your LDL (bad) cholesterol’s size and shape. One study found that eating a high-fat, low-carb breakfast of eggs could help individuals with diabetes manage blood sugar levels throughout the day. Just be sure to eat the whole egg. The benefits of eggs are primarily due to nutrients found in the yolk rather than the white.
Some people consider fish to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel are excellent sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which have significant heart health benefits. Regularly getting enough of these fats is vital for people with diabetes, who have an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Fish is also a great source of high-quality protein, which helps you feel full and helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Also known as common flax or linseeds, flaxseeds have a high content of heart-healthy omega-3 fats, fiber, and other unique plant compounds. A portion of their insoluble fiber is made up of lignans, which may help decrease heart disease risk and improve blood sugar management. Flaxseeds are also very high in viscous fiber, which improves gut health, insulin sensitivity, and feelings of fullness.
Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are good sources of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. They are low in calories and carbs and high in nutrition. They also have a low glycemic index, so they’ll help keep your blood sugar under control.
Greek yogurt is a wonderful dairy choice for those with diabetes. Eating certain dairy products like Greek yogurt help improve blood sugar management and reduce heart disease risk factors, perhaps partly due to the probiotics it contains. Studies also indicate that yogurt consumption may be associated with lower levels of blood glucose and insulin resistance. So enjoy some greek yogurt with berries on top!
Another great food to fight diabetes is nuts as they are perfect for snacking and putting in salads. All types of nuts contain fiber and are low in net carbohydrates, although some have more. Studies on various nuts have shown that regular consumption may reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar, HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar management), and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil is perfect for managing blood sugar levels and high triglyceride levels since it is unrefined. It contains oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that has been shown to improve glycemic management, reduce fasting and post-meal triglyceride levels, and contain polyphenols. Polyphenols reduce inflammation, protect the cells lining your blood vessels, keep your LDL (bad) cholesterol from becoming damaged by oxidation, and decrease blood pressure. Try to utilize it more in your cooking and enjoy the benefits!
Whole Grain Bread
Eating white bread is very unhealthy as it is highly processed flour and contains sugar. If you consume plenty of it (including bagels), then switching to whole grain bread may improve your insulin sensitivity. One study showed that those who increase their intake of whole grains, the greater their insulin sensitivity and blood-sugar stability. Be careful. You do not want to mistake brown bread, or even multigrain, for whole grain. You want to make sure the word ‘whole’ is in the first ingredient.
All in all, when diabetes is not well managed, it increases the risk for other serious diseases. By eating healthy foods that help keep blood sugar, insulin, and inflammation manageable can dramatically reduce your risk for complications. Remember, the most crucial factor in fighting diabetes is following an overall nutritious, balanced diet.