The question, what can I eat to cure diabetes is definitely an interesting one. Nonetheless, getting an answer to this query is definitely not an easy task.
With so many dietitians, holistic healers and nutritionists harping about a natural cure for diabetes, zeroing in on who is right and who is not, is the hard part here. Moreover, the FDA usually tends to ignore any natural cure for treating diabetes.
So, your questions like, ‘what foods cure diabetes’ or ‘what foods reverse diabetes’ remain largely unanswered.
Treating diabetes via medications is a ‘quick fix’ that does not eradicate the disease from its root. It simply suppresses the ailment. So, a natural cure (such as the ones we derive from a changed diet plan) may work wonders for diabetics.
Keeping that in mind, let me walk you through the diet alternative to treat diabetes.
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What can I Eat to Cure Diabetes Article Contents:
1) What Foods Cure Diabetes?
2) What Foods Reverse Diabetes?
3) What Foods Help Prevent Diabetes?
4) What Veggies should a Diabetic Simply Avoid?
5) What is an Ideal Meal Plan for a Diabetic to Keep Blood sugar Levels in Control?
6) What Drinks can Reverse Diabetes?
What Foods Cure Diabetes?
When you suffer from diabetes, you have a distinct disadvantage over others. Basically, you are unable to carry out certain physical and mental actions that are considered normal by those that have optimal blood glucose levels.
So, in order to lead a normal life, you need to maintain optimal blood sugar levels. While this may not seem so easy, living normally is the basic fundamental right for every diabetic.
While allopathic medications have always ruled the treatment methodology, they never provide a permanent cure. These medicines also cause adverse side effects. The need of the hour is a permanent cure for diabetes.
Here is when ‘certain specific foods’ come to your (a diabetic) rescue!
Foods have the ability to either increase or decrease your blood sugar levels. They are completely natural and free from any addictive. Moreover, you shall never suffer from adverse side effects after consuming foods.
Here are some foods that can treat diabetes:
Foods with Low GI Index:
The best foods that a diabetic can consume are those that have low glycemic index. When a diabetic consumes foods that are low in starches then, the insulin spike is well contained.
While this may not cure diabetes from the root, low GI foods shall prevent the blood sugar levels from ‘shooting through the roof’. These foods tend to get digested in a slow and steady manner.
This is quite unlike foods laden with high glucose content. Foods with high GI (such as potatoes and processed/fried foods) get absorbed by the digestive tract way too soon – thereby spiking blood sugar levels.
Some of the most common foods that have low GI include cabbage, zucchini, beans, artichokes, mushrooms, broccoli, tomato, avocado and cauliflower.
You may even add asparagus, cabbage, onions, olives and squashes to your diet. All these vegetables are packed with nutrients and have a low GI index.
Foods Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
While it sounds too good to be true but diabetics should consume healthy fats. When you start to include healthy fats that are fortified with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, your blood sugar levels are kept in check.
Apart from negating insulin spike, the Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid found in omega 3 is beneficial for your heart as well. These healthy fats cleanse your arteries from unwanted blockages.
A healthy heart implies healthy blood flow via the blood vessels and arteries. This in turn is an indicator that your blood sugar shall be normalized automatically.
After all, all your vital organs are being supplied with nutrients via optimal blood circulation. This in turn is initiated by DHA and EPA present in Omega 3 fats.
Salmon and flaxseeds are a classic example of such healthy fats.
Kale, Spinach & Other Greens with Leaves:
Another group of foods that deserves a special mention are green leafy vegetables. They are fortified with vital vitamins, minerals and are packed with fibers.
When you consume green leafy vegetables, you not only stabilize your blood sugar but also improve your overall health. Classic examples of the same include kale, spinach, collard greens, bok choy, cabbage and mustard greens.
Unflavored Greek Yogurt:
Another food item that diabetics should include in their diet plan is Greek yogurt. It is fortified with healthy gut bacteria. Green yogurt is also a rich source of iodine and is great for developing healthy bones.
Fortified with proteins and antioxidants, Greek Yogurt is also an ideal food for maintaining healthy heart muscles. Moreover, you have the distinct ability to control your blood sugar as Greek Yogurt has low GI index.
What Foods Reverse Diabetes?
