Along with many holidays comes a serious temptation to gorge on your favorite foods, many of which can be unhealthy or loaded with sugar. Experts advise moderation: “Find a balance and keep the plate method in mind when making your plate during the holiday,” says Cara Schrager, MPH, RD, CDE at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. “Fill up half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, one-fourth with lean protein and one-fourth with complex carbohydrates, as previously noted. Here Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE, HealthLine.com, reflects on the best foods to control diabetes:
“Figuring out the best foods to eat when you have diabetes can be tough.
The main goal is to keep blood sugar levels well-controlled.
However, it's also important to eat foods that help prevent diabetes complications like heart disease.
Here are the 16 best foods for diabetics, both type 1 and type 2.
Fatty fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel are great sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which have major benefits for heart health.
Getting enough of these fats on a regular basis is especially important for diabetics, who have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke (1).
DHA and EPA protect the cells that line your blood vessels, reduce markers of inflammation and improve the way your arteries function after eating (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
A number of observational studies suggest that people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart failure and are less likely to die from heart disease (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
In studies, older men and women who consumed fatty fish 5–7 days per week for 8 weeks had significant reductions in triglycerides and inflammatory markers (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
Fish is also a great source of high-quality protein, which helps you feel full and increases your metabolic rate (10Trusted Source).
Leafy green vegetables are extremely nutritious and low in calories.
They're also very low in digestible carbs, which raise your blood sugar levels.
Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are good sources of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C.
In one study, increasing vitamin C intake reduced inflammatory markers and fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure (11Trusted Source).
In addition, leafy greens are good sources of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
These antioxidants protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts, which are common diabetes complications (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Eggs provide amazing health benefits.
In fact, they're one of the best foods for keeping you full for hours (28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source).
Regular egg consumption may also reduce your heart disease risk in several ways.
Eggs decrease inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase your “good” HDL cholesterol levels and modify the size and shape of your “bad” LDL cholesterol (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 2 eggs daily as part of a high-protein diet had improvements in cholesterol and blood sugar levels (35Trusted Source).
In addition, eggs are one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect the eyes from disease (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).
Just be sure to eat whole eggs. The benefits of eggs are primarily due to nutrients found in the yolk rather than the white.
Squash is one of the healthiest vegetables around.
Winter varieties have a hard shell and include acorn, pumpkin and butternut.
Summer squash has a soft peel that can be eaten. The most common types are zucchini and Italian squash.
Like most vegetables, squash contains beneficial antioxidants. Many types of winter squash are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Animal studies using squash extract have also reported reductions in obesity and insulin levels (98Trusted Source, 99).
Although there's very little research on humans, one study found that people with type 2 diabetes who took an extract of the winter squash Cucurbita ficifolia experienced a significant decrease in blood sugar levels (100Trusted Source).
However, winter squash is higher in carbs than summer squash.
For example, 1 cup of cooked pumpkin contains 9 grams of digestible carbs, while 1 cup of cooked zucchini contains only 3 grams of digestible carbs.”
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Read More … Article source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-best-foods-for-diabetics#section15
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