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8 SUPER MEALS Every Diabetic Should Be Eating!

FOODS EVERY DIABETIC SHOULD BE EATING

Having diabetes can be a bit of a struggle, but don’t worry you’re not alone.

Over 32 million Americans are estimated to have diabetes. Your diet is super important when it comes to this disease, especially when talking about blood sugar levels. But figuring out how to enjoy the foods you love doesn’t have to be a chore. It doesn’t matter if you have type 1, 2, or even prediabetes, we’ve got the ultimate meal plan for every palate.

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Can you still eat meat? Can you really make a yummy but quick breakfast? Will this diet plan be hard to follow? We’re gonna answer all these questions and more in today’s post.

Let’s start with BREAKFAST:

When it comes to diabetes, breakfast cereal and refined grains like white bread are generally a no-no. So, if you’re looking for something quick but oh-so-tasty, try this:

Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Nuts: 

This one is especially wonderful on cold winter mornings. Whole grains make sure your blood sugar levels won’t spike too much, and fiber might actually improve insulin sensitivity, something super important when it comes to diabetes.  Diabetes, for the most part, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke so you want to include foods that improve heart health, this is where the magic ingredient comes into play, 

Nuts! One study says that nuts like hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds, and walnuts can lower the risk of heart disease and even death. So take your pick and add some to your bowl of warm oatmeal, or cold if you’re making overnight oats.

The final touch is to sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Cinnamon is known for lowering cholesterol and is perfect for diabetics because it can help you manage your blood sugar levels by keeping them more stable. If you want to be extra and get really fancy, you can even add strawberries and chia seeds. 

Strawberries are full of vitamin C, in fact, one cup provides you with 100% of your recommended daily intake. Not only is vitamin C good for the immune system, but it also has anti-inflammatory and heart health benefits. On the diabetes front, one study shows that the polyphenols from strawberries might improve overall insulin sensitivity.

Chia seeds are extremely high in fiber and won’t raise your blood sugar. In fact,  they might be able to lower your blood sugar levels. One smaller study showed that chia seeds can help with weight loss and can control the glycemic levels in your blood. This next meal idea might not be for everyone,  it depends on your situation but if you’re okay with eggs, then: 

Eggy Breakfast Bowl: 

Eggs are a little controversial when it comes to cholesterol and diabetes management. So if you’re not comfy with them you can either stick to egg whites or just skip the eggs and have tofu instead. For this one, we’re taking cooked black beans, lightly sauteed spinach, eggs, and olive oil and throwing them together, for a quick and easy breakfast or lunch. You have the freedom to customize and add whatever veggies you want,  like carrots, peppers, corn, and green peas, you name it! Get creative!

Eggs are a wonderful source of protein, which will keep you full throughout the day and can help with weight management. In one study, losing just 5% of body weight can help those with type 2 diabetes specifically, improve blood sugar levels. Plus there are so many ways to cook eggs you can make them exactly how you like. You can lightly saute the spinach or have it raw in this bowl. Spinach has loads of magnesium which is great for diabetics because it gives the insulin in your body a boost and helps it absorb the sugars in your blood. Which is the main concern for most diabetics. 

Beans are super healthy, and they’re cheap! Even better, they may be able to prevent diabetes. They rank low on the GI index, and in one study of over 3000 people, it was shown that legumes might reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes in certain folks. But again, they’re low on the Glycemic index, so even if you already have diabetes, they’re a great choice. Finally, drizzle some olive oil and spices to taste and you have a yummy, diabetic-friendly meal to start the day!

Let’s move on to some great LUNCH ideas!

Avocado toast on Whole Grain Bread:

Fruits and vegetables in general are great for your health, regardless if you have diabetes or not. But avocados don't have much sugar, so you don’t have to worry about it raising your blood sugar levels too much. Not to mention Avocado will give you a burst of healthy fats. They contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which could help lower high cholesterol levels, too. As for bread, make sure it’s one that has whole grains since you want to stay away from refined grains that are full of sugar and super processed. Whole wheat ranks lower on the GI index, which means it won’t send your blood sugar through the roof, and the added fiber will help keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

You can splash a little olive oil on top, too, for an extra boost of these “Good” fats. Make sure you go with Extra Virgin olive oil as it’s the one that keeps all the antioxidants, or polyphenols intact, and that’s the good stuff that you want. Over 32 studies mentioned olive oil as the only type of fat that reduces heart disease risk. Just don’t go overboard because these kinds of fats are still high in calories.

