The Best Foods to Prevent and Manage Diabetes

Empower yourself with food

Over 30 million Americans are affected by Type 2 diabetes. It’s a serious disease that’s on the rise, but there’s a lot you can do to help prevent it — including eat. Here are six foods to include in your diet if you have Type 2 diabetes or want to lower your risk of developing it:


Everyone’s favorite green fruit is great for more than just spreading on toast. Avocados are a good source of dietary fiber, providing 11 percent of the daily value in just one-third of a fruit. That same serving has just 80 calories and zero sugar. Avocados are also a source of heart-healthy fats. A 2013 study out of Loma Linda University found that adding half an avocado to a meal lowered blood insulin levels 30 minutes after the meal. Try topping your cereal bowl with some diced avocado or blending this creamy fruit into your smoothie.


Crunchy and satisfying, walnuts are also a great addition to a diabetes-busting diet. An epidemiological study looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that adults who doubled their walnut consumption to 3 tablespoons daily had a 47 percent decrease in developing Type 2 diabetes. It’s easy to add chopped walnuts to your meals throughout the day. Sprinkle some over your morning oats, add them to a grain bowl or spice them to use as a filling for tacos.


The science is clear and growing: Eating seafood regularly can improve your health. According to the American Diabetes Association, the omega-3 fatty acids in seafood are not only great for protecting your heart, they also reduce inflammation and may improve the effectiveness of insulin. Studies have also shown that eating fish like Alaskan salmon and halibut can reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. So head to your grocery store and pick up some arctic char or oysters tonight.


Small but mighty, the pistachio provides another great reason to go green. A 2014 study published in Diabetes Care showed that eating a half cup of shelled pistachios daily for four months can lower fasting blood glucose and improve insulin resistance in people with prediabetes. Add pistachios to your yogurt bowl at breakfast, toss them into salads at lunch and chop them before sprinkling them on pasta dishes or using them to coat seafood for dinner.

Olive oil

Following the Mediterranean diet sounds better and better each day. Not only does it help reduce heart disease risk and boost longevity, but preliminary research also points to this healthy style of eating as a way to combat diabetes. Its emphasis on olive oil seems to be a key reason why: In a meta-analysis published last year in Nutrition and Diabetes, researchers found that high olive oil consumption was linked to a 16 percent reduced risk of developing diabetes. All the more reason to use extra-virgin olive oil as the base for your salad dressings and as your primary oil for sauteing and drizzling over vegetables and pasta.


It’s well-documented that the beta-glucan (a type of soluble fiber) in oats helps lower cholesterol levels. Now researchers are linking beta-glucan with the ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range in healthy people and in individuals with diabetes. Looks like we have another reason to start the day with a hearty bowl of oatmeal.

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The Best Foods to Prevent and Manage Diabetes originally appeared on usnews.com