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The 15 Best Superfoods For Diabetics

The 15 Best Superfoods For Diabetics

beats1/Shutterstock Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, and research shows that these nutrients reduce insulin resistance, improve insulin sensitivity, drop insulin levels and fasting blood glucose, and blunt cravings. But not all chocolate is created equal. In a 2008 study from the University of Copenhagen, people who ate dark chocolate reported that they felt less like eating sweet, salty, or fatty foods compared to volunteers given milk chocolate, with its lower levels of beneficial flavonoids (and, often, more sugar and fat, too). Dark chocolate also cut the amount of pizza that volunteers consumed later in the same day, by 15 percent. The flavonoids in chocolate have also been shown to lower stroke risk, calm blood pressure, and reduce your risk for a heart attack by 2 percent over five years. (Want more delicious, healthy, seasonal foods? Click here.) Jiri Vaclavek/Shutterstock Broccoli is an anti-diabetes superhero. As with other cruciferous veggies, like kale and cauliflower, it contains a compound called sulforaphane, which triggers several anti-inflammatory processes that improve blood sugar control and protect blood vessels from the cardiovascular damage that’s often a consequence of diabetes. (Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with diabetes, so this protection could be a lifesaver.) Sulforaphane also helps flip on the body’s natural detox mechanisms, coaxing enzymes to turn dangerous cancer-causing chemicals into more innocent forms that the body can easily release. Blueberries funnyangel/Shutterstock Blueberries really stand out: They contain both insoluble fiber (which “flushes” fat out of your system) and soluble fiber (which slows down the emptying of your stomach, and improves blood sugar control). In a study by the USDA, peopl Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Diabetes And Beans

What You Should Know About Diabetes And Beans

Beans are a diabetes super food. The American Diabetes Association advises people with diabetes to add dried beans or no-sodium canned beans to several meals each week. They are low on the glycemic index and can help manage blood sugar levels better than many other starchy foods. Beans also contain protein and fiber, making them a healthy two-for-one nutritional component to every meal. With so many types of beans available, there is bound to be one that suits your palette. Learn more about understanding the glycemic index here. Benefits of beans When planning your meals, remember that 1/3 cup of cooked beans is considered one starch diabetic exchange. One diabetic exchange of beans provides about 80 calories and about 15 grams of carbohydrates. If using the beans as a replacement for animal protein, the serving size or diabetic exchange is 1/2 cup. For every half-cup of beans, make sure to account for one very lean protein exchange and one starch exchange. The nutritional information for beans varies slightly from bean to bean. Here’s the nutritional information, 1/3 cup each, for some beans you may want to try: Type Black beans Lima beans Red kidney beans Calories 75 60 73 Protein (g) 5 3 5 Carbohydrates (g) 13 11 12 Fiber (g) 5 3 4 Beans are a good alternative to meat because of their high protein content. Unlike meat, beans have no saturated fat and ample fiber, which makes them a healthy exchange. When looking at exchange lists, beans are usually grouped with starches such as breads and potatoes. But remember that beans tend to be much higher in protein and fiber than other starchy foods. Beans also provide significant soluble fiber, which feeds healthy gut bacteria and results in improved gut health and reduced insulin resistance in animal studies. More research Continue reading >>