Salmon Salad with Creamy Lemon and Garlic Dressing:

Is anyone else getting hungry? This one sounds especially delicious. Plus you can take it on the go! We all know that salad is healthy but most of us struggle to eat it daily. Let’s make your salad less boring, shall we? First of all fatty fish is super healthy no matter who you are, and we should all strive to include it in our diets. But the omega-3 fatty acids are the real stars here as they have some pretty serious benefits for your heart. As we already learned, heart health is of utmost importance when talking about diabetes. Research shows that those who eat fatty fish on a regular basis can actually lower their risk of heart disease and serious episodes like heart attacks. You can get creative here as well by not limiting yourself to salmon, but exploring other types of fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, or anchovies.

Now we already talked about leafy greens like spinach in our last meal idea, but you don’t have to limit yourself there. You can have cabbage, bok choy, kale, or collard greens! They’re full of good vitamins like A, C, E, and K plus there's potassium, calcium, and iron too!

Now for the dressing, you can start with unsweetened greek yogurt, which is shown to improve body composition and may help with weight loss for those with type 2 diabetes. The citrus has added vitamin C, and one clove of garlic will add: Fiber, Manganese, Selenium, and Vitamins B6 and C. Not to mention garlic could help keep cholesterol under control and can improve the way your body manages blood glucose. Add some dill, salt, and pepper to taste, and you’ve got yourself a diabetic-friendly, healthy salad.

And finally, some DINNER options:

Brown Rice, Roasted Sweet Potato with Lean Chicken (no skin), and sauteed Kale:

We know, brown rice? Kale? This doesn’t sound like the most delicious meal, but that’s why you add some lean chicken and yummy sweet potatoes.

Chicken in general can be a risk for diabetics because of the fat and salt content, so to mitigate the worry make sure you remove the skin before you cook it. Try to get boneless, skinless chicken whenever possible or chicken breast. And as always use low-sodium ingredients when roasting. Roasting it in the oven will make for a tastier meal because you can add any spices you desire along with fragrant herbs and of course, our friend olive oil. Sweet potatoes are the real star of this dish,  they’re lower on the glycemic index than regular white potatoes so you can rest easy knowing they won’t spike your blood sugar, even though they’re quite a sweet tasting!

The brown rice falls under the whole grains category and will add some healthy fiber to your meal so you’ll stay full for longer. And kale falls into the leafy green veggie category, which as we discussed houses all kinds of benefits, like high antioxidants, and start digesting enzymes. As an added bonus, kale is also said to work magic on blood pressure for those with hypertension.

Roasted Squash, Garlic, Olive oil, and Broccoli:

Some research suggests that a vegetarian or vegan diet could be really beneficial for those with diabetes. We’re not saying you have to give up meat entirely, but throwing in a plant-based meal once or twice a week might be helpful! The best part about this meal is that you can have it as a roasted warm dinner, or you can blend it all together to make soup! While you may want to steer clear of pumpkin, other varieties of squash could be a welcome addition, for any season.

Winter squash could include butternut and acorn, while summer squash could include zucchini and Italian. If you were worried about the sugar of sweet potatoes, then squash might be a better option as it has less sugar overall. Some studies have shown squash can quickly lower blood glucose levels, which is ideal for those with diabetes.

Broccoli is the runner-up in this dish as it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. It has fiber, is pretty high in protein, and has vitamins C, K1, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, and iron. But the biggest win of all is that it has anti-cancer properties. So Diabetes or not this is a great veggie to include in your diet. Having it lightly steamed or sauteed seems to be the best way to keep all the nutrients. Add a little garlic, and olive oil plus any spices you like and you have a delicious, healthy dish.

Having diabetes can be challenging,  but it doesn’t have to be! We’re here to help. Learn more about diabetes by reading: 08 Fruits You Should Be Eating And Shouldn't If You Are Diabetic OR 10 Best Breakfast Foods For DiabeticsSo go ahead and click one! Or better yet read both and learn more about diabetes!

Are you diabetic? Let us know in the comments below!

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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