Foods to control diabetes

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Research studies have identified some special foods having potential to control diabetes. Keeping your blood sugar levels even and consuming these special food items along with healthy balanced foods in moderation is the key to control diabetes and prevent its complications.

Ideal healthy super foods for diabetes control

Certain healthy foods of plant and animal origin have been found to actually help in control and management of diabetes. Eating these foods daily may help a lot in our fight to control this debilitating chronic diabetes.

Beans are special foods for diabetes control

Beans are an important source of proteins throughout the world. Beans, any type of beans, have high levels of soluble fiber which keeps blood glucose from spiking after eating and helps in diabetes control.

Green beans help in control of diabetes
Green beans help in control of diabetes

One cup of boiled beans may contain as much as 13 grams of fiber. However beans must be well boiled and cooked. Some types of raw beans are known to contain a harmful toxin (lectin phytohaemagglutinin) which we can control and remove by boiling.

Broccoli to control diabetes and reverse diabetes damage

Development of vascular diseases in people with diabetes is due to damages to the healthy blood vessels caused by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Hyperglycemia in diabetes causes ROS levels to increase many-fold, damaging blood vessels. Super food broccoli contains a phytochemical called sulforaphane.


Sulforaphane is found to help production of enzymes which protect blood vessels and also reduces the ROS levels. Paul Thornalley et al of University of Warwick concluded in their research studies that sulforaphane from broccoli may help counter processes linked to the development of vascular disease in diabetes.

Bitter melon as a special food for diabetes control

In Philippines bitter melon is already in use for control of diabetes. Extract of bitter melon in tablet form are sold in Philippines as food supplement and are exported to many countries for diabetes treatments.

Bitter gourd (bitter melon) for diabetes
Bitter gourd (bitter melon) for diabetes

Certain components of this food item have been believed to activate AMPK (5′ AMP-activated protein kinase) enzyme which regulates and controls glucose uptake. The lectin, a sugar-binding protein present in bitter melon has insulin-like activity and controls blood sugar levels.

This vegetable food has the property of non protein-specific linking together to insulin receptors. By acting on the peripheral tissues lectin controls and lowers blood sugar concentrations. Acting on brain it also has appetite suppressing effect. Raw juice of this vegetable food may be taken as such or it can be cooked to make various food preparations.

Oatmeal for diabetes

A Lammert et al, of University Hospital Mannheim, in their studies found that that oatmeal consumption has helped in 40% reduction in insulin dosage requirement to achieve controlled glucose levels in diabetes. Oatmeal has lower glycemic index when compared to other cereal foods.

This unique quality of oatmeal food is due to the presence of high levels of soluble fibers. These super soluble fibers slow down carbohydrate break down into glucose and its absorption into blood stream. They keeps one feeling fuller and regulate the blood glucose levels in diabetes.

Strawberries as super foods for diabetes control

Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries have ellagic acid, a natural phenol antioxidant. These fruits also have high fiber giving a fuller feeling.

S Pinto Mda et al of Department of Food and Experimental Nutrition, University of São Paulo, in their evaluation ellagic acid derivatives, ellagitannins, suggested that  ellagitannins and ellagic acid have good potential for the management of hyperglycemia and hypertension linked to type 2 diabetes.

Sweet potatoes for diabetes

A fascinating fact about sweet potatoes is that it is helpful in blood sugar control. Though it is a starchy root food its GI when cooked is only 50. It contains more than 3 grams of dietary fiber for medium sized tuber.

Recent research has shown that sweet potatoes significantly increase the adiponectin required for healthier insulin metabolism. Ludvik B et al of Department of Medicine III, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Vienna used an extract of super sweet potato, Caiapo, to investigate the efficacy to control diabetes.

They concluded that their study confirmed the beneficial effects of Caiapo on plasma glucose as well as cholesterol levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Sweet potatoes can be boiled and consumed as such or used in food preparations.

Tomatoes for diabetes

Tomatoes contain a carotene, lycopene, a potent antioxidant. These super fruits can be consumed raw and its juice may be taken. However sometimes uncooked tomatoes had been the cause of salmonella outbreaks. Tomatoes can be cooked and added in food preparations to reap their superfood benefits.

Valero MA et al in their research review and meta-analysis of scientific evidence on lycopene in tomato and its derivatives, concluded that tomato intake increases the plasma levels of the lycopene and that lycopene and other tomato derivatives have a beneficial effect on the oxidative stress in diabetic patients.

Salmon and other fish for diabetes control

Fish foods are rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats known to reduce the risk of heart diseases and inflammation. People with diabetes usually have higher levels of triglycerides and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils lower apolipoproteins and triglycerides and help in raising HDL levels.

Whole grain foods for diabetes control

JS de Munter et al of Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston in their research studies concluded that higher consumption of whole grains/bran can contribute to the prevention of type 2 diabetes and give beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis.

This super bran component of grains is very rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers. While de-braned grains make glucose levels rise, whole grains having complex bran carbohydrates and fiber tend to slow down carbohydrate digestion and glucose absorption.

Hence there is a steady supply of energy without sudden rise or fall of blood glucose levels. Whole grains include super grains like whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain barley, whole oats, whole rye, whole grain corn and popcorn, buckwheat, millet and sorghum.

Vinegar as a special food for diabetes control

Vinegar has been in medicinal use for centuries, and its use for control of diabetes is well documented. Carol Johnston, of the University of Arizona, East, had inferred that two tablespoons of vinegar controls and decreases both fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels considerably. Vinegar can be taken separately or added in our food preparations.

Many food spices have been found to have hypoglycemic function and are discussed in the post ‘Spices for control of diabetes‘. Judicious addition of the above mentioned foods for diabetes in daily intake can help in the control of diabetes.

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1.Green beans help in control of diabetes
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Image author: Susan Slater
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2.Vegetable food broccoli in control of diabetes
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Image author: David Monniaux
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3.Vegetable food bitter melon in control of diabetes
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Image author: Challiyan at Malayalam Wikipedia
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Current topic in Nutrition, Health & Wellness: Foods to control diabetes.

3 Replies to “Foods to control diabetes”

  1. Emory Deren says:

    Thanks for all your labor on this web page. My aunt really loves setting aside time for internet research and it’s simple to grasp why. Many of us hear all regarding the dynamic tactic you offer helpful tips and hints via your blog and therefore invigorate participation from other people about this concern plus our own child is really understanding a lot of things. Take advantage of the rest of the new year. You are always performing a powerful job.

  2. Clyde Barbera says:

    One gets diabetes through food and it can be cured through food. Thanks.

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