Everyday Health – “Eating a variety of different types of nutrient-dense foods creates the healthiest diet since there is no one food that provides all of the essential nutrients our body needs for optimum health,” says Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE, a health, food, and fitness coach in Arizona and dietitian with the Mayo Clinic Diet online program.
Liven up your meal plan and enhance your health by adding these good-for-diabetes foods to your shopping list.
If you crave foods high in sugar and fat, your snack substitute will need to deliver taste and crunch to be satisfying. Consider pumpkin seeds, a healthy treat that’s a good source of iron and unsaturated fats, the kind that are good for your heart. As with any snack, the key is portion control. If you consume a one-half cup portion of whole pumpkin seeds, you’ll have a great snack that totals 143 calories and 17 grams (g) of carbohydrates.
Nuts can be high in calories, so you can’t eat too many without risking weight gain. But the good news is that just 1 ounce (oz) a day can move you toward a healthier diet if you have diabetes.
In a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, people who ate more nuts showed the most improvement in blood sugar levels.
Grieger suggests replacing snacks high in refined carbohydrates, such as chips, cookies, and candy, with up to 2 oz of nuts per day to get the most benefit in managing blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds, which come from the chia plant, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower your triglycerides and raise your HDL (“good”) cholesterol level — a goal of many people with diabetes. These seeds also are rich in fiber, with nearly 10 g per oz, or about 5 g per tablespoon, and fiber can make you feel fuller. Sprinkle chia seeds on healthy diet choices, like whole grain cereal, oatmeal, and low- or nonfat yogurt. Read more.