Foods for Diabetes
Recently, I had the pleasure of cooking a four-course dinner for a group of esteemed guests that benefited the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF. Naturally, there was lots of talk about the latest research on diabetes but surprisingly, there was little discussion about foods as they related to the health of diabetics both those with Type I and Type II diabetes.
What most of us don’t realize is that what we eat and drink has a direct relationship with our body and how it reacts to disease. Foods can help prevent illness, help reverse symptoms of disease, relieve inflammation and just make you feel better – or worse.
Diabetes is among the 10 leading causes of death in the United States. It ranks 7th among men age 40-55 and 8th among women of the same age group. According to the Center for Disease Control, during the time period of 1998 to 2008, the number of Americans with diabetes increased nearly 500%. The American Diabetes Association estimates that over 79 million Americans have “pre-diabetes”. Many cases of diabetes can be reversed through a change in diet and diabetes, in general, can be better managed and symptoms relieved through a focus on diet change. It is important to note that ANY change in diet should be reviewed by your doctor before implementing as every person is unique and has different dietary needs.
Foods for Diabetes:
The following foods have been proven effective in reversing the symptoms of Type II diabetes and managing Type I diabetes:
*Bitter Melon – a powerful fruit known to Asian cultures. Bitter Melon contains the insulin-like phytochemicals known as charantin and polypeptide-P. These phytochemicals help lower blood sugar and increase glucose uptake. Ultimately, bitter melon can help regenerate pancreas function. Bitter melon can cause hypoglycemia similar to the way insulin tablets or injections can.
*Eat ¼ medium bitter melon in a smoothie, raw salad or cooked twice a day. Because bitter melon actually does taste bitter, blend or eat with curries, beans. Try this delicious Black Bean Burger recipe that contains bitter melon.
*Fall in love with beans; bean soups, hummus with celery, lentils; If you use canned beans, use low sodium, drained and rinsed.
*Raw pumpkin seeds
And, incorporate aerobic exercise into your daily routine to improve blood circulation. Walking, swimming, cycling are great examples of exercises to partake in at least 30 minutes per day
Foods to avoid:
*Vegetable oils and soybean oil – replace with coconut oil and olive oil but do not cook with olive oil
*Fruits except bitter melon, lime and acai.
*Grains, sprouted breads, pasta, bran muffins, spelt, bagels, pancakes, corn chips and starches, carbohydrates of this nature
Among the resources used: “Conquering Any Disease” by Jeff Primack, copyright 2015; CDC.org and the American Diabetes Association