The (5) Best Foods for Preventing or Reversing Diabetes [Part-2 in our series]
(POR) Among other things, diabetes doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, type-2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease — our food choices can either prevent or promote insulin resistance and resultant diabetes. [Read about: “The 5 Worst Foods For Diabetes” here]
Many conventional diabetes diets rely on meat or grains as the major calorie source. However, these strategies have serious drawbacks. [More]
High-nutrient, low glycemic load (GL) foods are the optimal foods for diabetics, and these foods also help to prevent diabetes in the first place:
- Green vegetables — Nutrient-dense green vegetables (leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage), and other green vegetables) are the most important foods to focus on for diabetes prevention and reversal. Higher green vegetable consumption is associated with lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes, and among diabetics, higher green vegetable intake is associated with lower HbA1c levels. A recent meta-analysis found that greater leafy green intake was associated with a 14% decrease in risk of type-2 diabetes. One study reported that each daily serving of leafy greens produces a 9% decrease in risk.
- Non-starchy vegetables — Non-green, non-starchy vegetables like mushrooms, onions, garlic, eggplant, peppers, etc. are essential components of a diabetes prevention (or diabetes reversal) diet. These foods have almost no effect on blood glucose, and are packed with fiber and phytochemicals.
- Beans — Beans, lentils, and other legumes are the ideal carbohydrate source. Beans are low in GL due to their moderate protein and abundant fiber and resistant starch – carbohydrates that are not broken down in the small intestine. This reduces the amount of calories that can be absorbed from beans; plus, resistant starch is fermented by bacteria in the colon, forming products that protect against colon cancer. Accordingly, bean and legume consumption is associated with reduced risk of both diabetes and colon cancer.
- Nuts and seeds — Nuts are low in GL, promote weight loss, and have anti-inflammatory effects that may prevent the development of insulin resistance. The famous long-term Nurses’ Health Study in the USA found a 27% reduced risk of diabetes in nurses who ate five or more servings of nuts per week. Among nurses who already had diabetes, this same quantity reduced the risk of heart disease by 47%.
- Fresh fruit — Fruits are rich in fiber and antioxidants, and are a nutrient-dense choice for satisfying sweet cravings. Eating three servings of fresh fruit each day is associated with an 18% decrease in risk of diabetes. For those who are already diabetic, we recommend sticking to low-sugar fruits like apples, oranges, and pears to minimize glycemic effects.
This approach works and works well! In fact, here is how drastic the results are: In a recent study on type-2 diabetics following this diet, it was discovered that 90% – that’s ninety percent – of participants were able to come off all diabetic medications (and the average HbA1c after one year was 5.8%) which is in the non-diabetic/normal range. A diet of vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and fresh fruit can prevent and even reverse diabetes while promoting long-term health. No one has to have type-2 diabetes, and those with type-1 diabetes can improve their (1) life expectancy, (2) health and (3) quality of life with this plan.
[Now read about: “The 5 Worst Foods For Diabetes” here]
[Read about: “Nutrient Density – Comparing Different Foods” here]
This article was originally written by Doctor Joel Fuhrman (LINK). Small changes have been made to the original article in order to address the Brazilian population. Joel Fuhrman, MD (Medical Doctor) is a board certified family physician, New York Times best selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Doctor Fuhrman is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows including The Doctor Oz Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Live with Kelly. Doctor Fuhrman’s own hugely successful PBS (Public Broadcasting) television shows, Steps to Incredible Health and Doctor Fuhrman’s Immunity Solution, bring nutritional science to homes all across America. (LINK)