When you suffer from diabetes, it is imperative that you make healthy lifestyle changes. If you fail to make changes to your lifestyle, it is quite possible that diabetes may lead to chronic ailments.
Also, it is important to understand that Type 1 Diabetes is incurable. Type 2 Diabetes however, can be treated by making positive changes to your current lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet is a part and parcel of this process.
Here are some foods that can reverse the adverse effects caused by diabetes:
These are packed with antioxidants and essential vitamins/minerals. When you consume berries in any form, your blood sugar levels are bound to stabilize.
Berries also contain high amounts of fiber. This in turn enables the digestive system of the concerned diabetic to slow down. Speedy digestion leads to insulin spike. Slow and steady digestion stops insulin from spiking.
People with prediabetes have been known to reverse their medical condition when they consumed curcumin on a regular basis. Found in turmeric, curcumin is a super-food.
It not only helps stabilize blood sugar levels but fights chronic ailments (including cancers of various types). Curcumin lowers cholesterol, improves liver health, aids digestion and assists eye-health.
Fenugreek Seeds Soaked in Water:
The seeds of fenugreek spice have been used by centuries by people suffering from diabetes. Soak a handful of fenugreek seeds in hot over and leave it overnight.
Drink the water and chew the seeds first thing in the morning. This needs to be done on an empty stomach. It helps improve insulin resistance by slowing down the body’s digestive process.
Buckwheat, quinoa, barley, rye and oats work wonders for your digestive health. They slow down your digestion and stop insulin from spiking.
As compared to refined flours, whole grains have low glycemic index. Hence, they aid in digestion and control the amount of insulin to be released by the body. Thus, when you consume these grains, your digestion is kept in control.
Nuts such as walnuts, pistachios, almonds and peanuts are a boon for diabetics. They are high in fiber, protein, vitamin and mineral content. Nuts also reduce insulin spike and stabilize your blood sugar levels.
When you combine healthy fats (such as nuts) with a meal that is high in carbohydrates, it is the fat content of the meal that reduces insulin spike. So consuming nuts daily is advisable.
Sweet Potato with Cinnamon:
Sweet potatoes have low GI index. Owing to this very reason, consuming sweet potatoes tend to control your body’s insulin production.
Sweet potatoes continue to energize your body without spiking your insulin. When you sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon or black pepper over sweet potato, your food becomes a natural medicine for fighting diabetes.
What Foods Help Prevent Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes often affects men and women that have crossed the 40 year age-mark. Unhealthy lifestyle and genetics have a major role to play in you developing diabetes.
Nonetheless, you have the ability to prevent diabetes by making changes to your current eating pattern. Here is a quick look at what all you can consume daily to stop Type 2 Diabetes from controlling your life:
Nuts, salmon and flaxseed are high in omega 3 fats. The healthy fats present in these food items allow you to keep your Type 2 diabetes in check.
The high amounts of fiber in healthy fats stabilize your blood sugar levels. At the same time, these are polyunsaturated fats. Hence, they are high in macronutrients. They also control insulin production in your body.
Foods High in Fiber Content:
A diabetic should aim at consuming 25 grams of fiber per day. So, consuming high fiber diet such as oatmeal, wild rice, whole grains and legumes is advisable.
When a diabetic consumes a high fiber diet, his digestion is slow. This stops insulin from spiking. Lack of insulin spike shall help your blood sugar levels to become stable.
So, consuming foods that are high in fiber is vital to ensure that you prevent diabetes (Type 2) from adversely affecting you. Even green leafy vegetables are highly recommended for diabetics as they are high in fiber content.
Fruits should be Include in Your Meal Plan:
Ironically, most diabetics in the world are of the opinion that fruits need to be avoided. This is because fruits are laden with sugar. While this is absolutely true, there is no reason why a diabetic should not consume them in the first place.
For a starter, fruits have natural sugars, which are absorbed and released optimally within the blood stream. Most fruits do not cause an insulin spike. In fact, when a diabetic consumes fruits, the natural energy levels of the concerned person are elevated.
Nonetheless, some fruits do spike insulin. While they may not spike insulin as much as processed sugars do, they still do manage to elevate the blood sugar levels of a diabetic considerably.
