Diabetes is one of the most debilitating and dangerous conditions that plague the population health of modern society. It is estimated that over 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, and over 84 American have prediabetes. Type 2 diabetes happens when your body loses the ability to use insulin effectively and is usually caused by a combination of a diet high in sugar and fats. Untreated diabetes can lead to an entire host of conditions (i.e., kidney damage, blindness, neuropathy, heart disease, and stroke).
When you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your body can no longer use the hormone insulin to do its job. The job of insulin is to remove sugar from your blood into cells so that it can be metabolized. The good news is diabetes is both preventable and curable with the incorporation of a low sugar diet and exercise (along with any doctor-prescribed medications):
1. Brown rice
Brown rice is a carbohydrate, but it is a complex carbohydrate. Brown rice a complex carbohydrate because your body’s digestive system does not easily access the sugars in the rice. Foods that are refined are easily turned into sugar by your body, which results in blood sugar spikes. Foods that contain complex sugars means your body has to work to get the sugars and does not spike your blood sugar. One cup of brown rice includes about 51 carbs and over 3 grams of fiber.
Broccoli is considered a superfood. Packed with loads of vitamin C and fiber, and very low carbohydrates make broccoli an essential insulin friendly food. Broccoli is virtually fat-free, with nearly 4 grams of fiber and only ten carbs in each serving.
Spinach is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is a great option to add to your diabetes diet. With only seven carbs and 4 grams of fiber, spinach contains only three net carbs (carbs – fiber = net carbs). The fiber will make you feel full and prevent overeating will keeping your blood sugar low.
Salmon is an excellent source of protein, that has virtually no sugar and loaded with healthy fats. Salmon is packed with Omega-3s, which is a healthy fat that has been proven to combat inflammation in the blood vessels. Inflammation is a telltale sign of diabetes.
5. Black Beans
Black beans are another excellent source of healthy or complex carbohydrates ideal for a diabetic friendly diet. There are 20 grams of carbohydrates, 7.5 grams of fiber (20 – 7.5 = 12.5 net carbs) and almost 8 grams of protein. The extra protein and low net carbs make black beans a diabetic safe food.
With the incorporation of the foods discussed plus regular exercise will help keep the sugars in your blood low and may help eliminate the need to use insulin shots.