5 Surprising Foods That Help Fight Diabetes

5 Surprising Foods That Help Fight Diabetes

Are you bored with sugar-free candy, low carbohydrate pasta, and endless chicken dinners? Having diabetes does not mean that your diet should be boring. In fact, it should be the opposite. Variety keeps your palate interested and ensures that you get a healthy balance of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. The following 5 foods may or may not be a regular part of your diet, but each has a positive effect on diabetes management and prevention. Experiment with some of the “try this” options below for an easy way to incorporate these foods into your meals. Sunflower Seeds Sunflower seeds are a humble snack. They often sit on the shelf overlooked because of the hoards of positive press that almonds and walnuts get. Almonds and walnuts are very healthful nuts, but sunflower seeds are also full of important vitamins and minerals. Some of the nutrients in sunflower seeds that make them unique are copper, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, and zinc. The presence and combination of so many of these nutrients can be hard to come by in common foods. Sunflower seeds have about 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein in an ounce of kernels. The best part is that sunflower seeds, while high in total fat (about 14 grams), contain mostly polyunsaturated fat, which researchers believe is the best type of fat to combat diabetes. Try this: Swap out your peanuts for sunflower seeds. Or hunt down a jar of sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter for an easy way to get your fix. Salmon Salmon boasts numerous health benefits. It’s a great source of protein that is low in saturated fat and has important omega-3 fatty acid for excellent heart health. The combination of omega-3 and polyunsaturated fats in salmon keeps blood pressure down and protects the heart from disease. Research Continue reading >>

Eat Beans For Better Blood Sugar With Diabetes

Eat Beans For Better Blood Sugar With Diabetes

Beans sometimes get a bum rap. Truth be told, beans boast an amazing number of health benefits. If you have diabetes, beans, and other legumes can help you maintain better control of your blood sugar. What's a legume, you ask? A legume is a plant whose seeds or fruit are found in a long case, called a pod. Beans, chickpeas and lentils are common legumes. Legumes are a low glycemic index food that won't cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar. The glycemic index looks at how fast a carbohydrate-containing food, like beans, raises your blood sugar (glucose) level compared to a baseline product like white bread. Foods low on the index breakdown slowly in the body, so you don't get a sudden rush of sugar into your bloodstream. High glycemic foods (like white rice), on the other hand, get digested more quickly, which can send your blood sugar soaring. Diabetes Superfood Many diabetes nutrition guidelines recommend beans and legumes as part of a healthy diet. In fact, the American Diabetes Association includes them in their list of Diabetes Superfoods. Here's why beans and legumes are so good for you: They provide slowly digested starch (carbohydrate), which reduces blood sugar spikes. They are full of healthy fiber, so they keep you feeling full longer. They're packed with protein, which your body needs to work properly. They are low in fat. Studies show that adding 1 cup (190 grams) of legumes to your daily diet helps lower hemoglobin A1C levels. (That's your average blood sugar level for the last 2-3 months.) Some research hints that eating legumes at breakfast prevents spikes after that meal and subsequent ones that day. And legumes are also good for your heart. A daily dose of beans and legumes can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary ar Continue reading >>

Mexican Black Bean Soup

Mexican Black Bean Soup

This Recipe Serves 7 Ingredients Cooking spray 2 teaspoons canola oil ½ onion, diced 1 pound skinless, boneless, chicken breast, cut into ½-inch cubes ½ teaspoon Adobo seasoning (such as Goya); divided ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 40 ounces fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth 14.5-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes 1 tablespoon chili powder ½ teaspoon cumin ½ cup frozen corn 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained Instructions Spray a large soup pot with cooking spray. Add oil and onion and sauté over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until clear. Add chicken and season with ¼ teaspoon Adobo seasoning and pepper. Cook chicken until slightly brown, about 6-7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (including the other ¼ teaspoon Adobo seasoning). Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: You can purchase gluten-free chicken broth and verify the spices and beans are gluten-free and this dish can be gluten-free. Continue reading >>

Can Beans And Rice Work In Your Diabetes Diet?

Can Beans And Rice Work In Your Diabetes Diet?

