(NaturalNews) After a lifetime of poor nutrition and dietary choices, it may be difficult for diabetics to change to a healthy diet. Many may feel like they simply cannot give up fast foods, junk food, cookies, sugary cakes and ice-cream. Yet, there may be no choice. One of the key factors in controlling type 2 diabetes comes down to reducing simple sugars and unhealthy fats in the diet. After re-training the palate, most agree that healthy foods are filling, deliciously satisfying and increase one's energy levels.
Foods to Avoid and Foods to Include for Diabetics
Refined starches such as white bread, white flour, white pasta and white rice are converted by the body, almost instantly, into simple sugars. Opt for small portions of whole wheat, whole grains and brown rice instead. Corn and potatoes are also a source of simple starches and should be replaced with fibrous vegetables like beans and Jerusalem artichokes.
While eating a variety of healthy, raw vegetables and nuts is good, there are some foods that are especially helpful for diabetics.
Managing Diabetes with Fenugreek
What is fenugreek? It is a plant in the family Fabaceae (legume, pea, bean or pulse family). Fenugreek is used both as an herb (leaves) and as a spice (seeds) and frequently used in curries. Fenugreek seeds contain as much as 50 percent fiber, which is very important for diabetes sufferers.
According to The Herbal Drugstore, by Linda B. White, MD, "Modern research has shown that fenugreek seeds not only lower blood glucose but also reduce insulin levels, total cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL".
It is recommended that individuals limit intake of fenugreek to no more than 100 grams per day.
Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon, is a seasonal vegetable that helps regulate blood sugar levels and keeps body functions operating normally. The bitter gourd is specifically used as a folk medicine for diabetes. Studies prove that it contains a hypoglycemic or insulin-like principle, designated as 'plant-insulin', which has been found highly beneficial in lowering the blood and urine sugar levels.
Beans for Diabetics
Beans are an excellent food choice for diabetics. According to The Green Pharmacy, by James A. Duke, PhD (St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1998 edition) "Many studies demonstrate that eating foods that are high in soluble fiber, notably beans, reduces the rise in blood sugar after meals and delays the drop in blood sugar later on, thus helping to maintain blood sugar at close to desired levels." There are a variety of healthy "meaty" beans to try, such as kidney, lima , black, and green beans.
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.