10 Superfoods: Diet with Diabetes

Diet with Diabetes

Managing diabetes means managing what you eat. How does one manage to diet with diabetes? Oftentimes, it is difficult to find a variety of good-tasting foods that are healthy for both your diabetes and your heart. To help you broaden the variety of foods you turn to, here is a list of 10 super foods—foods that pack a wallop of good nutrition along with great taste.

  1. Leafy green vegetables:Bok choy, broccoli, spinach, kale, watercress, as well as beet, collard, mustard and turnip greens

    Nutrition assets: Great sources of vitamins A, C, folic acid and calcium.

    How to eat more:

    Saute any of these leafy greens with garlic to widen your horizon of cooked vegetables.
    Make your salads more interesting and nutritious with fresh spinach, kale or watercress.
    Use bok choy, spinach and/or broccoli in stir-fry.

  2. Berries:Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries

    Nutrition assets: Loaded with vitamin C and fiber.

    How to eat more:

    Toss berries into a salad or cereal.
    Top a dish of berries with yogurt.
    Use fresh berries to add flavor to chicken or pork.
    Enjoy berries year-round. Keep frozen unsweetened berries in your freezer. Warm them up for a sweet dessert, to top waffles, pancakes, plain yogurt or low-fat frozen yogurt.

  3. High fiber grains:Barley, buckwheat, bulgur, millet and quinoa

    Nutrition assets: Loaded with fiber and some B vitamins.

    How to eat more:

    Use these grains to widen your choice of starches. Substitute them for your usual rice, pasta or potato side dishes.
    Saute garlic, onions and mushrooms and add to grains while cooking.
    Prepare a combination of high-fiber grain with rice.
    Add bulgur or buckwheat to a meat- or turkey-loaf.

  4. Dried peas and beans:Garbanzo, kidney, pinto and white beans (and others), green and yellow peas and lentils

    Nutrition assets: High in fiber. Good sources of vitamins: folic acid, B vitamins, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin and the minerals iron, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium.

    How to eat more:

    Toss in salads.
    Use as a starch side dish.
    Eat Mexican. Use fat-free refried beans or black beans to make burritos or enchiladas. Or make chili.
    Use bean-based soups as the main course for a quick lunch or dinner. Add a salad and whole grain bread, and you’ve got dinner.
    Blend for dips or spreads.
    Note: Make life easy—use canned beans.

  5. High fiber breads, crackers and cereals:Nutrition assets: High in fiber and a good source of B vitamins. Enough fiber can help improve blood glucose and blood lipid levels and keep your bowels regular.

    How to eat more:

    Use a high-fiber cereal in combination with your other favorite cereals. A high-fiber cereal should contain at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
    Use high-fiber cereal for a snack or mix in yogurt.
    When you buy bread, look for a whole grain loaf with at least 3 grams of fiber per slice.
    Choose whole grain crackers with at least 2 grams of fiber per serving.

  6. Oily fish:Salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, and anchovies

    Nutrition assets: High in omega-3 fats that can reduce triglycerides. They also prevent the formation of blood clots and prevent blood clots from sticking to artery walls.

    How to eat more:

    Have at least one to two fish meals per week with these oily fish.
    Make salmon or tuna salad for a quick sandwich or salad topping.
    Use pickled herring or salmon in wine sauce for a quick meal.
    Use anchovies on salads or pizza.

  7. Low- and non-fat milk and yogurt:Nutrition assets: The best sources of readily absorbed calcium, and good sources of some B vitamins and vitamin A and D. Two servings a day may help lower blood pressure.

    How to eat more:

    Choose calcium-fortified fat-free milk.
    When you make hot cereal, rice or grains, use a combination of milk and water to calcium fortify your hot cereal.
    Eat high-fiber cold cereal with fat-free milk for a healthy breakfast or snack.
    Opt for yogurt sweetened with a no-calorie sweetener as a snack or to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  8. Nuts:Nutrition assets: High in monounsaturated fats (except for walnuts), which help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Great source of vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium and fiber.

