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10 Best Superfoods for Diabetics

10 Best Superfoods for Diabetics

Have you heard of superfoods? These nutritious all-stars are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and more. When you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, your diet and nutrition are essentials to managing your blood sugar and feeling your best. Carbs, protein, fat, and fiber all affect your blood sugar in very different ways. But balanced meals with a few key superfoods keep your blood sugar levels in your target range.

If you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic, consider adding these 10 superfoods to your diet:

  1. Beans –These plant-based powerhouses are packed with protein and vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and fiber, which all good for managing your diabetes. Choose kidney, pinto, navy, or black beans, but limit your portions. Beans have carbohydrates, too. Even nut spreads like almond butter, cashew butter, and peanut butter provide key nutrients.
  2. Berries – Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries—each are packed with antioxidants, vitamins C and K, manganese, potassium, and fiber. The best part? These fruits can satisfy your sweet tooth when you’re controlling how much sugar you eat.
  3. Citrus fruits – A diet high in soluble fiber, like citrus fruits, can slow the absorption of sugar and control its levels in your blood. Similarly to berries, citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit provide a daily dose of fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and water. They’ll give you that sweetness fix without the high blood sugar levels. It’s best to avoid processed fruits and fruit smoothies, which contain added sugars.
  1. Dark, leafy greens – Low in carbs and calories, greens like kale, spinach, collards, and cabbage are packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, plus calcium, iron, potassium, and protein. Like fiber, protein will help you feel full longer. This is important when you feel the urge to start snacking. You’ll reduce the chances of eating unhealthy, processed foods and sweets that increase your blood sugar levels.
  2. Fish –Protein is an important part of your diabetes meal plan. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are not only packed with protein, but they also have healthy fats that help to reduce your risk of heart disease and inflammation. Look for salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, and albacore tuna. Stay away from breaded or fried fish as they are full of extra carbs, fat, and calories.
  3. Milk and yogurt – Many milk and yogurt products are loaded with calcium and vitamin D, improving insulin secretion and regulating your blood sugar levels. Watch out for those carbohydrates, though. Certain products are higher in these, and can include fat and added sugars.
  4. Nuts – Packed with protein, nuts are high in fiber, folate, minerals like magnesium and potassium, antioxidants, vitamin E, and more. Add almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, cashews, pistachios, and peanuts to your diet in moderation.
  5. Sweet potatoes – Did you know sweet potatoes are a nutritious food that can also satisfy your craving for sweets? This alternative to regular potatoes is a good source of vitamin A and C, fiber, and potassium. Add a little cinnamon for a pop of flavor.
  6. Tomatoes – Pureed, steamed, raw, or in a sauce—any way you eat your tomatoes is good for your diabetes. They’re non-starchy and have a low glycemic index (a ranking of carbs in foods). They’re low in sugar and calories, too.
  7. Whole grains – Ditch refined grains like white flour, white rice, and white bread for whole grains like whole oats, quinoa, whole-grain barley, and farro. Refined grains can cause your blood sugar or glucose levels to soar. But whole grains are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and help stabilize your blood sugar.

If you’re struggling to control your diet or need extra guidance on managing your diabetes, Frederick Health can help. Our Diabetes & Nutrition Center offers a 10-hour educational program for patients with diabetes that will educate, evaluate, and support your specific needs – with help from our expert staff. The program includes an initial consultation, visits with a dietitian to help you with meal planning, diabetes classes, and more.

We also offer nutrition counseling and adult weight loss programs through our Nutrition & Weight Management services.

We’re here for you every step of your health and wellness journey.