THURSDAY, April 12, 2012 — White rice and anything made with white flour are big diabetes diet "don'ts." Multiple studies have shown that as you digest these "white" foods, your body essentially treats them like sugar, which can cause a blood-sugar spike in patients with the disease and also increase a person's risk for developing diabetes. (Rice consumption is one reason diabetes rates are high among Asian populations.) Beans, meanwhile, are a complex starch that's thought to be a healthy component to most diets. Beans are high in fiber and protein, and contain essential nutrients, such as iron, zinc, and folate, as well as a compound that can inhibit the blood's ability to absorb sugar. So when you combine the good and the bad, does it add up to a diabetes-friendly dish? That's the question researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University posed in their recent study published in Nutrition Journal as part of an effort to help tailor diabetes care to cultural groups. After examining the blood glucose levels of adults with type 2 diabetes who consumed either pinto beans and white, long grain rice, black beans and white, long grain rice, red kidney beans and white, long grain rice or white, long grain rice alone, researchers found that the pairing of any type of beans with rice can help stop unhealthy blood sugar spikes. In the trial, blood glucose levels were significantly lower for the three bean and rice groups compared to the rice-only group after 90, 120, and 150 minutes. Because beans and rice are a popular food combination in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, researchers believe this new finding can help people living with type 2 diabetes in those cultures adhere to a diet that will help them better manage their diabetes Continue reading >>

14 Foods That Could Change A Diabetic's Life

14 Foods That Could Change A Diabetic's Life

Print Font: When you think of managing blood sugar, odds are you obsess over everything you can't have. While it's certainly important to limit no-no ingredients (like white, refined breads and pastas and fried, fatty, processed foods), it's just as crucial to pay attention to what you should eat. We suggest you start here. Numerous nutrition and diabetes experts singled out these power foods because 1) they're packed with the 4 healthy nutrients (fiber, omega-3s, calcium, and vitamin D) that make up Prevention's Diabetes DTOUR Diet, and 2) they're exceptionally versatile, so you can use them in recipes, as add-ons to meals, or stand-alone snacks. 1. Beans Beans have more to boast about than being high in fiber (plant compounds that help you feel full, steady blood sugar, and even lower cholesterol; a half cup of black beans delivers more than 7 grams). They're a not-too-shabby source of calcium, a mineral that research shows can help burn body fat. In ½ cup of white beans, you'll get almost 100 mg of calcium—about 10% of your daily intake. Beans also make an excellent protein source; unlike other proteins Americans commonly eat (such as red meat), beans are low in saturated fat—the kind that gunks up arteries and can lead to heart disease. How to eat them: Add them to salads, soups, chili, and more. There are so many different kinds of beans, you could conceivably have them every day for a week and not eat the same kind twice. 2. Dairy You're not going to find a better source of calcium and vitamin D—a potent diabetes-quelling combination—than in dairy foods like milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt. One study found that women who consumed more than 1,200 mg of calcium and more than 800 IU of vitamin D a day were 33% less likely to develop diabetes than those taki Continue reading >>

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Ingredients Tip *Test Kitchen Tip: Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water. Tip For easy cleanup: Line your slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Add ingredients as directed in recipe. Once your dish is finished cooking, spoon the food out of your slow cooker and simply dispose of the liner. Do not lift or transport the disposable liner with food inside. Continue reading >>

Cuban-style Black Beans And Rice

Cuban-style Black Beans And Rice

Cook 10 hrs to 12 hrs (low) or 5 to 6 hours (high) 1 1/2 cups dry black beans, rinsed and drained 1 -2 fresh jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped* 2 cups hot cooked brown rice or white rice 1 small fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and chopped* In a large saucepan, combine the 4 cups water and the beans. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Place beans in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add broth, the 1 cup chopped onion, the bay leaves, finely chopped chile peppers, garlic, cumin, lime peel, salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. Drain beans, reserving liquid. Discard bay leaves. Mash beans slightly. Stir in enough liquid (about 1/2 cup) to moisten to desired consistency. Serve beans with hot cooked rice. Top with cilantro, chopped chile peppers, tomatoes, and additional chopped onion. Serve with lime wedges. * Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water. Tip: For easy cleanup, line your slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Add ingredients as directed in recipe. Once your dish is finished cooking, spoon the food out of your slow cooker and simply dispose of the liner. Do not lift or transport the disposable liner with food inside. PER SERVING: 266 cal., 2 g total fat 393 mg sodium, 50 g carb. (10 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 14 g pro. Continue reading >>

Are Black Beans Safe For Diabetics?