    How to eat more:

    Snack on a handful of nuts—they’re easy to pack and easy to nibble.
    Toss a few nuts onto salads, stir-fry, casseroles or into cooked or dry cereal.
    Add nuts to yogurt, frozen yogurt or ice cream for crunch.
    Add nuts to muffins and other baked goods.
    Note: Try toasting nuts before using. It brings out their great taste.

  9. High monounsaturated fat oils:Olive, canola and peanut oil

    Nutrition assets: High in monounsaturated fats which lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.

    How to eat more:

    Stock one or more of these oils in your cupboard. Use only these oils.
    Use these oils wherever possible instead of margarine or butter, when making eggs, sauteing vegetables and making rice or pasta.
    Make your own salad dressing with olive or canola oil.

  10. Plant stanol and sterol spreads:Benecol spread, and Softgels and Take Control spread

    Nutrition assets: Help reduce LDL cholesterol.

    How to eat more:

    Choose Benecol (with plant stanol ester) or Take Control (plant sterol ester) for your margarine-like spread. Use a serving three times a day to get maximal lowering of LDL cholesterol.
    Use to saute on bread or toast, on vegetables, potatoes, pancakes or waffles.
    Benecol now is available in Softgels. Take 6 a day for ideal LDL-lowering effect.

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Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN—an award-winning RD, certified diabetes educator, and past national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is the author of The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes, which received the Favorably Reviewed designation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes.

Dr. Lori Shemek, PhD, CNC, CLC, the best-selling author of “Fire-Up Your Fat Burn! and leading health and weight loss expert, is also known as “The Inflammation Terminator.” She has made it her mission to educate the public on the toxic effects of certain foods and lifestyle choices and how they create inflammation in the body. She is a leading authority on inflammation and its role in weight loss, preventing disease and optimizing health.

Rebecca Bitzer – MS, RD/LD, CEDRD is an award-winning Registered Dietitian, writer, speaker, blogger, and REBEL Dietitian business owner. Rebecca and her team of six Registered Dietitians have counseled thousands of clients struggling with diabetes for over twenty-five years. They work closely with each other along with internists, endocrinologists, therapists, and families.

Maureen Sullivan – RN, CDE has worked for many years as a Registered Nurse, most of them in emergency and trauma services. She is a Certified Emergency Nurse, Certified Diabetes Educator, and the former manager of a hospital stroke program. Maureen’s wealth of knowledge, passion for nursing and education, and ability to engage people makes her an excellent teacher and a captivating lecturer. Recently, Maureen has been concentrating on writing, speaking and teaching, as well as working on her award-winning weekly podcast, “The Health and Humor Show.”

Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN is a nutrition communications specialist, registered dietitian in private practice, social media consultant, speaker, spokesperson and corporate consultant. She is currently the owner of Nutrition Starring YOU, LLC and www.NutritionStarringYOU.com. Lauren strongly believes that we should “Think Healthy, not Skinny”, and “EveryBODY is unique, your diet should be too”. Lauren was co-host of the Family Food Experts Kitchen radio show, available for listening on iHeart Radio and iTunes. Also known as one of the “NutritionBabes”, Lauren co-founded NutritionBabes.com, a popular Health and Wellness website in 2009. NutritionBabes.com was voted one of Healthline’s Top 100 Health Blogs in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Mark Heyman, PhD, CDE is a clinical health psychologist and the director of the Center for Diabetes and Mental Health (CDMH). In addition to treating patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, Dr. Heyman provides training for health care providers on how to identify and address the emotional and behavioral aspects of diabetes in their patients. He also works with pharmaceutical and medical device companies to help them understand these issues and incorporate this information into their sales, marketing, and patient education materials. He is particularly interested in empirically supported behavioral interventions that promote behavior change and improve physical and mental health in people with diabetes.

Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE is a nationally-recognized registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and author with an expertise in nutrition communications and curriculum development. She is the co-author of “Diet Therapy in Advanced Practice Nursing” (McGraw Hill, 2014) and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Nutrition at the University of California San Francisco and University of San Diego’s graduate schools of nursing.

Dr. Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE (aka “Dr. Bev”) is a clinical psychologist and certified diabetes educator, author and speaker. She specializes treating the emotional issues of people with diabetes. In her private practice, she provides individual, family and/or group therapy utilizing a cognitive behavior therapy orientation, combined with a spiritual approach. Her goal is to empower her patients to manage their diabetes.

Dr. Bev is the author of two self-help diabetes books. She has written numerous articles which are published in print and online – always focused on diabetes from the emotional perspective. She also speaks to audiences of people living with diabetes, as well as, to audiences of healthcare professionals and diabetes educators. Dr. Bev, herself, has been living successfully with type 1 diabetes for 40+ years.

In August 2016, Dr. Bev was honored to receive the “CDE Entrepreneur of the Year” Award from her Metropolitan NY Association of Diabetes Educators.

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, FAND is an internationally recognized nutrition and diabetes expert with more than two decades experience. Through writing, speaking and one-on-one coaching, Jill empowers people to grab control of their health. She has worked as both a nutrition counselor and a diabetes educator in the hospital and research settings, and now in private practice in Newport News, VA. Jill is known for her practical approach and caring attitude. Her no-nonsense strategies to eating well include foods that both taste good and are good for you.

Marlene Koch (pronounced ‘cook’) is a nationally recognized nutritionist, popular TV personality and New York Times bestselling author. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science. She is a registered dietitian and one of a select group of dietitians to hold an advanced certificate in Child and Adolescent Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

Marlene has taught professional chefs from the American Culinary Federation the principles of healthy cooking and eating. She has been adjunct Nutrition professor and cooking instructor for Columbus State College and the Columbus State Culinary Academy, and she is a nationally recognized expert in weight loss, diabetes, child and adolescent nutrition, and sugar substitutes.

Marlene has sold over one million cookbooks, and is a regular guest on QVC.

Barbara Ruhs – MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Neighborhood Nutrition LLC, a consulting firm focused on providing solutions to help food companies and supermarkets improve consumer health & wellness. She’s a former supermarket dietitian and has run a successful business for 17 years. A leader in the field of nutrition, her mission is to help people by impacting the way food is produced, marketed and sold. She’s a strong advocate for supermarket dietitians and believes the retail food industry has the greatest potential to impact public health.

Cheryl Orlansky has over 25 years of experience in health promotion and chronic disease prevention and management. Her first career as a registered dental hygienist led her towards a path of wellness and nutrition! Her expertise is in diabetes, weight management and cardiovascular disease for individuals and groups. She works in a large private practice including endocrinology, internal medicine, rheumatology, neurology and sleep medicine. She is an award winning dietitian with current leadership positions in state and local dietetics organizations.

She has been interviewed and quoted in media outlets for WebMD, Atlanta Sports and Fitness, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. She has partnered with V-103 Radio to lead supermarket tours as part of a community outreach during National Nutrition Month.

Cheryl helps her clients reach balance through lifestyle choices: cooking and eating, activity and purpose in life.

Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and classically-trained chef. With a passion for helping people (including her father) with diabetes, she’s author of The With or Without Meat Cookbook: The Flexible Approach to Flavorful Diabetes Cooking and the award-winning The All‐Natural Diabetes Cookbook, both published by the American Diabetes Association. Jackie is also author of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes and Big Green Cookbook. Her next book, The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook—2nd Edition, was published in 2015.

Nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH is the author of the best-selling book, The One One One Diet. She holds a master’s degree in public health nutrition from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and is also a Wellcoaches Certified Health and Wellness Coach endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

OmnichannelHealth Media, publisher of DiabetesDigest.com, does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.