Can Chickpeas And Lentils Help Control Diabetes?
They’re a common part of traditional diets in India and Latin America, but in western repasts, legumes or pulses — that’s lentils, dried beans, and chick peas — have generally been a culinary afterthought. That may soon change, however, thanks to new research suggesting legumes alone can improve the health of diabetics. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicines, was funded in part by an association of legume farmers and confirms that simply changing what they eat can help diabetics reduce some of their symptoms, as well as lower their risk of heart disease — in as little as a few months. MORE: Guide: The 31 Healthiest Foods of All Time (With Recipes) Starting in 2010, researchers in Toronto, Canada, enrolled 121 patients with Type II diabetes and tested their blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and more. Roughly half of the study participants were randomly selected to add a cup of legumes per day to their diet. The other half were told to try to eat more whole-wheat products. After three months, the patients were tested again on the same measures. Both the legume-eaters and the whole-wheat-eaters saw a reduction in their hemoglobin A1c values — a marker of average blood sugar, for a period of several weeks. But that reduction was slightly larger among the legume group than among the whole-what group: 0.5% compared to 0.3%. And while those changes may seem small, the study authors say that drops of this magnitude are “therapeutically meaningful,” and can lead to fewer diabetic symptoms as well as lower doses of medication to control blood sugar levels. The legume-eaters also achieved modest reductions in body weight relative to the wheat group, losing an average of 5.9 lbs compared to 4.4 lbs, as well as drops in total choles Continue reading >>
Pass Those Peas, Please
Peas have never been a favorite vegetable for most kids, especially if the peas come from a can. But now that you’re older, hopefully you’ve cultivated a taste for this powerhouse food. And with spring finally here, it’s time to lighten up your palate and enjoy a vegetable that has plenty to offer in the way of nutrition. A bit of pea history… The peas that we eat today are thought to originate from Central Asia and the Middle East and may have been one of the first crops grown by humans. Peas were probably originally consumed in their dry form; it wasn’t until about the 16th century that they were eaten fresh. Canada is the largest producer and exporter of peas, but the United States, France, China, Russia, and India are big producers, as well. Peas belong to the legume family, which means that they’re close cousins of black beans, lentils, and chickpeas. However, green peas are one of the few legumes that are eaten fresh as well as dried. Nutrition facts If you have diabetes, you’ve probably been taught that peas belong to the “starchy vegetable” category, unlike, say, green beans or broccoli, which are considered “nonstarchy vegetables.” Peas do contain more carbohydrate than some other vegetables, and therefore are generally counted as a carb choice per serving at a meal. Here’s the nutrition breakdown of a half-cup serving of peas: • 62 calories • 11 grams of carb • 4 grams of protein • 0 grams of fat • 4 grams of fiber Although peas have more carbohydrate than some other vegetables, don’t let that discourage you from eating them. Read on to learn how peas can give your health a boost. Health benefits of peas Once thought of as a lowly vegetable, peas have come into their own lately. Here are some of the benefits that peas have t Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes Diet
Type 1 diabetes diet definition and facts In Type 1 diabetes the pancreas can do longer release insulin. The high blood sugar that results can lead to complications such as kidney, nerve, and eye damage, and cardiovascular disease. Glycemic index and glycemic load are scientific terms used to measure he impact of a food on blood sugar. Foods with low glycemic load (index) raise blood sugar modestly, and thus are better choices for people with diabetes. Meal timing is very important for people with type 1 diabetes. Meals must match insulin doses. Eating meals with a low glycemic load (index) makes meal timing easier. Low glycemic load meals raise blood sugar slowly and steadily, leaving plenty of time for the body (or the injected insulin dose) to respond. Skipping a meal or eating late puts a person at risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Foods to eat for a type 1 diabetic diet include complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils. Foods to avoid for a type 1 diabetes diet include sodas (both diet and regular), simple carbohydrates - processed/refined sugars (white bread, pastries, chips, cookies, pastas), trans fats (anything with the word hydrogenated on the label), and high-fat animal products. Fats don't have much of a direct effect on blood sugar but they can be useful in slowing the absorption of carbohydrates. Protein provides steady energy with little effect on blood sugar. It keeps blood sugar stable, and can help with sugar cravings and feeling full after eating. Protein-packed foods to include on your menu are beans, legumes, eggs, seafood, dairy, peas, tofu, and lean meats and poultry. The Mediterranean diet plan is often recommended for people with type 1 diabetes because it is full of nut Continue reading >>
Sugar Snap/snow Peas And Type 2 Diabetes
