Top Superfoods for Diabetes
Living with diabetes can be frustrating. Yet, many are unaware that simply making dietary changes can help manage this disease that will lead to better outcomes. It really does condense down to the types of foods we choose to eat, along with exercise.
The average American ingests a diet extraordinarily high in sugar – 156 lbs. of added sugar annually and a whopping 300 grams of carbohydrates per day.
When you have type 2 diabetes, you either don’t have enough insulin, or your cells have become resistant to it. When that happens, your body can’t control your blood sugar levels and can’t turn food into energy. With a diet that is chronically high in sugar and other refined carbohydrates, we experience poor glucose and insulin control. Not only that, but low-grade inflammation occurs as well.
Trying to determine which foods are best to eat with diabetes can be challenging. It is important to note that choosing anti-inflammatory foods will help you manage your diabetes and inflammation.
Some of the best foods to help manage diabetes are:
- Peanuts or Peanut Butter
- Wild Fatty Fish
- Olive Oil
- Grass-Fed, Pasture-Raised Meats and Poultry
- Whole Organic Eggs
- Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds
- Leafy Greens
- Cruciferous Veggies
- Cultured Foods such as Greek Yogurt or Kefir
However, there is one food that delivers superior results in its ability to powerfully help manage type 2 diabetes: the delicious peanut. Those in the diabetes community are well aware of peanuts for being a nutritious, hunger satisfying, low-glycemic snack. It’s just one reason the American Diabetes Association considers nuts a “Superfood.”
In fact, for those with elevated fasting blood sugar, eating a single serving of peanuts (about 1 oz.) as a post-dinner, pre-bedtime snack improved blood sugar levels upon waking up in the morning.
For women specifically, a study found a 21% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes was associated with consuming peanut butter at least 5 times per week.
If you’re nuts about nuts, there’s more good news: a 2018 study found peanuts and almonds to be equally effective for lowering blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. That means more people can enjoy big benefits, at a much smaller cost to the environment — and their wallets.
“This new study highlights that people can choose peanuts as a low-cost option to get the same benefits that they would from a more expensive nut like almonds,” says Dr. Samara Sterling, Director of Research for the Peanut Institute.
Remember, eating the right foods, while incorporating exercise will help to help keep blood sugar, insulin, and inflammation manageable, can dramatically reduce your risk for complications, while optimizing your health.
Penn State Study (TBD release in November)
Jiang R, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, Liu S, Willett WC, Hu FB. Nut and Peanut Butter Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Women. JAMA. 2002;288(20):2554–2560. doi:10.1001/jama.288.20.2554
Hou YY, Ojo O, Wang LL, Wang Q, Jiang Q, Shao XY, Wang XH. A Randomized Controlled Trial to Compare the Effect of Peanuts and Almonds on the Cardio-Metabolic and Inflammatory Parameters in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Nutrients. 2018 Oct 23;10(11):1565. doi: 10.3390/nu10111565. PMID: 30360498; PMCID: PMC6267433
Philip Sapp, Kristina Petersen, Penny Kris-Etherton, Fasting Glucose Response to Evening Snacks That Differ by Carbohydrate and Fat Composition: A 6-Week, Randomized, Crossover Trial in Subjects with Impaired Fasting Glucose, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 4, Issue Supplement_2, June 2020, Page 1143, https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzaa055_028