Diabetes ocurs when the body is unable to control the sugar level in the body. There are different types of diabetes, but the most common is type 2. Type 2 diabetes treatment may often be linked to the foods we eat.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin produced by the body allows the body cells to turn glucose from the food you eat into energy.
People with type 2 diabetes generates insulin, but their cells don’t use it as well as they should. This is what medical practitioners call insulin resistance.
A lot of factors cause type 2 diabetes. Some of these factors are listed below.
- Overweight or Obesity
- Metabolic syndrome like high blood glucose, extra fat around the waist, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Excess glucose from the liver
- Heredity and lots more
There are several visible and unnoticeable symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Some of these symptoms could be so mild that many people with type 2 diabetes do not discover until it gets worse. Although type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease, it has treatment.
Even though there are several drugs you could use to treat this type of diabetes, a proper meal plan can improve their condition significantly for a healthier life.
To treat type 2 diabetes, you have to avoid highly processed carbs, sugary drinks, trans fats, saturated fats, and red/processed meats in your diet.
Apart from abstinence from certain food types, type 2 diabetes treatment may be obtained from the foods you consume. This post gives you a list of top 10 foods for diabetics cure.
Top 10 Foods for Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
The foods for type 2 diabetes treatment may help people with diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels without medication.
Though there are several debates as to whether diet cures diabetes, but it is agreed that people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can control blood glucose levels by eating specific foods.
To cure type 2 diabetes, the right combination of foods will regulate your blood sugar level and avoid big swings that can cause chronic diabetes symptoms. Different foods that you consume may affect your blood sugar.
Foods that have high carbohydrate content have a severe impact on blood sugar levels.
Carbohydrates contained in grains, bread, pasta, milk, sweets, fruit, and starchy vegetables convert to glucose in the blood. This raises blood sugar and consequently causes diabetes.
To achieve your blood sugar level target, you have to eat different kind of foods but monitor portions of foods with high carbohydrate content. Below is a list of foods that maintain blood sugar levels.
1. Non-Starchy Vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables contain fewer carbohydrates. This type of veggies keep you full and boost your intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals.
These vegetables are simply the best of diabetics because they are low in calories and carbohydrates. Non-starchy vegetables include the following:
- Greens, like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard
- Cruciferous veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower
- Brussels sprouts
- Artichoke hearts
For type 2 diabetes treatment, tomatoes are known to have a high content of lycopene. Tomatoes have a low glycemic index ranking. This makes it one of the foods that manage the blood sugar level.
According to a study, a medium-sized tomato each day reduced blood pressure.
Researchers, therefore, concluded that eating tomatoes, whether raw or cooked, help lower blood pressure or cardiovascular risks that are associated with type 2 diabetes.
3. Whole Grains
Since grains are rich in carbohydrates, most people think they are forbidden for people with type 2 diabetes. Although people with diabetes should avoid carbs, some carbs are useful for managing diabetes.
Vitamin-rich whole grains are vital ingredients in a healthy diabetes diet. These foods contain fiber, which is vital for digestive health.
Fiber also promotes feelings of fullness, which prevents you from reaching for unhealthy snacks. That, in turn, helps to slow the rise of blood sugar. Whole grains for type 2 diabetes treatment include:
- Wild or brown rice
- Whole-grain bread, such as 100 percent whole-wheat bread
- Whole-grain cereal, such as steel-cut oats
- Whole-wheat pasta
On the other hand, popular grain foods, including white bread, as well as sugary, processed, or packaged grains, should be avoided or limited. This is to prevent unwanted blood sugar spikes.
Also, refined white flour doesn’t contain the same vitamins, minerals, fiber, and health benefits as whole grains.
4. Oranges and Other Citrus
Researchers have shown that citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits lower the risk of diabetes. For effective results, however, you have to eat whole natural fruits rather than juice.
5. Low-Fat Plain Milk and Yogurt
Diary is an excellent choice for people with diabetes only if they are conscious of the fat content of dairy products. Dairy products like milk and yogurt may contain high fat, which can cause you to gain excess weight.
And as you know, extra weight and obesity can reduce insulin sensitivity. This further causes prediabetes and, later, diabetes. And if you’re already living with diabetes, consuming more fat-rich dairy may lead to complications.
Only low-fat or fat-free dairy make a list of foods for type 2 diabetes treatment. To cure type 2 diabetes, non- fat dairy keeps calories down and unhealthy saturated fats at bay.
Fat-free milk and yogurt avoid fat while providing calcium as well as fortified vitamin D in many dairy products. Best diary options for type 2 diabetes patients include:
- Skim milk
- Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Nonfat, low-sodium cottage cheese
- Reduced-fat cheese (in moderation)
- Nonfat, unsweetened kefir
The following dairy products must be avoided as they are terrible options when it comes to treating diabetes.
- Full-fat or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk, especially chocolate or other flavored milk
- Reduced/full-fat cottage cheese
- Fat-filled yogurt
- Full-fat cheese
- Sweetened or full-fat kefir
Nuts like almonds, pumpkin, sesame, walnuts, flaxseeds, and pecans contain unsaturated fats, which help lower harmful cholesterol levels. They contain magnesium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Walnuts provide an essential fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid that boosts heart health and lower cholesterol. Besides, they’re full of vitamin E, protein, folic acid, and zinc.
Many other nuts provide healthy fats and can curb hunger, but these two are particularly potent. Nuts help to lower blood sugar.
7. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Fish
Fish with omega-3 fatty acid provides protein and lower the risk of heart disease. Fish and other proteinous foods do not contain carbs, and so they do not increase blood sugar levels.
For people with diabetes, it is best to take their fish grilled, broiled, or baked. People with diabetes should avoid breaded or fried fish. Omega-3 fatty fish include salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, and mackerel.
Ginsengs are herbal plants. These plants have several medicinal values. Some of these include lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels and the treatment of diabetes.
9. Green Tea
Green tea contains substances called polyphenols, which are antioxidants found in every plant. This type of tea helps sensitize cells, so they are better able to metabolize sugar.
According to a study, people who drank at least 6 cups of tea a week were less likely to develop diabetes. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist and director of women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, says:
We know people with diabetes have problems metabolizing sugar, insulin comes along to decrease sugar, but with type 2 diabetes, the body isn’t so sensitive to insulin, so blood sugar levels go up.
Through a complex biochemical reaction, tea — especially green tea — helps sensitize cells so they are better able to metabolize sugar. Green tea is good for people with diabetes because it helps the metabolic system function better.
10. Healthy Fats
Certain foods containing healthy fats help to curb unhealthy cravings, lose weight, and ultimately attain better control over your blood sugar.
The monounsaturated fats in avocados, almonds, and pecans or the polyunsaturated fats in walnuts and sunflower oil help to reduce bad cholesterol. They are also a great pick when eating for type 2 diabetes.
Meanwhile, saturated fats and trans fats are dangerous for the heart and overall health. Healthy fats that serve as a treatment for type 2 diabetes are:
- Nuts, like almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios
- Nut butter
- Seeds, like flaxseed and chia seed
- Plant-based oils, like soybean oil, corn oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil
- Fish, like salmon and tuna
Type 2 diabetes treatment isn’t all about the drugs you take; you need to watch the kind of foods you eat too. Foods that will help you manage blood sugar levels, as mentioned above, are your best options to treat diabetes.