When many of us think of peas, we picture the unappetizing green mush we might have been served as a child. But peas are so much more than that and come in many different varieties. In particular, sugar snap and snow peas are two absolutely delicious, crunchy, and satisfying types of peas. Snow peas have a mild flavor and a flatter shape. Sugar snap peas look rather similar to snow peas, but they’re a bit plumper and crunchier. And as their name suggests, they have a sweeter flavor. Because these two types of peas are so low in carbohydrates and have so many nutrients, sugar snap and snow peas are a fantastic building block for a healthy diabetic diet, and they can be eaten to your heart’s content! Sugar Snap and Snow Peas Nutrition Facts These two types of peas have very similar nutritional properties. Both are very low calorie (one cup of sugar snap peas will give you 40 calories, while the same amount of snow peas has 35 calories) and high in fiber (sugar snap and snow peas have 4 and 2 grams of fiber, respectively). They’re a completely fat free snack. Snap peas have a very low glycemic index of just 15. Sugar snap peas have 4 grams of protein per cup, and snow peas have 2 grams. Snow peas are a great source of vitamin C, giving you 70% of your recommended daily amount (RDA) per cup. Sugar snap peas also provide a very respectable 22% of the RDA. They’re also a decent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, B vitamins, and iron. Health Benefits of Sugar Snap and Snow Peas Vitamin C: These peas contain large amounts of this antioxidant. The main thing many of us know about vitamin C is that it prevents scurvy, but it also does so much more. Vitamin C builds your immune system, promotes tissue growth and repair, and helps your body absorb iron from plant foods such as Continue reading >>
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Diabetes Super Foods
Eating right is key to managing diabetes. Fortunately, your food “prescription” includes filling, flavorful fare that tastes like anything but medicine. A diet rich in these 10 “super foods” will help minimize blood sugar and even throw your disease into reverse. Dig in! 1. Vegetables. The advantages of eating more vegetables are undeniable. Packed with powerhouse nutrients, vegetables are naturally low in calories, and they’re full of fiber, so they’re plenty filling. Loading your plate with more vegetables will automatically mean you’re eating fewer simple carbs (which raise blood sugar) and saturated fats (which increase insulin resistance). Aim to get four or five servings a day. (A serving is 1/2 cup canned or cooked vegetables or 1 cup raw vegetables.) Go easier on starchy vegetables — including potatoes and corn, and legumes such as lima beans and peas — which are higher in calories than other vegetables. 2. Fruit. It has more natural sugar and calories than most vegetables, so you can’t eat it with utter abandon, but fruit has almost all the advantages that vegetables do — it’s brimming with nutrients you need, it’s low in fat, it’s high in fiber, and it’s relatively low in calories compared with most other foods. Best of all, it’s loaded with antioxidants that help protect your nerves, your eyes, and your heart. Aim to get three or four servings a day. (A serving is one piece of whole fruit, 1/2 cup cooked or canned fruit, or 1 cup raw fruit.) Strive to make most of your fruit servings real produce, not juice. Many of the nutrients and a lot of the fiber found in the skin, flesh, and seeds of fruit are eliminated during juicing, and the calories and sugar are concentrated in juice. 3. Beans. Beans are just about your best source Continue reading >>
12 Powerfoods To Beat Diabetes
Can controlling your blood sugar and preventing diabetes complications be as simple as eating the right foods? Yes. Certain foods are packed with nutrients that stabilize blood sugar levels, protect your heart, and even save your vision from the damaging effects of diabetes. These 12 foods can give you an extra edge against diabetes and its complications. In a Finnish study, men who ate the most apples and other foods high in quercetin had 20 percent less diabetes and heart disease deaths. Other good sources of quercetin are onions, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables, and berries. A study at the Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, found that if you use teaspoon of cinnamon daily, it can make cells more sensitive to insulin. Therefore, the study says, the cells convert blood sugar to energy. After 40 days of taking various amount of cinnamon extract, diabetics experienced not only lower blood sugar spikes after eating, but major improvements in signs of heart health. And you can sprinkle cinnamon on just about anything. Studies show that people with diabetes tend to have lower levels of vitamin C in their bodies, so antioxidant-packed citrus fruit is a great snack choice. It may seem quicker to get your C from a pill, but since fruit is low in fat, high in fiber, and delivers lots of other healthy nutrients, it's a better choice. Heart disease strikes people with diabetes twice as often as it does people without the illness, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acidsthe "good fat" in cold-water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, and Atlantic mackerelcan help lower artery-clogging LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. A study at the University of Texas Southwest Continue reading >>
How To Fight Type 2 Diabetes Through Your Food Choices And Diet Plan
