Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people each year. With so many people affected, it’s important to know the foods for diabetics and how they can help you survive this disease. Certain foods are perfect for those living with diabetes. We will now be discussing these food items in depth!
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. People with diabetes have too much glucose (sugar) in their blood and urine because they either don’t make enough of it, can’t properly process it, or both. As I mentioned before, there are many types of diabetes, but all similarly affect the body. If there is too much glucose in the bloodstream it can cause serious damage to your major organs including your eyes and kidneys if left untreated. There are people who have been diagnosed with type II diabetes that don’t experience any symptoms until their pancreas or liver begin to fail them from uncontrolled sugar levels.
Many people think because they take insulin shots for this disease that it will be easy to control, which isn’t always true. To maintain normal sugar levels, you should focus on eating foods that not only taste good but also promote healthy living while keeping sugars low enough for long-term health benefits without having potentially fatal complications over time such as heart attack or stroke.
Why do diabetics need specified food items?
No matter what type of diabetes you have – Type-I or Type-II – it is important to keep blood sugar levels in check. The only way to do so is by taking proper medication and eating the right kind of foods at regular intervals. There are some simple changes one can make to their daily diet which may help them reduce high blood sugars drastically making life easier for those suffering from diabetes.
The following section lists out ten diabetic-friendly snacks as well as lunch options that diabetics must include in their meal plans daily:
- Breakfast Options (Low Carb): Oatmeal, fruit salad with whole-grain cereal, skim milk, and a banana
- Lunch Options (Low Carb): Tuna salad with low-fat mayo on whole wheat bread; grilled chicken sandwich made from two mini pita pockets filled with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mustard or BBQ sauce.
- Dinner options: Baked tilapia over brown rice pilaf topped off with steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and green beans alongside a mixed fruit salad. Include yogurt as dessert to complete the meal plan for dinner.
How do you know which foods are good for diabetics?
Well, it’s all about moderation. If you’re on a really strict diet, then your next best bet is to eat healthy fats like olive oil or avocados because they are low in carbs and sugars while still being very filling! Next up would be lean meats that have no skin such as fish, chicken breast without the skin, pork loin chops/steaks with some type of green veggie side dish depending on how many calories per meal you need. You could even use coconut milk instead of cream or butter if necessary but keep in mind dairy can cause bloatedness so using non-dairy alternatives will help digestion rather than hurt it when eating high-carb foods.
Breakfast Ideas For Diabetics
Breakfast is important because it provides an opportunity to start your day off right. It allows you the chance to eat a healthy meal and get in some nutrients before breakfast becomes too much of a distant memory by lunchtime.
Porridge with fruit and milk or yogurt
- Porridge oats (100g)
- Fresh fruit of your choice, chopped into small pieces if necessary
- Milk or yogurt for serving. For example, almond milk or soy can be used as alternatives to dairy products. You could also use a vegan alternative such as rice milk or oat which is made from oats.
- Bring the water with the porridge oats to boil in a saucepan over high heat and leave it on medium heat until it becomes thickened without stirring at all.
- It only takes about five minutes but you should wait ten minutes before adding any fruits so that they don’t become too mushy during the cooking process.
- Add fresh fruit of your choice (we recommend bananas, blueberries, and strawberries) to the porridge towards the end of cooking.
- Serve with milk or yogurt on top for extra calories if necessary.
If you are diabetic you can skip adding fruit but it’s recommended that you add some type of berries because they have a low glycemic index thus making them acceptable for diabetics.
Eggs on toast, but not fried
- Bread of choice (we recommend sourdough or rye) – two slices per serving
- Eggs as many as you want, scrambled. If cooking for multiple people we advise using at least three eggs so that everyone gets a nice-sized portion.
- Don’t forget to add salt and pepper!
- For each person simply toast their bread then crack an egg into the frying pan with low-fat butter/margarine/oil and cook it until done to your specifications, adding lots of seasoning if desired.
- Scrambled is recommended but fried will work too just make sure it’s not greasy at all because diabetics already have poor lipid profiles in comparison to non-diabetics.
For diabetics, try to avoid fried eggs because they are high in cholesterol which can affect your lipid profiles if consumed regularly.
