Patients with type 2 diabetes must rely on oral hypoglycemic drugs to maintain blood sugar levels. However, it is hazardous to rely on either drugs or surgery for long-term benefits. There has always been some debate amongst physicians and nutritionists on the role of diet in the management of diabetes in the long term. Evidence suggests that certain foods can help to curb sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance that may eventually lead to less dependence on medications. Apart from carbohydrate control, here are some foods diabetics can consume that can be potentially beneficial in maintaining glycemic control.
Apples are a good source of soluble fiber that slows down the surge of sugar after a meal. In addition to this, they also help in controlling cholesterol levels. Studies also reveal that eating apples regularly can help in preventing metabolic diseases. It is believed that quercetin, a compound found in apples, aids in improving glucose metabolism of the liver and skeletal muscles. They are also known to contain polyphenols that help to fight against various chronic diseases.
Teas are beneficial when it comes to diabetes, but green tea emerges as the clear winner. Green tea contains the highest content of polyphenols in all the teas. Polyphenols help in metabolizing blood glucose levels and improve metabolic functions of the body. Green tea is also known to contain a high amount of antioxidants that can help to fight cancer, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Research has shown that nuts are highly beneficial for type 2 diabetes. Consuming nuts along with a controlled diet can help in improving blood glucose and cholesterols levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Almonds are known to lower blood sugar and insulin levels after a meal. Cashew nuts help in reducing triglycerides, cholesterol levels, and improve HDL: total cholesterol ratio. Studies have shown that pistachios contain the hormone glucagon-like peptide1, which reduces glucose levels and eating a handful of pistachios can help prediabetics in reducing or avoiding the risk of diabetes.
A diet high in fiber has been discovered as the key element in the management of type 2 diabetes. Consuming dietary fiber daily alters blood sugar levels and stimulates the feelings of satiety. A high-fiber diet is also known to help in weight loss, which is an important component of diabetes management. Soluble fiber found in cucumbers, beans, and nuts help in slowing down digestive processes and glucose absorption. Insoluble fibers like vegetables, beans, and carrots help in adding bulk to the stools and aids healthy elimination of waste products through the digestive tract.