All beans (e.g. butterbeans, chickpeas & lentils), seeds (e.g. pumpkin, flax & sunflower) and some grains (e.g. oats, quinoa & brown rice) are good staples to have in your kitchen. They provide slow release energy, which is much better for blood glucose (BG) levels than some other starchy foods (e.g. white bread) which raise (BG) very quickly and give unstable (BG) levels in the hours after they are eaten.
- Oats have a very low glycaemic response which gives a slow steady release of energy without making a sudden huge demand on insulin. This may help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Eating oats can lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) because it binds the harmful cholesterol in the gut and carries it away, preventing it from going into the blood stream. Oats also contains fibre, which keeps us full for longer, which reduces the possibility of overeating, which can result in obesity.
- As well as porridge, oats can be used in baking and is available in oat flour as well as the usual oat flakes we are all familiar with.
- Quinoa is technically a seed, but is generally used to replace grains like rice or pasta. It has a low glycemic response rate so it doesn’t cause the BG spikes that pasta and white rise cause. Its high protein and fiber content provide good slow release energy which keeps BG levels stable.
- Quinoa contain essential fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, some of the B vitamins and a small amount of iron. Quinoa contains a high level of anti-inflammatory nutrients, which are good for heart health, which is a major concern for diabetics.
- It can replace rice and pasta and is good in salads too.
Beans and legumes
- Dried or canned beans and lentils (e.g. butter beans, chick peas, green and red lentils) are high in soluble fibre which helps prevent cholesterol being absorbed into the blood stream. The energy from them is slowly absorbed which helps to stabilize BG levels and helps with insulin resistance and other issues relating to diabetes.
- They provide protein and well as slow release carbs which makes them an ideal food for everyone.
- There are many types available and they are very versatile. They are a great store cupboard item to have as they have a good shelf life and can be used for main meals, salads and lunches.
Seeds and Nuts
- Nuts and seeds contain protein, good fat, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They healthy fat and fibre slow down the rate of absorption of glucose in other foods and they are great for diabetics or anyone wishing to keep their BG stable.
- Only a few nuts are all that are needed to give beneficial effects and it’s important not to consume an excessive amount which may result in weight gain.
- They are great added to salads, porridge and in baking. I’ve improved my BG levels since I started using them on a regular basis.
- Pumpkin seeds are very rich in beta sitosterol which help to block the absorption of cholesterol through the gut.