4 February 2015

It sometimes feels like you can’t go a day without coming across mention of the latest diet necessity.

It could be an unheard-of plant extract with promises of an overnight six-pack, or an exotic fruit from some dark corner of the earth that guarantees to turn back time on your skin. However, it’s not surprising to see reports from medical institutions soon after debunking these claims as nothing more than a marketing ploy, with little to no credible proof or research attached. 

Forget the fads! According to the American Diabetes Association, most of the good stuff your body needs has always been readily available at the nearest supermarket. In addition to them bursting with key nutrients like vitamins, minerals and protein, the below superfoods have a low Glycaemic Index (GI). 

GLYCAEMIC INDEX (GI)
A classification of carbohydrate-containing foods based on their potential effect on blood glucose levels: In general, slowly-absorbed foods have a low GI rating, while foods that are more quickly absorbed have a higher rating. Choosing slowly-absorbed carbohydrates, instead of those quickly absorbed, may help even out blood glucose levels, fill you up and leave you feeling less hungry between meals.

But before you start binging on each of them, be sure to check with your doctor or dietitian first on the best ways and amounts to introduce these foods into your diet. 

BEANS

It doesn’t matter what type – from kidney to pinto, beans are high in fiber, and also good sources of magnesium and potassium. And while they are considered starchy vegetables, a ½ cup of them provides as much protein as an ounce of meat, without the saturated fat. 

 

BERRIES

They’re a sweet escape, with less caloric guilt. Whether blue, black, straw, or others, berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. They also have plenty of ellagic acid, an antioxidant that may have anti-tumour effects. 

 

KALE

You might not be able to tell from its deep green ruffled and leafy exterior, but kale is simply bursting with vitamin A and C. It also contains vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone health, and lutein and zeaxanthin – compounds that may help prevent age-related eye diseases. 

 

SWEET POTATOES

It’s an easy and important switch from regular potatoes, as sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. However, that’s still no reason to have them deep-fried and coated in salt.

 

SALMON

In case you haven’t heard, we’ll say it again: salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which has reported to protect against dementia, and also boost heart health. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s an excuse to have them as part of your fish and chips.

Sources: WebMD, Diabetes Forecast, American Diabetes Association

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