Diabetics Can Enjoy Superfoods, Too!

March 26 is American Diabetes Alert Day. In honor of this I thought I would relay some tips for healthy eating and a few recipes to Superfoods for Diabeticsgo along with it.

Ever see the top 10 lists for foods everyone should eat to superpower your diet? Ever wonder which will mesh with your diabetes meal plan? Wonder no more. Your list of the top 10 diabetes superfoods has arrived.

As with all foods, you need to work the diabetes superfoods into your individualized meal plan in appropriate portions.

All of the foods in our list have a low glycemic index or GI and provide key nutrients that are lacking in the typical western diet such as:

Always think first about getting your nutrients from foods, if possible. Below is our list of superfoods to include in your diet.

Beans

Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, navy or black beans, you can’t find better nutrition than that provided by beans. They are very high in fiber giving you about 1/3 of your daily requirement in just a ½ cup and are also good sources of magnesium, and potassium.

They are considered starchy vegetables but a ½ cup provides as much protein as an ounce of meat without the saturated fat. To save time you can use canned beans, but be sure to drain and rinse them to get rid of as much sodium as possible.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Spinach, collards, kale – these powerhouse foods are so low in calories and carbohydrates, you can’t eat too much.Superfoods for Diabetics

Citrus Fruit

Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes. Pick your favorites and get part of your daily dose of soluble fiber and vitamin C.
Sweet Potatoes

A starchy vegetable packed full of vitamin A and fiber. Try in place of regular potatoes for a lower GI alternative.

Berries

Which are your favorites: blueberries, strawberries or another variety? Regardless, they are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Make a parfait alternating the fruit with light, non-fat yogurt for a new favorite dessert.

Tomatoes

An old standby where everyone can find a favorite. The good news is that no matter how you like your tomatoes, pureed, raw, or in a sauce, you’re eating vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron, vitamin E.

Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty AcidsSuperfoods for Diabetics

Salmon is a favorite in this category. Stay away from the breaded and deep fat fried variety… they don’t count in your goal of 6-9 ounces of fish per week.

Whole Grains

It’s the germ and bran of the whole grain you’re after.  It contains all the nutrients a grain product has to offer. When you purchase processed grains like bread made from enriched wheat flour, you don’t get these. A few more of the nutrients these foods offer are magnesium, chromium, omega 3 fatty acids and folate.

Pearled barley and oatmeal are a source of fiber and potassium.

Nuts

An ounce of nuts can go a long way in providing key healthy fats along with hunger management. Other benefits are a dose of magnesium and fiber.

Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Fat-free Milk and Yogurt

Everyone knows dairy can help build strong bones and teeth. In addition to calcium, many fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D. More research is emerging on the connection between vitamin D and good health.

Bottom Line

Some of the above list can be tough on the budget depending on the season and where you live. Look for lower cost options such as fruit and vegetables in season or frozen or canned fish.

Foods that every budget can live with year round are beans and rolled oats or barley that you cook from scratch.

Of course, you probably don’t want to limit yourself to just these items for every meal. The American Diabetes Association’s book What Do I Eat Now? provides a step-by-step guide to eating right.

Sesame Kale With Garlic and Ginger

Superfoods for Diabetics

ingredients

2 tsp. sesame oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. finely grated ginger
2 large bunches kale, washed, ribs removed, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp. light soy sauce
Dash crushed red pepper flakes

preparation

6 servings
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minute

1. In a wok or skillet, heat 1 tsp. of the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add the kale, in batches, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the water, cover, and steam until the kale wilts but is still slightly crunchy.
2. Top the kale with sesame seeds, soy sauce, and remaining sesame oil, and mix to combine. Add a dash of crushed red pepper flakes if desired.

nutrition

Nutrition facts
Vegetable exchanges 1
Fat exchanges 0.5
Amount per serving
Calories 50
Calories from Fat 20
Total Fat 2.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 85 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 2 g

Escarole and White Bean Soup

Superfoods for Diabetics

ingredients

2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 Tbsp. flour
4 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 cups washed and chopped escarole
Salt and pepper to taste

preparation

8 servings
Serving size: 1 cup
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

1. In a large saucepot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery and sauté for 6 minutes. Add in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the broth, tomatoes, beans, oregano, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
2. Add in the escarole and cook for 5 minutes until the escarole wilts. Season with salt and pepper.

nutrition

Nutrition facts
Starch exchanges 0.5
Vegetable exchanges 1
Amount per serving
Calories 85
Calories from Fat 15
Total Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 395 mg (without added salt)
Total Carbohydrate 14 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 3 g
Protein 5 g

 

Raspberry-Banana-Beet Green Smoothie

Superfoods for Diabetics

ingredients

1 cup chopped fresh beet greens, cleaned,
patted dry, thick stems removed
and discarded
1 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries
1 medium frozen banana,* cut into chunks
2 tsp. honey
1 cup cold water
1 cup plain nonfat regular or
Greek-style yogurt, divided

*How to freeze a banana: Peel the banana and place it in a zippered plastic bag. Freeze overnight or for 8 hours. Remove the banana from the freezer and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before using.

preparation

3 servings
Serving size: 1 cup
Preparation time: 15 minutes

1. Place the beet greens, raspberries, banana, and honey in a blender. Add the water and puree until smooth.
2. Strain the puree through a sieve over a widemouthed pitcher or bowl to remove the raspberry seeds. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the yogurt.
3. Divide the smoothie among 3 glasses; swirl the remaining yogurt on top of each smoothie and serve.

nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Fruit exchanges 1.5;
Fat-free milk exchanges 0.5
Amount per Serving
Calories 125; Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0 g; Saturated Fat 0 g;
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 85 mg
Potassium 530 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g;
Sugars 22 g
Protein 5 g
Phosphorus 155 mg

Southern-Style Beet Greens

Superfoods for Diabetics

ingredients

1 slice bacon
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. sugar
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. fresh beet greens,* chopped into bite-size pieces, heavy stems removed and discarded
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

*After cleaning the greens, leave a little moisture clinging to the leaves.

Note: This recipe works well with any fresh greens, including kale, Swiss chard, and mustard and collard greens.

preparation

4 servings
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon to paper toweling and blot to absorb excess fat. Crumble the bacon into small pieces; set aside.
2. Add the onion to the drippings in the pan, and cook over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the broth to the pan and scrape up any browned bits. Add the sugar and crushed red pepper; bring to boiling.
3. Add the beet greens and toss with tongs, coating the greens with the onion mixture. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the greens are tender. Add the cider vinegar. Top with the reserved crumbled bacon and serve.

nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegetable exchanges 1; Fat exchanges 0.5
Amount per Serving
Calories 65; Calories from Fat 30
Total Fat 3.5 g; Saturated Fat 1.3 g;
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 245 mg
Potassium 600 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g;
Sugars 2 g
Protein 3 g
Phosphorus 45 mg

Vegetarian Southern-Style Beet Greens: Use 2 tsp. of olive oil in place of the bacon. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and proceed with the recipe as directed, omitting the crumbled bacon on top. Nutrition facts are the same as above, except Calories 55, Calories from Fat 20, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat 0.3 g, Sodium 205 mg, Potassium 590 mg, Protein 2 g, Phosphorus 40 mg.

 

For More Information Click These Links

Promote Normal Blood Sugar Levels Glucose Regulation Complex
Why Do We Need Vitamin D – Facts About Vitamin D
Why Normal Gut Flora/Bacteria is Crucial for Health
Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Foods
The Feel Better Challenge

 

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