#1. LEGUMES—Diets rich in legumes—soybeans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans—are good for your blood sugar levels both short-term and long-term. The secret? "Resistant starches," which resist digestion in the small intestine and go straight to the colon, feeding the bacteria in your gut and in the process improve your body's response to insulin. (These resistant starches are also in green bananas, uncooked oats, and potatoes that have been cooked and cooled. Rejoice, potato salad lovers who can control their portions.)
Instead, opt for using honey as a sweetener, and pair with an unsweetened milk option over creamer. This will decrease saturated fat and carbohydrate intake while still providing flavor. Stick to 1 tablespoon of honey or less, which contains 15 grams of carbohydrates. Traditional coffee drinks can contain up to 75 grams of carbohydrates from added sugar, so this cuts it down significantly.
In fact, the CDC notes that losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body weight can help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So, if you’re 200 pounds, aiming to lose about 10 to 14 pounds might help you prevent prediabetes from progressing to full-blown type 2 diabetes or help halt the advancement of type 2 diabetes if you’ve already been diagnosed.
Download this Shopping List for Diabetics, created by the doctors and dietitians at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami. Since 1975, the renowned Pritikin Center has been helping people with diabetes launch new lifestyles that maximize health and minimize the need for pills and insulin. It's all about keeping blood sugar and A1C at normal levels, naturally.
The superfood vinegar is best consumed as vinaigrette dressing on your salad, but it has beneficial effects no matter how you enjoy it. Vinegar slows gastric emptying, which has several beneficial effects for people with type 2 diabetes. This slows the glucose release into the bloodstream, allowing for a small, steady insulin response instead of a large insulin surge. Vinegar also increases satiety, so if you enjoy salad with vinaigrette as your first course, you are less likely to overeat during the main course.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to a number of complications such as kidney, nerve, and eye damage, as well as cardiovascular disease. It also means cells are not receiving the glucose they need for healthy functioning. A calculation called a HOMA Score (Homeostatic Model Assessment) can tell doctors the relative proportion of these factors for an individual with type 2 diabetes. Good glycemic control (that is, keeping sugar/carbohydrate intake low so blood sugar isn't high) can prevent long-term complications of type 2 diabetes. A diet for people with type 2 diabetes also is referred to as a diabetic diet for type 2 diabetes and medical nutrition therapy (MNT) for people with diabetes.