If you have type 2 diabetes — the most common form of diabetes — eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is critical to controlling your weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. By enriching your diet and creating a meal plan tailored to your personal preferences and lifestyle, you'll be able to enjoy the foods you love while minimizing complications and reducing further risk. Although there isn’t any research that directly supports individual dietary choices in the fight against type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t hurt to maintain a balanced diet. More often than not, the average diet is lacking in these key nutrients: calcium magnesium fiber potassium vitamins A, C, D, and E vitamin B-12 for those on metformin Adding foods rich in these nutrients is often a great first step in diabetes management. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the following are considered to be diabetes superfoods: Fat-free milk and yogurt are both a good source of vitamin D, which promotes strong bones and teeth. Whole grains containing germ and bran are often rich in magnesium, chromium, and folate. Regardless of the type, berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and fiber. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and limes, are high in vitamin C. Not only are beans high in fiber, they’re a solid source of potassium and magnesium. Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce your risk of heart disease, so don’t shy away from salmon dishes. In addition to providing magnesium and fiber, nuts can help with hunger management. Some nuts and seeds also contain omega-3s. Tomatoes contain crucial nutrients such as vitamins C and E. Swap regular potatoes for sweet potatoes, which are chock-full of potassium and vitamin A. Dark green leafy vegetables like collards and kale a Continue reading >>
13 Best And Worst Foods For People With Diabetes
If you have diabetes, watching what you eat is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. "The basic goal of nutrition for people with diabetes is to avoid blood sugar spikes," said Dr. Gerald Bernstein, director of the diabetes management program at Friedman Diabetes Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Candy and soda can be dangerous for diabetics because the body absorbs these simple sugars almost instantly. But all types of carbs need to be watched, and foods high in fat—particularly unhealthy fats—are problematic as well because people with diabetes are at very high risk of heart disease, said Sandy Andrews, RD, director of education for the William Sansum Diabetes Center in Santa Barbara, Calif. Worst: White rice The more white rice you eat, the greater your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2012 review. In a study of more than 350,000 people, those who ate the most white rice were at greatest risk for type 2 diabetes, and the risk increased 11 percent for each additional daily serving of rice. "Basically anything highly processed, fried, and made with white flour should be avoided," Andrews said. White rice and pasta can cause blood sugar spikes similar to that of sugar. Have this instead: Brown rice or wild rice. These whole grains don't cause the same blood sugar spikes thanks to fiber, which helps slow the rush of glucose into the bloodstream, Andrews said. What's more, a Harvard School of Public Health study found that two or more weekly servings of brown rice was linked to a lower diabetes risk. Worst: Blended coffees Blended coffees that are laced with syrup, sugar, whipped cream, and other toppings can have as many calories and fat grams as a milkshake, making them a poor choice for those with diabetes. A 16-ounce Continue reading >>
Great Food Swaps For Diabetes—split Pea Soup
When it’s cold outside, sometimes there’s nothing better than a steaming crock of chowder, bisque, or any creamy, rich soup. Cream-style corn and corn chowder are right up there with mashed potatoes when it comes to winter comfort foods. However, on the health meter and in terms of glycemic impact, many of these comforting choices rank pretty low. A somewhat old fashioned, off-the-beaten-track, healthy alternative? Split pea soup. Split peas are relatively low in carbohydrates and have a lower glycemic index than some other legumes. Because split pleas are quick cooking and have the consistency of some favorite American comfort foods, split pea soup makes for a great meal on a chilly day. Add 2 quarts of cold water to 2 ¼ cups of well-rinsed split peas. Let soak overnight, or just simmer for two minutes and soak for an hour. Then, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer covered for about an hour and a half. Add seasonings (salt, fresh pepper, nutmeg) and diced vegetables, such as onion, celery, carrots, leeks, and cook uncovered until veggies are tender. Continue reading >>
Diabetes Diet: Six Foods That May Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
While there's no substitute for a balanced healthy diet, adding certain foods may help those with diabetes keep sugar levels under control. Coffee and cinnamon have made headlines as foods that might be able to help cut the risk of diabetes or help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. However, don't get the idea that such foods are magic pills for your diabetic diet. It's still important for people with diabetes to eat a balanced healthy diet and exercise to help manage the condition. Nevertheless, some foods, such as white bread, are converted almost immediately to blood sugar, causing a quick spike. Other foods, such as brown rice, are digested more slowly, causing a lower and gentler change in blood sugar. If you are trying to follow a healthy diet for diabetes, here are 6 suggestions that may help to keep your blood sugar in check. Porridge Porridge can help control blood sugar and the charity Diabetes UK recommends it to see you through the morning. Even though porridge is a carbohydrate, it's a very good carbohydrate. Because it's high in soluble fibre, it's slower to digest and it won't raise your blood sugar as much or as quickly. It's going to work better at maintaining a healthy blood sugar level over time. Not only does this high-quality carbohydrate offer a steadier source of energy than white bread, it can also help with weight loss. The soluble fibre in oats helps to keep us feeling fuller longer. That's important for people with type 2 diabetes, who tend to be overweight. If you reduce the weight, you usually significantly improve the glucose control. Barley isn't as popular as oats, but there's some evidence that barley, which is also high in soluble fibre, may also help with blood glucose control. Besides oats and barley, most whole grains are going to Continue reading >>