Are Black Beans Safe For Diabetics?

Q. I noticed that black beans are high in carbohydrates and was wondering whether they were safe for a diabetic to consume. Also, where can I buy high quality black beans? A. Beans, including black beans, do contain carbohydrates, but they also contain a significant amount of dietary fiber, protein, and other nutrients that result in a relatively low glycemic index rating. Foods with low glycemic index values are better choices for stabilizing blood sugar than foods with high glycemic index values, and most healthcare practitioners would support the inclusion of low glycemic index foods in the meal plan of a person with diabetes. Relatively high glycemic index foods have ratings above 50, and often between 75-100. Most beans have glycemic index values in the 20-50 range. As you can see, that places them on the bottom half of the glycemic index rating system. For more information on glycemic index see our article on that subject. Should you have specific questions as to whether black beans are supportive of your individual health, we suggest that you ask your healthcare practitioner. It's fairly easy to find uncooked, dry black beans at most supermarkets. However, unless those beans carry a certified organic label, you cannot be sure that you are getting the highest quality beans. Usually, my favorite place to find high quality black beans is at a natural foods grocery or health food store. That's because these stores often carry organic products. For more information on this topic see: Continue reading >>

Beans May Be Beneficial For People With Diabetes

Beans May Be Beneficial For People With Diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes may be able to improve their health by eating a daily dose of beans, according to a new study. Research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on Oct. 22 shows that subjects who consumed one cup of beans daily for three months were able to lower their blood sugar and blood pressure from their original levels, even more than another group who ate a high-wheat fiber diet. "People with diabetes did better in terms of blood sugar control on the bean diet versus a diet without beans, which was otherwise extremely healthy," says researcher Dr. David J.A. Jenkins, professor of medicine and nutrition at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said to WebMD. Beans or legumes are considered low-glycemic index foods. The glycemic index orders food by how they affect a person's blood sugar level. High glycemic scores are digested quicker and cause a spike in blood sugar, which is often followed by a quick drop in blood sugar levels. Low foods are digested slowly and raise your blood sugar slowly. Foods like white rice, watermelon and boiled red potatoes with skin are considered high on the index and have a score of 70 or up, according to the Mayo Clinic. Examples of low-glycemic foods include grapefruits, skim milk, raw carrots and apples, all of which receive a score of 55 and under. Medium foods, which score in the 56 to 69 range, include sweet corn, bananas and certain types of ice cream. The study involved 121 men and women who had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Participants were assigned to a group that was instructed to eat a healthy diet high in wheat fiber or a group told to eat a healthy diet including a cup of legumes a day (about two servings). They were also given a checklist of recommended foods and qua Continue reading >>

Why Eating More Of This High-fiber Food May Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Why Eating More Of This High-fiber Food May Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Researchers have identified yet another way pulses can boost your health. Here's how to add more lentils, beans, and chickpeas to your diet. Pulses are trending big time. That includes all types of beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas. New products—from lentil chips to roasted chickpeas—are appearing on grocery story shelves, and desserts made with pulse flours and pureed pulses are all over Pinterest (black bean brownies, anyone?). There's a lot to love about pulses: They're gluten-free and eco-friendly, and loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. And now, there's another reason to add more pulses to your diet: Recent research suggests they might help you stave off type 2 diabetes. A new study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition tracked more than 3,300 adults who were at high risk of heart disease for four years. Researchers found that compared to those with a low intake of pulses (12.73 grams/day, or about 1.5 servings/week), those with a higher consumption (28.75 grams/day, equivalent to 3.35 servings/week) had a 35% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study also showed that participants who substituted half a serving of pulses a day for a similar serving of eggs, bread, rice, or baked potato had a lower incidence of diabetes. The health protection that pulses offer may be related to several factors. In addition to being rich in B vitamins and minerals (including calcium, potassium and magnesium), pulses have a unique macronutrient makeup: The protein, fiber, and carbohydrates that pulses pack help to slow digestion. This extends the feeling of fullness, delays hunger, and results in a low glycemic response—meaning pulses help your body regulate blood glucose and insulin levels. Full disclosure: I’m obsessed with pulses. A few years ago I wro Continue reading >>