Hence, they need to be avoided (there are just a handful of such fruits available out there).
Why should a Diabetic Eat Fruits?
Fruits are laden with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. They have sugar content. Nonetheless, this is natural sugar that is unprocessed.
So, most fruits shall not elevate your blood sugar levels unnaturally. If a diabetic stops consuming fruits, your body shall be naturally deprived of vital nutrients. This in turn shall weaken your immunity and hamper your overall health.
What are the Fruits that a Diabetic can Eat without Spiking His/Her Insulin?
Fruits with lower glycemic index are best suited for diabetics. Some of the most popular ones include peaches, cherries and grapefruit. You may even have plums, as they are low in GI index and high in antioxidants.
Apples and oranges are also considered good for diabetics. They are loaded with fiber and are high in vitamins. You may even try your luck with kiwi (depending on your current level of diabetes).
You should ideally combine your fruit intake with nuts or seeds. This shall make you feel fuller. In fact, sweet potato shall also help a diabetic keep a firm control over his/her portion size.
What are the Fruits that a Diabetic should Avoid Consuming?
There are certain fruits that can spike your insulin levels rather dramatically. Hence, a diabetic should try and steer clear of these. While they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, these fruits are a bane for diabetics.
The top 3 amidst these include mango, watermelon and banana. A diabetic should also try and avoid consuming pineapple and papaya. These too have high GI reading and can raise your blood sugar levels rather quickly.
Can a Diabetic Eat Concentrated & Canned Fruits?
Canned fruits do look yummy but they are not great for your system. This is especially true from the point of view of a diabetic. So, even though you may be consuming plum or peaches, if they are canned, avoid them.
This is because canning a fruit implies lacing it with preservatives and artificial sugar. When it comes to consuming concentrated fruits then, consuming dried apples should be given a miss.
Once again, like in the case with canned fruit, concentrated fruits are dried and then (a large amount of this fruit) is made into a smaller ‘bite-sized’ concentrate. This is yet again loaded with sugar that shall give you an instant insulin spike.
What Veggies should a Diabetic Simply Avoid?
People that are diagnosed with diabetes are often always suggested to eat vegetables. While this is the ‘right’ thing to do as vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibers and antioxidants, not all vegetables are alike.
Basically, you need to consume only those vegetables that are capable of stabilizing your blood sugar levels. On the other hand, I (LeanAndFit review staff) feel that you need to skip eating veggies that shall spike your blood glucose.
Here is my top choice of the 3 vegetables that a diabetic should always avoid:
>>> Potato should be avoided by diabetics by all means. They are loaded with carbohydrates and have a high GI.
>>> You should also avoid eating corn, as they too have high glycemic index. It is loaded with fast digesting carbs. It is sure to shoot your blood sugar levels sky high.
>>> Butternut pumpkin is the third vegetable that a diabetic should avoid. It is high in GI and has less fiber content.
Here is my top choice of the 3 vegetables that a diabetic should always consume:
>>> Cauliflower is an ideal companion for diabetics. It is loaded with fiber and is low in glycemic index. It is packed with essential vitamins, minerals and is high in folate.
>>> The second vegetable that a diabetic should consume is kale. This is a superfood that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and proteins. It maintains optimal blood sugar levels.
>>> Last but not the least, never skip eating broccoli. While it may not be tasty, broccoli is loaded within Vitamin C and is a storehouse of minerals. It stabilizes blood sugar levels and aids in digestion.
What is an Ideal Meal Plan for a Diabetic to Keep Blood sugar Levels in Control?
When you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you need to watch your diet. If you fail to do so, diabetes can spiral out of control thereby opening the door to various other chronic ailments.
This statement is true for both Type 1 as well as Type 2 diabetes. A good meal plan shall not only keep your energetic, it shall also avoid unnecessary insulin spikes.
Carbohydrates need to be avoided as they have high glycemic index. Especially processed foods need to be avoided as they are loaded with artificial sugars.
If you do eat healthy carbs, do combine these with healthy fats. Doing so shall ensure that you are minimizing insulin spike. For example, clubbing sweet potato or cauliflower with salmon and wild rice.
What Should Your Dinner Plate Look Like?
When you are a diabetic, you need to consume foods that are balanced. These include a portion of carbohydrates for energy. You also need a portion of healthy fats.
