As a diabetes patient, it is difficult to figure out the best foods for diabetic patients in Nigeria. It becomes more annoying because you have to find the best food for diabetes control to keep yourself healthy. The whole idea is ensuring that you eat foods that maintain low blood sugar levels.
As you do this, you need to create a balance. Foods for diabetic patients should also be able to protect you from other complications resulting from this condition. Heart disease and stroke are among the most common complications that may arise from diabetes.
If you are looking for a list of foods for diabetic patients, check out our list below.
If you didn’t know, let’s tell you now, this is one of the healthiest meals you can eat on earth. Some of the fishes that fall into this category include herring, salmon, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. These fishes are all top sources of EPA and DHA which are omega-3 fatty acids. As you can guess, they are beneficial for a healthy heart.
As a diabetic, it is very important to get as many of these fats as possible into your body. This reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease. The acids also protect the cells lining the blood vessels and improve artery function.
Generally, people who eat fatty fish are less at risk of heart failure and other kinds of heart disease. Asides the omega-3 fatty acids, fish is one of the best sources of animal protein.
Green vegetables are known to be very low in calories and extremely high in nutrients. Along with these, they don’t contain so many digestible carbs. Usually, these carbs are among the causes of a spike in blood sugar levels.
Kale, spinach, and several other greens contain lots of minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin C. according to research, these greens have been known to reduce inflammatory markers in diabetic patients. They also reduce fasting blood sugar and are great sources of zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants help to protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.
This is a very delicious spice that is also filled with tons of antioxidant activity. According to several pieces of research, cinnamon has the ability to make your insulin sensitivity better. It is also laden with the ability to reduce blood sugar levels.
Being able to control hemoglobin A1cis very important to control diabetes over the long term. Hemoglobin A1c reflects a person’s blood sugar level for two to three months.
Cinnamon also has the ability to reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels. However, we advise that you don’t take more than one teaspoon of cassia cinnamon daily. This is because of the coumarin content which can result in other health issues at higher doses.
It is a known fact that eggs come with immense health benefits. As a matter of fact, if you want to eat healthily and remain full for hours, one of your best calls is eggs. By consuming eggs frequently, you can save yourself from heart disease.
Some of the advantages of eating eggs include:
- Decreasing inflammation.
- Improving insulin sensitivity.
- Increase in “good” HDL cholesterol.
- Modifying the shape and size of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
According to one of the studies carried out, type 2 diabetes patients who ate two eggs daily had improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels. This is besides the fact that eggs are among the best sources of zeaxanthin and lutein.
It is great to eat eggs but it is better to eat the yolk. This is because the health benefits you get from eggs is because of the yolk.
These seeds are great for diabetic patients because they have low digestible carb contents and high fiber. The fiber and carb contents of chia seeds are responsible for the fact that they do no raise blood sugar. As a matter of fact, the kind of fiber in chia seeds, viscous fiber, lowers blood sugar levels. This is because it slows the movement and absorption of food through the gut.
Due to the ability of chia seeds to keep you full for longer periods, they help to maintain a healthy weight. It also reduces the number of calories that you can absorb from different foods you consume in the same meal. Science also has it that chia seeds help to reduce inflammatory markers and blood pressure.
This is one of the healthiest spices in the world. It has been used as a remedy for diseases for several centuries. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and it helps to lower blood sugar and inflammation. Because of this, it is very potent in reducing heart disease.
Beyond all of these, curcumin is also potent in maintaining kidney health in diabetic patients. This function is very important because diabetes is among the top causes of kidney disease. There is only one problem with curcumin, the human body finds it difficult to absorb it alone.
To make it easy for your body to absorb turmeric easily, consume it with piperine. Piperine is one of the ingredients of black pepper. This ingredient increases the absorption of curcumin by at least 2000%.
This is one of the top dairy products for diabetic patients. The reason for this is that it is able to reduce the risk of heart disease and control blood sugar. Another reason is that it contains a healthy amount of probiotics. This is why we just had to add it to our list of foods for diabetics.
Research results show that several dairy foods, including yogurt, can help in weight loss. It also improves body composition among diabetic patients. This is probably because of the conjugated linoleic acid and high calcium content of dairy foods.
What is baffling about Greek yogurt is that they only contain between 6 and 8 grams of carbs in each serving. This is far lower than regular yogurt. By the way, Greek yogurt has a higher protein content. This is known to facilitate weight loss as it decreases calorie intake and reduces appetite.
Beyond being delicious, nuts are healthy and are regarded as great food for diabetic patients. This is because of their nutrient content. They contain very low digestible carbs and a healthy amount of fiber. However, these contents vary from one nut to another.
Check the list below to see the number of digestible carbs per 1-oz nut serving:
- Walnuts: 2 grams
- Pistachios: 5 grams
- Pecans: 1.2 grams
- Macadamia: 1.5 grams
- Hazelnuts: 2 grams
- Cashews: 7.7 grams
- Brazil nuts: 1.4 grams
- Almonds: 2.6 grams
Based on several pieces of research, we have reliable information that nuts have the ability to reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels. They can also reduce LDL and HbA1c levels as well. This is particularly important for diabetic patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.
When you think of nutritious vegetables, broccoli sits among the most nutritious of the lot. Half a cup of cooked broccoli contains just 3 grams of digestible carbs and 27 calories. It also contains certain important nutrients, one of which is magnesium and vitamin C.
Broccoli, according to certain pieces of research, has the potency to reduce insulin levels. It also helps to protect your cells from free radicals that are produced from metabolism. Apart from these, broccoli is also a great source of zeaxanthin and lutein, antioxidants that protect the eyes.
Extra virgin olive oil
This oil carries a lot of benefits for keeping the human heart healthy. First, it contains a monosaturated fat known as oleic acid. This acid improves HDL and triglycerides that are generally at unhealthy levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
Oleic acid also helps to raise the production of GLP-1 hormone. Olive oil, as a whole, helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. This is because it contains polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that reduces inflammation. It also protects the cells of the blood vessels and avoids damage to your LDL cholesterol. Such damage may result from decreased blood pressure and oxidation.
Some of the reasons why extra virgin olive oil is seen as healthy are that it is unrefined and it retains antioxidants. We advise that you get your extra virgin olive oil from a reliable source. This is because many of these oils can be adulterated.
Flaxseeds are incredibly healthy as a portion is made up of lignans. This reduces the risk of heart disease and also improves control of blood sugar. Studies also show that flaxseeds improve hemoglobin A1c.
They also reduce the risk of stroke and improve gut health, a feeling of fullness, and insulin sensitivity. Since your body will find it difficult to absorb flaxseeds whole, you have to grind them. When you place the seeds in the refrigerator, cover the container tightly to ensure the seeds don’t go rancid.
We have shown you a list of the best die for diabetic patients in this post. What other foods for diabetic patients in Nigeria do you know? Share them with us in the comments section.