Beans Will Rock Your World

Beans Will Rock Your World

I’ve started eating a lot more beans. Why? They are healthy and cheap. They make me feel good, and it turns out they taste great if you prepare them right. Research shows that beans are even better if you have diabetes. A woman in my neighborhood got me started. We were talking about diabetes, and she said she had been diagnosed with Type 2 five years ago. But she now eats beans with every meal, and all her numbers are back to normal, including her glucose tolerance test. I figured I should look into it. Of course the first place to look is always Diabetes Self-Management‘s Amy Campbell. Here’s what she wrote in 2007: “Beans are a rich source of protein. One cup of beans contains about 16 grams of protein, the same as 2 ounces of meat or chicken. People who are vegetarians typically use beans and bean products as their main source of protein. Beans contain no cholesterol…and only about 1 gram of fat (non of it saturated, either).” That’s just the start. Amy says beans “also contains about 15 grams of [mostly-soluble] fiber…which can help lower cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease…Beans are also a great source of iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as vitamin A and folate.” That column was from five years ago. Since then, others have been shouting the praises of beans even more loudly. According to Jim Healthy, editor of the Web site My Healing Kitchen, “Beans are best for diabetes,” because “they are loaded with all-important fiber, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugars in your bloodstream, assists your body’s insulin response to glucose, and helps you burn fat faster.” They will limit the spikes in glucose levels after meals. (See last week’s blog entry “Stop Spiking Those Sugars!”) H Continue reading >>

Which Beans Are Good For Diabetics?

Which Beans Are Good For Diabetics?

Certain foods are particularly healthy for diabetics because they help balance blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of related disorders, such as heart disease. Beans contain high amounts of dietary fiber, the part of a plant food that the body cannot digest or absorb. All beans contain soluble fiber, which dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that helps reduce cholesterol and glucose. This fiber is found in several types of beans. Video of the Day The deep, rich color of black beans is due to substances called anthocyanin flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help cleanse the body of toxins and repair damage to cells, according to the site Health Mad. A cup of black beans contains 15 g of fiber, more than half the recommended daily requirement of fiber. This soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels for better diabetes control. Black beans also contain the mineral molybdenum and vitamin B6 or folate, an important nutrient for pregnant women and for protection against heart disease. Lima beans are also healthy for people with diabetes because they contain high amounts of fiber for digestive and colon health. This fiber-rich food helps your body control weight and stabilize blood glucose levels. Lima beans are good sources of the minerals manganese, magnesium and iron, which play important roles in energy metabolism and bone health. Manganese is also important for breaking down dietary fats, protein and carbohydrates. Lima beans also contain protein and carbohydrates and have few calories, little sodium and no saturated fat, according to nutritional info on the Peer Trainer website. Kidney beans are reddish brown and commonly used in dishes such as chili, rice and soups. This type of bean is healthy in a diabetic meal Continue reading >>

Best Foods For Type 2 Diabetes

Best Foods For Type 2 Diabetes

Beans If you’re looking for foods that raise blood-sugar levels slowly and gently like rolling waves, choose high-quality carbohydrates instead of low-quality carbs like refined grains and sugary foods. Whenever possible, you’ll want to couple these carbs with protein and/or healthy fat. Beans (including black, white, navy, lima, pinto, garbanzo, soy, and kidney) are a winning combination of high-quality carbohydrates, lean protein, and soluble fiber that helps stabilize your body’s blood-sugar levels and keeps hunger in check. Beans are also inexpensive, versatile, and virtually fat-free. Continue reading >>

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