Eating healthy: if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But we making eating a healthy diet harder than it should be when we focus on what we can’t or shouldn’t eat. We know we should avoid our personal diet-downfalls, but it’s hard to give up high-fat, high-sugar, low-nutrition favorites when we’re not replacing them with anything that sparks our interest. When we shift our focus from what we can’t to what we can eat, then eating healthy becomes more fun.
For those with diabetes, eating healthy is even more essential. While there’s no getting out of learning how your own body responds to specific foods, there are some foods that are tried-and-true superheroes in the nutrition world. The foods listed below are especially helpful for those with diabetes because of their abilities to help manage blood sugar, satisfy cravings, reduce inflammation, or provide other essential nutrition. Eating these foods (all in moderation, of course) will provide excellent benefits to your long-term health and happiness.
1. Dark Chocolate
Yes, dark chocolate has sugar and calories. But research has shown that the flavonoids found in chocolate can reduce insulin resistance, increase insulin sensitivity, and drop fasting blood glucose. That’s a pretty impressive list, and the reason you get more for your money with dark chocolate is that is has a higher concentration of the flavonoids found in chocolate’s key ingredient: cocoa beans.
Studies have also found that dark chocolate, in the short term, reduces blood pressure, boosts your mood, and gives you energy. No wonder we love it so much! But make sure you’re not sacrificing on quality—choose chocolate with at least 60% cocoa and minimal added sugar. Also ensure your chocolate hasn’t been process with alkali or “Dutch processed” as this will damage the flavonoids. Oh, and we shouldn’t eat pounds of chocolate in one sitting—it’s still best as a small treat rather than a side dish!
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