10 Foods That Protect Against Diabetes
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These foods have been proven to help control Diabetes. They each have their own good qualities. Dig in to see how each of these foods can help you along your journey to living and eating healthier.

image of Apples, a great help with controlling Diabetes.

1. Apples

Whether you’re a Pink Lady or a Granny Smith fan, just one apple delivers five grams of fiber (that’s 20% of your daily value), plus plenty of immune-boosting vitamin C. Fiber plays a major role in diabetes prevention since it helps regulate blood sugar.

Plus, while all diets high in fruits and veggies are linked with decreasing risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases, apples have been linked specifically to lowering diabetes risk

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2. Swiss Chard

Give kale a break and introduce yourself to new leafy greens. Swiss chard is an especially exciting up-and-comer because it delivers some serious nutritional benefits without spiking blood sugar.

It’s low-cal and full of filling fiber, calcium, powerful antioxidants, and B vitamins. Even better — it’s super easy to add to salads and sautés, and its rainbow color can make even the dullest plate look more appealing.

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Low-Fat Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is full of calcium and many are fortified with vitamin D, which have both been linked to lowering the risk of diabetes. It also merits an A+ for its high protein content — a nutritional powerhouse for weight management. (Since being overweight can increase the chances of getting diabetes, weight control is key to reducing your risk.)

Bonus: Add vitamin C-rich fruit like blueberries for double the diabetes-fighting power.

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The pigment found in eggplant skin comes from anthocyanins, important antioxidant compounds that have been associated with reduced risk of diabetes. Antioxidants protect cells from damage, including pancreatic beta cells (the cells responsible for secreting insulin in your body). They also reduce the stress and damage on your peripheral tissues — tissues that have the potential to be exposed to bacteria — caused by chronic high-blood sugar.

Try adding eggplant to dips and sauces. They also boost the fiber content of meals and snacks.

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Both legumes and beans are high in fiber and good-for-you minerals like iron, magnesium, and calcium. Since the soluble fiber found in lentils can slow digestion and raise blood sugar at a more stable rate, they’re helpful for keeping you fuller, longer.

Try lentils in soups or use them as a meat substitute since these tiny beans pack nine grams of protein per half cup.

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Although it’s commonly used to help with tummy troubles, ginger may also improve our body’s insulin sensitivity, which can help reduce inflammation caused by high insulin levels in the blood.

Since ginger can be used in sweet and savory dishes, try adding ginger to fruit salads, Asian-inspired sautés, and in homemade smoothies.

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The antioxidants found in raspberries have been linked to both lowering chronic disease risk and obesity. Since one cup of raspberries delivers eight grams of dietary fiber — a third of what you need in a day — adding raspberries to breakfastssalads, and desserts is an easy way to make healthy treats more indulgent, all while keeping your weight in check.

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Salmon is a nutrition all-star for a many reasons. The polyunsaturated fats in salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for decreasing inflammation in the body, which can help keep your blood sugar stable over time. If you’re not a salmon fan, try Arctic char, tuna, mackerel, or sardines, which are also mega sources of omega-3’s.

Another bonus of fatty fish: vitamin D, which is hard to find in natural food sources. Vitamin D deficiency is actually considered a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, so swap meat for fatty fish to improve your levels.

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Peanut Butter

Nuts and nut butters alike offer a double-whammy when lowering your diabetes risk. First, they deliver a healthy trifecta of monounsaturated fats, fiber, and protein, all of which help you stay fuller, longer, and prevent blood sugar spikes. Second, because they’re so filling, loading up on nuts can aid in weight loss, an important part of lowering your risk of diabetes.

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Brown Rice

Research has shown that just making the simple switch from white to brown rice can reduce the risk of diabetes in frequent rice-eaters, largely due to the fact that the unprocessed grain is higher in fiber, antioxidants, and B-vitamins.

Try adding it to stir-fry and sides, or swapping brown for white rice in your sushi roll. Just remember that rice, no matter what color, is easy to overdo, so moderation is key.


JACLYN LONDON, MS, RD, CDN, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE Director, Nutrition LabA registered dietitian with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University, Jaclyn “Jackie” London handles all of Good Housekeeping’s nutrition-related content, testing, and evaluation.

Have any of these 10 foods helped you control your Diabetes? We’d love to hear about it! If you have questions, please complete the form below. Thanks!

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Ericka Scott

I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2000. Since then, I've been on a mission to help myself and loved ones living with Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, to prepare healthy and TASTY meals. Now, I'm here to help YOU do the same!


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