- A protein powder you like (we recommend whey or soy) – one scoop per serving
- Fruit of choice (banana is great for taste and texture but any will work), at least half a cup chopped into small pieces
Milk alternatives such as almond milk or even water depending on how thick you want the smoothie to be when finished blending all ingredients Instructions: Add about four ounces of liquid if using water with your chosen fruit then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until mixed thoroughly Enjoy!
For diabetics, don’t add fruit or milk alternative to your smoothie if you are diabetic because it will cause an increase in blood sugar levels which is the opposite of what diabetics want!
Tortillas (whole wheat works best but any type of tortilla will do) – one per serving. It’s recommended that you only use half a burrito for women and two whole burritos for men. This recipe yields four servings altogether so feel free to double up depending on how many people are eating them. You can also choose whether or not you’d like eggs with this recipe as well, though they’re highly recommended by our staff Nutritionists.
- If including eggs, microwave them in the tortilla without opening it so that they become cooked thoroughly.
- You can also cook eggs by boiling or frying if you’d prefer some variety to your breakfast burritos!
- If choosing not to include eggs, wrap up all of your ingredients together before microwaving for two minutes on high heat. This will give everything enough time to get warm and retain their flavors throughout consumption which is key with this recipe because there are a lot of different tastes going into one delicious dish!
For diabetics, remember that tortillas have an extremely high glycemic index (GI) but brown rice wraps are great alternatives made from whole grains instead of white flour-like most other types of bread out there.
Lunch Ideas For Diabetics
Lunch is important because it’s one of the most important meals of the day and we want to make sure you’re eating healthy!
- Whole wheat wraps (or brown rice for diabetics) – two per serving
- Half an avocado sliced thinly or mashed depending on preference
- Cucumber, sliced into thin strips
- Layout your wrap then spread half an avocado evenly across it making sure not to go too close to the edges.
- Add cucumbers as desired plus salt and pepper if desired Fold up both sides over towards each other until they meet in the middle.
- Then roll from left side to right until everything is rolled tightly enough so that all ingredients are kept in place and enjoy!
For diabetics, keep in mind that avocados are high in fat so one should consume them sparingly.
- Low sodium vegetable broth – one cup per serving if using premade store-bought or three cups per serving if making it from scratch
- Vegetarian Lentils (can also use chicken stock for nonvegetarian purposes) – half a cup per serving depending on how much you want to make
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh herbs of choice such as parsley or basil
- For the lentils simply follow directions on the package but otherwise bring your water/broth to a boil before adding salt
- Allow soup base to simmer for about 20 minutes then add minced fresh herbs of choice for extra flavor
For diabetics, remember to avoid adding salt if you’re watching your sodium intake. This soup is already low in salt but feels free to add more or less depending on personal preference. Just be careful not the overdo it because too much salt will definitely make this dish taste bad!
Dinner Ideas For Diabetics
These dinners are all simple and easy to prepare so that everyone can enjoy them no matter how busy their schedule may get during the day when preparing meals becomes a hassle.
- Eggs – one per serving (two if doubling up)
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a frying pan with butter/oil and add eggs once heated to the point of bubbling
- Add spinach, tomatoes, and cheese for extra flavor if desired to
- Allow egg mixture to cook thoroughly so that nothing gets cold
- Slice omelet in half then serve
For diabetics, remember that all ingredients should be cooked thoroughly before eating.
- Whole wheat spaghetti – four ounces per serving (can also use brown rice pasta for diabetics)
- Tuna packed in water – two tablespoons per serving
- Salt and pepper
- Cook your noodles according to package instructions until they’re tender but not too soft
- Drain them completely
- Once draining is complete mix together canned tuna with salt/pepper as preferred
- Add drained noodles back pot along with the sauce and mix thoroughly
- Serve and enjoy!
For diabetics, remember that whole wheat pasta is a better option than white flour or rice noodles.
Lemon Pepper Chicken
- Chicken breast – four ounces per serving (can also use turkey for diabetics)
- Lemon juice – one tablespoon per serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix lemon juice into the chicken until it’s coated well then let marinate in your fridge for at least 15 minutes
- Cook chicken as desired (I prefer baking because grilling adds extra fat but if you choose to grill make sure not to add any oil/butter onto the meat beforehand!)