10 Foods That May Help Those With Diabetes
10 Foods That May Help Those With Diabetes To those with Type 2 diabetes, packing more legumes into the diet (including beans, chickpeas, and lentils) may be an easy way to improve glycemic control (or, better manage blood-sugar levels) while also lowering heart-disease risk, finds a new Archives of Internal Medicine study. When 121 patients with Type 2 diabetes ate either a low-GI diet including at least one cup daily of beans or a diet rich in whole wheat products for three months, those on the bean-filled diet were better able to control their blood sugar. “In conclusion, legume consumption of approximately 190 g per day (1 cup) seems to contribute usefully to a low-GI diet and reduce coronary heart disease risk through a reduction in blood pressure,” said lead study author David Jenkins, MD, of the University of Toronto, in a statement. “Support for the continued use of such foods in traditional bean-eating communities, together with their reintroduction into the Western diet, could therefore be justified even if the effect on glycemia is relatively small,” said researchers in a statement. Beans are high in protein, which tends to help lower blood pressure, and also high in fiber, which plays a role in lowering cholesterol. It’s important to note that the study was partially funded by a legume-farmers association. Easy ways to incorporate beans into your meals include snacking on bean dip, making hummus with chickpeas, or tomato and bean burritos, or tossing beans into salads, and stewing hearty bean soup or chili. According to the study background, foods with a low glycemic index (GI) have been linked to better blood-sugar control in people who have Type 2 diabetes. For that reason, low-GI foods are recommended in several national guidelines for people li Continue reading >>
The 10 Best Carbs For Diabetics
Forget what you've been told—a diabetes diagnosis does not mean you've been sentenced to a life without carbs. Well, doughnuts may be off the list, but the right carbs can and should be part of a balanced diet for everyone, explains Anna Taylor, RD, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic. In fact, for those with (type 1 or 2) diabetes, getting enough good-for-you carbs is essential for keeping blood sugar levels under control. The key is to pick carb-containing foods that are also rich in fiber and/or protein, nutrients that actually slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, resulting in a more gradual rise and fall of blood sugar levels. Here are Taylor's top 10 diabetes-friendly carb picks, all of which pack additional nutrients that can help prevent chronic conditions or diabetes complications down the line. Lentils and Beans gettyimages-84763023-lentils-zenshui-laurence-mouton.jpg Lentils and beans are excellent sources of protein and fiber. The 19 grams of carbs from a half cup serving of cooked lentils come with 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber (3 grams per serving is considered a "good" source of fiber; 5 and up is considered an "excellent" source, per FDA guidelines). One thing to note: You get the same benefits from canned beans as you do from cooked, dried beans—but you may want to rinse them first, which can eliminate more than 40% of the sodium. (Diabetes doesn't have to be your fate; Rodale's new book, The Natural Way To Beat Diabetes, shows you exactly what to eat and do to prevent the disease—and even reverse it.) Peas Black-eyed, split, and classic green peas have protein and fiber benefits similar to those of beans and lentils. One cup of green peas (before cooking) packs 8 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and 21 grams of c Continue reading >>
Best Vegetables For Type 2 Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes often feel left out at big family meals and at restaurants, but it should not mean having to avoid delicious food. In fact, no food item is strictly forbidden for people with type 2 diabetes. Healthy eating for people with diabetes is all about moderation and balance. The best vegetables for type 2 diabetes are low on the glycemic index (GI) scale, rich in fiber, or high in blood pressure-lowering nitrates. Why choose vegetables? When considering foods to avoid, many people with diabetes might think about sugary or high-carbohydrate foods, such as cinnamon rolls or bread. Certain vegetables, though, can also cause blood glucose problems. The GI refers to how quickly foods cause blood sugar levels to rise. Foods high on the GI, such as most potatoes, rapidly release glucose, potentially triggering blood glucose spikes. They can also cause weight gain when eaten in excess. Low to moderate GI vegetables, such as carrots, offer better blood glucose control, and a lower risk of weight gain. Nitrates are chemicals that naturally occur in some vegetables. They are also used as preservatives in some foods. Eating nitrate-rich foods, not foods processed with added nitrates, can lower blood pressure, and improve overall circulatory health. This means that nitrate-rich foods, such as beets, are among the best vegetables for people with type 2 diabetes who have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This is still true despite their high level of carbohydrates. The key to good food management, in this instance, is to reduce carbohydrate consumption elsewhere, such as by eliminating bread or sugary snacks. Fiber and protein are both very important in a healthful diabetes diet. Protein is vital for good health, and can help people feel fuller for longer, Continue reading >>
What Are Good Foods To Eat On A Diabetic Diet?
