Fourteen ADA-Approved Foods for Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Jill Weisenberger, author of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide reveals the best foods for lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Style Magazine Newswire | 6/12/2018, 2:36 p.m.
The typical American diet leaves a lot to be desired. It's heavy on calories, saturated fats, added sugars, fatty meats, ...
Prediabetes: A Complete Guide: Your Lifestyle Reset to Stop Prediabetes and Other Chronic Illnesses (American Diabetes Association, May 2018, ISBN: 978-1-580-40674-1, $16.95) is available at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers.

Nuts. Some studies show that when people with type 2 diabetes consume nuts, their blood glucose levels improve, as do measures of their heart health. Although not seen in all research, many studies show that eating nuts also helps prevent type 2 diabetes. In general, nuts provide unsaturated fats, vegetable protein, fiber, folate, magnesium, and a host of other vitamins and minerals. Almonds provide a good dose of vitamin E. Pistachios have lots of blood pressure–friendly potassium and lutein, an antioxidant. Walnuts offer omega-3 fatty acids, and peanuts tend to be easier on the budget than other nuts, even though they are packed with nutrition, too. Nuts are calorie-dense, however, so do keep portion sizes in mind.

Yogurt. Although studies are mixed, many suggest that dairy foods have a protective effect against type 2 diabetes. Perhaps the strongest link is the association between yogurt and less risk of diabetes. One large population study found that an increase of one serving of yogurt per day was associated with an 18 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It's unclear how yogurt could influence health this way, but it may be related to its probiotics or unique nutritional profile. Additionally, some studies also link yogurt to lower obesity risk.

Whole Grains. Because there are so many types of whole grains and so many ways to eat them, researching them as a group is confusing. However, according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, healthful patterns that include whole grains appear to be associated with less type 2 diabetes. Some examples of whole grains include: whole wheat, wheat berries, farro, freekeh, sorghum, amaranth, whole rye, oats, oatmeal, rolled oats, whole-grain corn, whole-grain barley, wild rice, brown rice, millet, popcorn, and quinoa.

Oats and Barley. Oats are a whole grain and contain the soluble fiber ?-glucan (beta-glucan). Beta-glucan improves insulin action and lowers blood glucose levels and also sweeps cholesterol from your digestive tract before it reaches your bloodstream. Therefore, oats may help lower your risks for both heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Barley also contains cholesterol-lowering, insulin-sensitizing beta-glucan.

Herbs and Spices. These flavor boosters provide the same types of disease-fighting phytonutrients that are in fruits and vegetables. Add taste with both fresh and dried seasonings. Cinnamon in particular has been studied for its potential effects on blood glucose levels. Add some to oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, and even coffee.

Vinegar. Research suggests that vinegar consumed with a high-carbohydrate meal improves both blood glucose and insulin levels. Sprinkle some on your salad, roasted vegetables, and other foods.

Berries. A Finnish study found that middle-aged and older men who consumed the most berries had a whopping 35 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Enjoy a variety! Choose strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and others.

Fruits. In general, eating fruits is associated with less chronic disease. Yet many people fear fruit because of its carbohydrate content. Specifically, most of the carbohydrate in fruit is sugar, so it's not surprising why many people worry. While it is true that carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels more than other nutrients, it is not true that fruit raises blood glucose more than other carb-containing foods.