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Best and Worst Foods for Diabetics

What role does your diet play in your diabetes? As it turns out, your diet plays a significant role in managing, and even reverse type 2 diabetes. In a recent study, nearly half of all people who adhered to a six-month diet plan lost an average of 30 pounds and completely reversed their type 2 diabetes. While a diet may not cure diabetes alone, the study shows it can play a huge role in increasing your quality of life. Here are some foods you should eat, as well as some to avoid.

EAT – Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens, and Swiss chard are some leafy greens that offer a lot of nutrition while being low in calories and carbohydrates. They also are a great source of antioxidants which can help improve your insulin sensitivity.

AVOID – Soda

Soda, and other sugary drinks should be the first and foremost food to avoid for diabetics. They have been proven to increase insulin resistance and raise your blood sugar. Opt instead for unsweetened tea, water, and coffee.

EAT – Fatty Fish

Polyunsaturated fats help prevent cardiovascular disease, and as a diabetic you would be at increased risk for this disease. So eat fish such as salmon, anchovies, sardines, herring, and mackerel to help offset your increased risk.

AVOID – Frozen Pizza

Convenient and tasty, maybe, but these ready-made foods are also typically high in carbohydrates, fat, and calories. If you can’t curb your pizza craving, look for a veggie pizza or make your own with fresh herbs and veggies. Thin crusts are also better than thick or pan varieties. If you’re buying pizza in a restaurant, choose the thin crust and lean meats like chicken. Say “no” to the extra cheese and limit your portions. Eat a salad first.

EAT – Eggs

Eggs used to be recommended to avoid because they are high in cholesterol which researchers feared would increase the risk for heart disease, but more recent studies have shown that the cholesterol in eggs does not affect cholesterol buildup in arteries. Eggs are rich in protein, so they can keep you full, helping in weight-loss efforts. Studies have also found that they can improve insulin sensitivity and increase levels of HDL “good” cholesterol.

AVOID – Potato Chips

These are typically high in carbohydrates and fat, which makes them bad snack choices. Choose nuts or cut-up vegetables instead.

EAT – Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Did you know that extra-virgin olive oil contains a lot of monosaturated fats which keep you feeling satisfied after a meal, while also being linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease? Preparing chicken breast or fish with olive oil ensures you are satisfied with a high-protein meal that provides extra benefits.

AVOID – Sweet Smoothies

It’s easy to mistakenly think smoothies are healthy because they are made with fruit, but these sweet drinks are packed with fructose sugars. Opt instead to make vegetable smoothies at home.

EAT – Greek Yogurt

Yogurt contains healthy probiotics which improve blood sugar control and reduce risk of heart disease. Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt, so it will keep you satisfied for longer while breaking down slower in your body, avoiding those blood sugar spikes.

AVOID – Blended Coffee

If you love Starbucks, it’s time to make a change. Most flavored coffee drinks are packed with sugar and carbohydrates. Choose plain coffee or espresso with half and half.

EAT – Dark Chocolate

If you must satisfy that sweet tooth, dark chocolate is your safest bet. Make sure you look for varieties that have at least 70 percent cocoa and that you limit your consumption to small pieces. Too much can raise your blood sugar levels.

AVOID – White bread and pastas

These are high in carbohydrates and break down too quickly in the digestive system, raising blood sugar.

Choosing a healthier diet will do wonders to increase your quality of life with Type 2 diabetes. The extra weight-loss can even help you jumpstart a journey with regular exercise as well. Working with a Physical Therapist, you will be able to craft a diet plan as well as exercise options that work for your individual needs. Phoenix Osteopractic Physical Therapy is ready to help you, contact us at (972) 232-2310 or visit today!

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