Your diabetes-friendly shopping list should include: Vegetables Tip: These nonstarchy veggies can fill the "produce" portion of your plate: Artichokes Asparagus Beets Bell peppers Broccoli Brussels sprouts Cauliflower Carrots Celery Cucumber Eggplant Green beans Jicama Leafy greens Leeks, onions Mushrooms Snow peas Summer squash Tomatoes Zucchini Tip: These starchy veggies can fill the "starch" section of your plate: Corn Green peas Parsnips Potatoes Winter squash Fruit Tip: Opt for fresh, and avoid added sugars if you go with canned or frozen instead. Apples Apricots Berries Bananas Cherries Citrus fruit Grapes Kiwifruit Mangoes Melons Nectarines Peaches Pears Pineapple Plums Seasonings Tip: Research suggests cinnamon, cloves, and allspice may have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. Fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, mint, cilantro, chives, dill, etc.) Low-sodium spices Vinegars (cider, red wine, rice wine, etc.) For the most part, nutrition guidelines for people with diabetes match what everyone should be doing for their health. You need a balanced diet to get the nutrients you need for good health. (Yes, your mom was right.) Since you have diabetes, this balancing act is even more important -- you need to balance food choices with other parts of your treatment, like your medication and exercise plan. Learning a few basics (like those below) can help you do this. Build a better diet with these 6 basic building blocks: Choose unsaturated fats and oils rather than saturated or trans fats. Include more vegetables and whole fruits in your meals -- they're full of fiber and vitamins. Eat more whole grains like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal. Choose heart-healthy proteins like beans, skinless poultry, and lean meat. Select low-fat dairy products most of the time. L Continue reading >>
Are Peas Good For Diabetes?
Peas are botanically a fruit, though most of us think of peas as vegetables. They are part of the legume family which also include lentils, chickpeas and black beans. There are many types of peas including: Green peas: These are the most common type and come in a number of different varieties such as spring peas and garden sweet peas. The pod is inedible in most varieties of green peas. Green peas should be cooked before eating. Snow peas: Snow peas have a flat, edible pod and are also known sugar peas. Snow peas can be eaten raw or cooked. Snap peas tend to be the sweetest peas and both the peas and pods can be eaten raw or cooked. The pods tend to be plumper than in other varieties of peas. Nutrition Facts About Peas All the varieties of peas have a similar nutritional profile. Peas have a very low estimated glycemic load of 3. They are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. 1 cup (98 grams) of peas has 41 calories, 4 grams of total sugars and 3 grams of dietary fiber. 73% of the total calories in peas comes from carbohydrates with 23% of the total calories from proteins—only 4% of the calories in peas is derived from fats (primarily omega-6 fats with some omega-3 fats). However, you should notice that a good percentage of the calories in peas do come from carbohydrates—these are mainly complex carbohydrates, but that fact is worth mentioning. Peas are great sources of Vitamin C, and good sources of Vitamin A, K, B vitamins and choline. They also contain minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium—and no sodium. Pea Protein There has been a good deal of interest in using pea protein as a source of protein. It is an incomplete protein, meaning that it does not contain all the amino acids needed by the Continue reading >>