13 Super Foods Diabetic People Need to Know About

Gunjan Lal
April 24, 2017
Views : 653
13 Super Foods Diabetic People Need to Know About

Did you know that the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults is diabetes? And people who suffer from diabetes are twice as likely to develop a heart disease as someone without diabetes. I believe, without a shred of doubt that Diabetes is one of the scariest diseases. Careful control of diabetes can significantly reduce the risk of developing further complications and prevent existing complications from getting worse. One way to control your blood sugar levels is by keeping tabs of what you eat. All healthy foods are not meant for diabetic patients, for instance, bananas are considered a superfood but diabetic people should steer clear of bananas.

Besides the nutrient content, the glycemic index should also be taken into consideration, especially for diabetic people. The glycemic index (or GI) measures how swiftly a certain food will raise blood sugar. Foods with low GI tend to have a score of 55 or less whereas foods with high GI have a score of 70 or above. Therefore, foods with low GI are the better choice for diabetic people. Foods that are packed with nutrients and have a low glycemic index are beneficial in managing the blood glucose levels, here is a list of superfoods for diabetic people.

Non-Starchy Vegetables

Non- starchy veggies include everything from beetroots to asparagus and broccoli. Such vegetables go a long way in satisfying your hunger and multiplying your intake of minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and fiber, additionally, they have fewer carbs per serving. Along with fewer carbs, they are low in carbohydrates and calories making non- starchy veggies one of the few foods that diabetic people fan feast upon without caution.

What's more is that the ADA (American Diabetes Association) lists down most non- starchy vegetables as foods with low GI (i.e. a ranking of 55 or less). A study (of eleven people) found that a low- calorie diet consisting of non-starchy vegetables might successfully reverse type 2 diabetes.

Low-Fat (or Non-Fat) Plain Milk and Yogurt

Low-fat dairy products are associated with a nine percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are loaded with vitamin D (even the low-fat ones) and this particular vitamin is essential for good health. Another natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, but thanks to our busy schedules, most of us are destined to spend our adulthood in closed rooms and cubicles. Our very own lifestyle makes it difficult for us to get enough vitamin D, that's why dairy products make awesome superfoods.

They're a wise choice for diabetic people because they have amazingly low GI scores - the GI score of skim milk is 32 and the GI score of low-fat yogurt is 33.


Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, eaten either cooked or raw. Lycopene is a powerful substance that could reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer (especially prostate cancer), and macular degeneration.

Like all the other non- starchy fruits, tomatoes too have a low GI ranking. A study discovered that raw tomato about 200 grams (or about 1.5 medium tomatoes) if consumed each day, can reduce blood pressure. Researchers came to the conclusion that tomato consumption might help in reducing cardiovascular risk which is also associated with type 2 diabetes.

Blueberries and Other Berries

Berries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit (or vegetable) therefore, they may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. They have a high amount of vitamin C, which helps in protecting your vision (i.e they're good for your eyes!), are fibrous and anti- inflammatory in nature.

Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, all can be consumed by diabetic people. But blueberries are exceptionally good, here's how - they contain both, insoluble as well as soluble fiber; soluble fiber slows down the frequent emptying you're your stomach and helps in the control of blood sugar and insoluble fiber flushes out fat from your system. In a study produced by the USDA, the participants who consumed 2 1/2 cups of wild blueberry juice each day for 12 weeks lifted depression, lowered their blood glucose levels, and improved their memories. Researchers attribute the credit of these results to anthocyanins present in the berries, a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels, a natural chemical that shrinks fat cells and stimulates the release of adiponectin, among other things. Increased adiponectin levels can assist in keeping blood sugar low and increase your sensitivity to insulin.

Olive Oil

According to a study done in Spain, following a Mediterranean- style diet which is rich in olive oil helps in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as fifty percent when compared to a diet low in fat. Independent researchers at the University of Vienna and Technical University of Munich (TUM) found that olive oil enhanced satiety the most when compared to butter, lard, and rapeseed (canola) oil. In addition to being an outstanding source of monounsaturated fats which are great for your health, olive oil is also packed with antioxidant nutrients that protect cells from damage and prevents the development of heart diseases.

Citrus Fruits

The pulps of grapefruit and oranges are a great source of fiber. To receive the maximum amount of fiber, make sure that you eat the whole fruit rather than just drinking the juice. Various studies have shown that eating citrus fruits can lower actually the risk of diabetes, whereas drinking the fruit juice can increase the risk.

On an average, orange has a GI score of 40 while the GI score of unsweetened orange juice is 50. The citrus fruit with the lowest GI score is grapefruit. With a score of 25, grapefruit is one of the lowest GI scores of all fruits.

Walnuts, Flaxseeds, and Other Seeds/Nuts

Flaxseeds and walnuts contain fiber, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. They're packed with vitamin E, zinc, folic acid, and protein. A number of other nuts provide healthy fats and are able to curb hunger, but these two are particularly powerful.

Substituting nuts and other healthy fats in place of carbs can aid in lowering your blood sugar levels. Nuts usually have very low GI scores. Cashews, for instance, have a score of 27, and peanuts have a score of only 7. Another reason to keep munching on nuts is that multiple studies have discovered that those who eat nuts regularly face less risk of developing diabetes later on.