Finally, a portion of protein is necessary to ensure that your body remains healthy. In case you feel thirsty then, it is best to include a beverage that is non-sweetened. For example, you can include buttermilk or coconut water to your meals.
When you have a combination of these food items, your insulin shall not spike. This in turn shall ensure that your blood sugar levels are always in check.
Basically, a lunch or dinner plate of a diabetic is divided into 3 portions. Here is a quick look at these portions:
The First Half of a Lunch Plate:
A typical plate of a diabetic contains vegetables. These include broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, salad, carrot and sweet potato.
One Quarter of a Lunch Plate:
The first quarter of the lunch plate needs to contain high servings of proteins. These need to be fat free. For example, salmon, chicken breast, egg white, low fat milk cottage cheese etc.
Last Quarter of a Lunch Plate:
The last and final portion of a diabetic lunch plate contains carbohydrates. These include low GI reading. So, you may include whole grains, sweet potato, beans, a piece of apple and low fat curd.
FYI: You can make changes to the food options based on where you stay and your personal (food) choices. The portion size needs to be as big as the size of your palm (and not larger).
What Should be the Ideal Serving Size of a Diabetic Plate?
>>> A diabetic should consume no more than 85 grams of proteins (per major meal). These need to be lean based proteins. This is as large as the palm of your hand.
>>> If you wish to have a small bowl of fruits then, they should be no more than the size of your fist.
>>> In case you want to consume chicken breast (that is 28 grams in weight) then, it should be no longer than the length of your thumb.
>>> In case you wish to consume nuts then, 55 grams is sufficient per serving. Simply cup your hand and add nuts to it. This is an ideal serving size for your nuts.
>>> If you want a teaspoon peanut butter then it is equivalent to the first section of your pinky finger (base of the pinky finger to the first cut).
>>> If you want a tablespoon of peanut butter then, it needs to be the first section of your thumb (tip of the thumb to the first cut).
FYI: You need to choose your serving size as per your bodily requirements. An increase or decrease in the above portion sizes is as per your BMI and your current level of physical activity.
What Drinks can Reverse Diabetes?
We all need to drink in order to survive. In simpler words, hydration is the key to maintaining good health. So, this is also true with regards to diabetics.
Unfortunately, unlike people with normal blood sugar levels, a diabetic needs to be very careful of what he/she drinks. This is owing to the high levels of processed sugar present in aerated drinks.
For example, a 12 ounce can of coke contains almost 10 teaspoons of sugar. This is equivalent to almost 40 grams of sugar. In simpler words, if you consume a 12 Oz can of coke then, you add 155 calories to your diet.
This is shocking indeed!
Moreover, aerated drinks and even the so-called healthy canned fruit drinks are laden with sugar and other harmful preservatives. So, if you are habitual of drinking 1 can of coke daily then, you are adding 4650 calories on a monthly basis.
Therefore, cutting 1 can of coke can make your weight loss goals a reality. Besides, your blood sugar levels too shall be stabilized.
What are the Best Drinks that Treat Diabetes?
>>> You can begin by simply drinking tap water. Instead of fizz based drinks, keep yourself hydrated with water alone.
>>> Drink lots of warm water instead of cold water.
>>> If you are so hell bent on drinking something other than water then, opt for coconut water.
>>> You can even drink green tea or white tea as they are loaded with antioxidants.
>>> Drink a cup of black coffee instead of sugar based coffee that is loaded with milk.
>>> Fresh orange juice is also highly recommended. It has the potential to keep you refreshed without elevating your blood sugar levels.
Takeaway – What Foods Lower Your Blood Sugar Immediately?
We have finally reached the conclusive analysis of this article on diabetes and its natural prevention via food. By consuming the right kinds of food, you have the distinct ability to control and even treat diabetes.
While the pharmaceutical industries may not agree to treat diabetes via diet, the food choices you make certainly determine your blood sugar levels. So, choose wisely what you eat in order to lead a healthy life.
You do not necessarily have to choose all the above mentioned foods to control your blood glucose levels. Pick the ones that you like and play with your diet.
It always pays to be satisfied with what you are eating. You can only become a healthy diabetic if you really enjoy your food.