- Enjoy with fresh vegetables like broccoli or green beans on the side!
Furthermore, for diabetics, remember to avoid adding butter, oil, salt, and pepper to the meat when cooking.
- Water – two cups per serving Green tea bag – one per person (can add more for a stronger taste but watch out because too much will make it bitter rather than delicious!)
- Honey or sugar as preferred
- Bring water to a boil then add green tea bag into a cup
- Allow around five minutes for your drink to steep to get all of its flavors.
- Then remove teabag from hot liquid before adding sweetener
For diabetics, remember that green tea is great at reducing stress so it may be beneficial in controlling blood pressure levels. It also contains antioxidants which can help improve overall health while preventing disease!
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – two tablespoons per serving
- Sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)
- Almond milk or water
- Mix together cocoa and sugar substitutes of choice in your preferred amount to make a paste
- Add almond milk/water until it turns into a thick sauce heat on the stovetop for one minute then transfer to a bowl
- Allow the mixture to cool before putting in the fridge for at least an hour Serve with fresh fruit like strawberries
For diabetics, remember that dark chocolate is good for you because it contains antioxidants that can help fight off free radicals. Remember not to go overboard though as all things should be consumed in moderation. Remember to cook your food thoroughly if you’re a diabetic! This will ensure the starches are cooked through so there’s no risk of having a blood sugar spike after eating. Remember that all ingredients should be cooked thoroughly before consuming them if you’re diabetic! This will ensure the starches are properly broken down so there’s no risk of spiking your blood sugar levels while enjoying food.
Foods to Avoid for Diabetics
- Bread and pasta are made from white or refined flour. These include bagels, biscuits, cakes, cookies, crackers, doughnuts, French toast/pancakes (made with white bread), noodles/spaghetti (white pasta), pancakes (from pancake mix or boxed pancake batter), waffles (made from a packaged mix) and pizza crust.
- Many baking mixes contain sugar as well as other ingredients that can affect blood glucose levels quickly after being consumed. The exception is whole-grain products such as brown rice noodles which have been minimally processed so they retain their fiber content but should still be counted towards one’s daily carbohydrate intake allowance. Hence, diabetic patients should take care of their carbohydrate intake to avoid any complications.
- Mainly it’s a simple sugar called glucose, a type of carbohydrate found in food. Corn syrup is another form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), meaning it contains more fructose than regular table sugar does – about 55 percent versus 45 percent for cane or beet sugars. In other words, even though HFCS isn’t “natural” like honey or maple syrup – both sweeteners that are derived from plants but have different compositions because they’re not purified nearly as much – it’s not unhealthful in the same way as artificial sweeteners.
- Most foods made with white flour: cookies, crackers, and other baked goods; packaged bread such as hot dog and hamburger buns; sweet or regular crackers (even some rice cakes); cake frosting; many ready-to-eat breakfast bowls of cereal; most cold cuts (bologna, salami).
- Candy bars of all kinds, sugarcoated cereal pieces like Froot Loops®, doughnuts, and muffins which contain high amounts of refined sugars that can lead to a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. Again these types of food items should be avoided if you are a diabetic patient otherwise substantial health problems may occur due to this reason.
In conclusion, food for diabetics should be high in protein and low on carbohydrates. This is because carbs can cause blood sugar levels to spike which may not be good for those with diabetes. Protein will help the body maintain a steady release of insulin as well as other hormones that regulate glucose levels in the bloodstream. If you think this post was informative or helpful please share it! The more people who know about how to feed their brains better, the less likely they are to have health problems down the road due to poor diet choices.
A Word From MantraCare
If you are looking for more information on this topic or on Diabetes treatment, Online Therapy, Hypertension, PCOS treatment, Weight Loss, and Physiotherapy, please visit mantracare.org or feel free to reach out to us at +91-9711118331 or email at [email protected]. You can also download our free Android App or IOS app.
However, here at Mantra Care, we have an incredibly skilled team of health care professionals and coaches. They will be happy to answer any questions and provide further information. So you know what’s best for your unique needs.