Eat These Foods and Fight Diabetes


Tricks for avoiding diabetes

About 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 8 million of those people don’t even know it. Another 86 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have prediabetes, which is an elevated blood sugar that’s not quite high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis (but probably headed in that direction). Both conditions can dramatically boost your risk of heart disease and stroke. But there’s good news. While there’s no magic food to prevent type 2 diabetes, there are wise food choices that, along with exercise, can help you avoid it. (Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease and healthy eating can’t prevent it.) Even if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, these foods (or food swaps) might help you control your blood sugar.


Eat brown rice instead of white

Whole grains are healthier than processed carbs when it comes to preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. According to a landmark study of about 200,000 people, replacing just one-third of a daily serving of white rice with brown rice may lower your risk of diabetes by 16%. Other whole grains like whole wheat and barley might lower that risk even further, by up to 36%. Other studies have found that brown rice can help control blood sugar and insulin levels better than white rice.

Whole grains like brown rice have more fiber, minerals, and vitamins than refined grains. And one of the compounds that help rice grow may reduce nerve and blood vessel damage from existing diabetes. Soak dry rice in water overnight to awaken these compounds.

In addition to whole grains, experts recommend people reduce sugar and salt; choose healthy carbs over unhealthy ones (an apple instead of a donut); and eat leaner meats instead of those with more saturated fat (chicken or fish instead of red and processed meats) to reduce their risk.

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