Best Produce for Diabetics
If you have diabetes, one of the best ways to control blood sugar levels is to consume a diet high in fruits and vegetables, especially raw produce or produce consumed in homemade juices. Here's where to find the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
Where to Find Vitamins
Produce rich in vitamin A includes kale, parsley, carrots, spinach, chard, beet greens, watercress, broccoli, and romaine.
Fruits and veggies with vitamin B1 (thiamine) include garlic, sunflower seeds, and buckwheat sprouts.
Vitamin B2 is found in broccoli, kale, parsley, beet greens, and prunes.
Vitamin B6 is abundant in spinach, turnips greens, bell peppers, prunes, and kale.
Vitamin B12 is found in soy and tempeh.
Pantothenic acid is abundant in broccoli, kale, and cauliflower.
Niacin (vitamin B3) is found in brewer's yeast, wheat bran, and peanuts.
Vitamin E is abundant in tomatoes, carrots, watercress, asparagus, and spinach.
Where to Find Minerals
Iron is found in pineapple, blackberries, strawberries, parsley, cruciferous veggies, beets with greens, parsley, and chard.
Sodium is found in celery, spinach, beets with greens, cabbage, garlic, sunflower seeds, turnips, and watercress.
Potassium is found in cruciferous veggies, celery, radishes, garlic, asparagus, and chard.
Zinc is found in turnips, parsley, carrots, cucumbers, spinach, garlic, ginger root, and lettuce.
Manganese is found in cruciferous veggies, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, beet greens, and spinach.
Calcium is found in carrots, celery, broccoli, garlic, spinach, beet greens, lettuce, string beans, and watercress.
Natural diuretics that help control blood pressure include asparagus, cucumber, parsley, and lemon juice.
Beets provide essential fiber, phytochemicals, and minerals. Other essential veggies for diabetics include string beans, which support the pancreas and help stabilize blood sugar levels, and cabbage, which has properties that mimic insulin. Garlic reduces blood sugar levels and is also a potent antioxidant that fights infections, which can be especially dangerous for diabetics.
Foods to Avoid
If you are a diabetic, go easy on the following foods, all of which could cause dangerous spikes in blood sugar:
Sugar, artificial sweeteners, and honey. However, you may use sweeteners like stevia.
Candy and chocolate. If you're desperate for chocolate, eat dark chocolate, which contains less sugar and at least 70 percent cocoa solids.
Avoid foods containing fructose, glucose, and dextrose — all forms of sugar.
Avoid refined, processed grains found in cakes, biscuits, pies, tarts, breakfast cereals, wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, bread, pasta, and pastry.
Don't eat large amounts of vegetables that contain high levels of carbohydrates and starches, including potatoes, carrots, peas, beans, parsnips, and beets. Small amounts are healthy and essential.
Don't consume large amounts of fruit with a high sugar content, including watermelon, grapes, mangos, pineapples, oranges, and strawberries.
Use milk in moderation. It contains sugar.
Use yogurt and whole-fat cheese in moderation, as both contain sugar.
Avoid commercially packaged foods like TV dinners, especially lean and light varieties, as well as snack foods and fast foods. All of them contain hidden sugars.
Fresh fruit juice is high in sugar, so be sure to dilute it, using one part juice to four parts water.