What CAN Diabetics Eat?

If you have a garden, you're in luck! I’m sure it came as no surprise to learn that diabetics – heck… scratch that. ALL of us, no matter what state of health we’re in – ALL of us should be avoiding nasty fats, fried foods, meat and dairy, and all junk food.

But, what does that leave? 🙂 What can diabetics eat that isn’t going to make (all of us) feel sorry for ourselves just gazing down at pieces of carrots and celery? 🙂

Don’t worry! There are PLENTY of wonderful foods that are tasty and healthy!

Here is the clue: Plant-based diet.

Yup! The more plant-based foods you include in your diet, the better. The old “food pyramid” of the 1960s is gone. The “foundation” of our diets should no longer be meats and breads. Nope. It’s time to turn that thing on its head and build your nutritional foundation with lots and lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, and legumes.

Matt Traverso talks at great length about the dangers of consuming an animal-based diet, which is what most Americans have heard for so long. I am in agreement with Matt about cutting out meat, but until the incredibly large meat industry stops filling up TV commercial time with those images of barbeques and family dinners, most people aren’t likely to give up meat on their own.

Well… who knows what the future will bring. Remember, there was once a time when cigarette companies could advertise on TV and in magazines. Notice you don’t see that anymore? Anyway, I’ll let Matt explain more about that…

So, even if you’re not quite ready to give up meat, please consider making MOST of your plate loaded with fresh vegetables. Lots and lots of leafy greens. The more raw, the better! You may think that it’s difficult to have tons of raw veggies and fruits, but it’s easier if you begin to consider adding a juicing and/or smoothie regimine to your day. I’ve begun writing about this here, and if you go to my page “What are the Best Juicers on the Market” you’ll get a primer about juicers and blenders in general.

In the book, Matt doesn’t leave you guessing as to what you can do when it comes to juicing – so I’ll leave that to him. In the meantime, some EXCELLENT things you can begin eating, if you aren’t already, include foods low in sugar and fat (obviously – but you’ll soon learn about “good” fats versus “bad” fats) – and a lot of these suggestions come from the American Diabetes Association (which will probably NOT talk about reversing diabetes… just managing it…):

Berries: If you love raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries… boy are you in luck! These are superfoods for EVERYONE… not only people with diabetes!

Dark, Leafy Green Veggies: We are probably harping on this – but veggies such as kale, spinach, brocolli, collard greens are LOADED with more nutrients than I can shake a stick at. Have as much as you want! 🙂 YUMMMMM!

Tomato and Avocado. Yum!Some Fruits: Fruits like Citrus (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits), and also TOMATOES and AVOCADOS are great!! Yup, tomatoes and avocados are fruits – and don’t worry about the occasional avocado as being too “fatty.” It’s a “monounsaturated” fat – like that found in olive oil, so enjoy a California avocado in moderation. Just don’t couple it with tortillas! By the way, even though avocado is a fruit, it’s low in sugar, and the carbohydrate levels are offset somewhat by their high fiber. At their website, www.Diabetes.org, the American Diabetes Association has a number of recipes that include avocado. Here’s a photo of what I just ate – a bowl of chopped tomato and a small avocado. 🙂

Sweet Potatoes: This may sound surprising, since they’re “sweet” but they are actually a better alternative to eating a typical white potato. I was reading an article in Reader’s Digest about this (ok, so maybe Reader’s Digest isn’t the American Medical Association… but still…), and they were explaining that eating a SWEET potato versus WHITE potato would mean “your blood sugar will rise about 30 percent less!” (source: http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/the-health-properties-of-sweet-potatoes/)

Salmon: Salmon is high in the type of fat known as “Omega 3 Fatty Acids” – but don’t ruin it by frying it! 🙂 But you knew that…

Beans and Legumes: Beans and legumes (such as lentils) are everywhere, and they’re CHEAP! 🙂 They are high in fiber and a great source of vegetable protein. I just made a meal last night where I boiled up some lentils (takes about 20 minutes once I pick through them to be sure there aren’t any stones), and then in a pan, I heated up some spinach with chopped garlic and ginger. Once the spinach was cooked, I added the lentils, made sure all excess water was boiled out, then topped it with the juice of a fresh lemon. Try it! It’s REALLY good!

PS: Here’s that disclaimer again! I’m not a doctor or a nurse or a medically-trained professional. Obviously, for people diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to talk about your food choices with a qualified healthcare practitioner who can help you determine the best meal plan for your specific needs. Everyone’s body is different! If you have qualified and trained nutritionists in your area, it might be a good idea to get an appointment with him or her since a lot of regular physicians aren’t completely up to speed on nutrition. Work hand in hand with your health care specialists. And you might find someone who believes you can take charge of your health. Ya never know…

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