Walnuts, in particular, also contain alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that lowers cholesterol and boosts heart health. They are the most widespread tree nut in the world! The L-arginine, fiber, omega-3s, vitamin E, and other phytochemicals present in walnuts and other tree nuts make them highly potent - scientists have found walnuts to have anticancer, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-high cholesterol actions. These amazing properties can help stop and reverse the acceleration of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Lentils, Barley, and Other Whole Grains

Whole grains are super foods that are packed with antioxidants and soluble and insoluble fiber. They help to metabolize fats and keep your digestive track healthy. People who are regular consumers of hulled barley tend to have lower blood cholesterol. The whole grains also keep your blood sugar levels stable. Lentils are another good alternative since they provide vitamins B's, complex carbohydrates, iron, and protein.

While a 100 percent stone- ground whole wheat bread is a low GI food, other types of whole wheat bread could have medium GI rankings ( that means that their scores may lie between 56 and 69). Consuming whole grains can help in decreasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Kale, Spinach, and Other Leafy Green Vegetables

Kale is a popular green veggie in the west as it basically is a nutritional powerhouse. It provides more than a hundred percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamins A and K. Collard greens are another leafy green that packs a ton of nutrients into a small package.

Kale possesses chemicals known as glucosinolates which help to neutralize cancer- causing substances. It's also packed with potassium and has been shown to assist in managing blood pressure. This is another reason why it's considered a super food for diabetes.

Spinach is one of the extraordinarily beneficial leafy greens that have been shown to lower the risk of developing diabetes (collards are another good option). As per a British study, people who have more than one serving a day of spinach (and other leafy green veggies) slashed their risk of developing diabetes by 14 percent, compared to people who ate less than half a serving each day. This green is particularly rich in vitamin K, along with various minerals including magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, folate, and zinc. It's also a good source of the plant chemicals like lutein and zeaxanthin, and various flavonoids. Although spinach is technically a good source of calcium, another nutrient in spinach called oxalic acid prevents much of that calcium from being absorbed, but you can blanch spinach (boil it for just one minute) to reduce this chemical.


Broccoli is an anti-diabetes super veggie. As with other cruciferous veggies, such as kale and cauliflower, it possesses a compound called sulforaphane, which basically triggers several anti-inflammatory processes which improve your blood sugar control and protect the blood vessels from cardiovascular damage which often is a consequence of diabetes. Did you know that heart disease is the trending cause of death for people with diabetes? So its protection could be a lifesaver! Sulforaphane also helps to flip on your body's natural detox mechanisms, making enzymes turn dangerous cancer- causing chemicals into more harmless forms that the body can easily release.

Dark Chocolate

This is a good one! Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, and research shows that these nutrients improve insulin sensitivity, reduce insulin resistance, drop insulin levels and fasting blood glucose, and blunt cravings. But hold on, not all chocolates are created equal. In a study done at the University of Copenhagen (in 2008), people who ate dark chocolate reported that they felt less like eating salty, sweet, or fatty foods when compared to volunteers who were given milk chocolate, with its lower levels of beneficial flavonoids, and more sugar and fat content too.

Eating dark chocolate also cut the amount of pizza that the volunteers consumed on the same day (later), by fifteen percent. The flavonoids present in chocolates have also been shown to lower the risk of stroke, reduce your risk for a heart attack by 2 percent over 5 years and calm blood pressure.

Turmeric (Haldi)

An Ayurvedic wonder spice, turmeric is commonly used in Indian dishes as a flavoring agent and it's most common benefit that everyone knows is its ability to heal. It is used as both, spice and herb. A traditional Indian diet features chapattis and white rice, which as rapidly digested carbs ordinarily, raises blood sugar levels dramatically. But the blissful presence of turmeric-the lovely yellow spice that not only lends its color to our dishes but also helps to manage the impact on blood sugar.

Curcumin, an active agent in turmeric, is the compound which is believed to regulate fat metabolism in your body. Curcumin acts directly on fat cells, kidney cells, pancreatic cells, and muscle cells - dampening any kind of internal inflammation and blocking the nefarious activities of cancer- causing tumor necrosis factor - interleukin-6. Experts believe that the combined action of all of these factors collectively gives curcumin the power to actually reverse insulin resistance, high blood sugar and high cholesterol, and other symptoms linked to obesity.


Not just one or two, but multitudes of studies show that this savory spice can help reduce blood sugar. Cinnamon improves brain function, purifies blood and aids in better blood circulation. It also aids in pain relief, digestion, and helps relieve symptoms of influenza, cold, sore throat and other respiratory problems, and finally, it's highly beneficial for people who have type 2 diabetes. A study published in the journal 'Diabetes Care', discovered how people with type 2 diabetes who had taken one (or more than one) grams of cinnamon every day had dropped their fasting blood sugar by an astounding thirty percent, compared to people who consumed no cinnamon.

They also reduced their LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol by upwards of twenty-five percent. Here's why: Cinnamon too is rich in chromium (like turmeric), a mineral that enhances the effects of insulin.

Gunjan Lal

Gunjan Lal

Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.

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