At Mac’s LTC Pharmacy Solutions, we pride ourselves on improving the health of our community partners’ residents, but we also aim to educate clients before their health declines. We offer the communities we partner with education services for their residents and also their staff. It is important to be well-educated on proper medication administration, pharmacy services, and healthy habits. Our on-site education opportunities teach a number of topics such as heart health, nutrition practices, and diabetes-related courses. Diabetes can be a complex and expensive disease that requires constant self-management. The optimum way to control diabetes is to prevent it from happening. The best way to prevent diabetes is to control what you eat, and Mac’s LTC Pharmacy Solutions has provided a list of foods that can help you do just that.
When it comes to managing your blood sugar, what you eat directly affects your health. The main foods to avoid are refined and white carbohydrates such as breads, pastas, fatty, fried and processed foods. Of course, it is just as important to focus on the foods that you should eat.
Whole grains are known to help prevent diabetes and maintain blood sugar levels. According to Harvard School of Public Health, women who consume two to three servings of whole grains are 30% less likely to develop diabetes. The fiber and bran in whole grains reduces and slows down the increase in insulin and blood sugar.
One of the hardest things to avoid is sugar, but one of the best foods to eat when craving candy are berries – nature’s candy! Berries are loaded with antioxidants and fiber. Berries are also useful for lowering blood pressure and keeping your heart healthy. Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries – they are all better options than a sugary confection.
Another sugar-substitute are dates. They are full of fiber, have a pleasant texture, and a sweet taste. Another amazing attribute of dates are that they have more antioxidants per serving than broccoli, grapes, oranges, and peppers! You can eat dates with nuts as a snack, put them in your cereal or on bread.
The third best alternative to candy is, get ready for this, chocolate! It must be dark chocolate, not milk or semi-sweet, and only is healthy in small amounts. Dark chocolate has antioxidant flavonoids and can help regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Beans are one of the best foods to help monitor blood sugar; they give you that “full” feeling, are high in fiber and help to lower cholesterol. The ones you want to eat for diabetes prevention are black, chickpea, garbanzo, kidney, or white. They are also excellent sources of calcium, protein, and are low in saturated fat, which means they also help in losing weight. Beans really are a magical food!
Cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt are all beneficial sources of calcium and vitamin D which, in conjunction, are potent in diabetes prevention. To get the most health benefits out of your diary, aim to have fat-free or low-fat options. Implementing milk into your diet is not a challenge, put it in your coffee instead of creamer, in your oatmeal instead of water, or just drink a glass.
Certain fish such as salmon are one of the most suggested foods for health benefits at Mac’s LTC Pharmacy Solutions. They are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which helps lower your weight, reduce your risks of diabetes and heart disease, and improve insulin resistance. After dairy foods, salmon is the most effective source of calcium. Tuna can also be a healthy diet addition because it is high in omega 3s, but intake should be limited due to the varying levels of mercury.
Beet, mustard, and turnip greens along with chard are all excellent sources of fiber and aid in diabetes prevention. Due to the high amount of vitamin B folate, greens can also lower your risk of heart disease. Leafy greens are also low in calories and include several other vitamins, such as vitamin C found in kale and spinach. In addition to being high in vitamins, leafy greens also contain zeaxanthin and lutein, antioxidants that help protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common complications with diabetes.
Oats and Barley
Barley is a fantastic grain as it is high in beta-glucan – a soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol. Barley also helps to steady your blood sugar levels and control your appetite. Oats are a powerhouse for diabetes prevention, just like barley and beans. Oats can also lower your cholesterol, and the soluble fiber in oats slows down the body’s digestion of carbohydrates and stabilizes your blood sugar levels.
Other great foods to eat to help prevent diabetes are eggs, chia seeds, flaxseed, lentils, certain nuts and believe it or not, peanut butter! Mac’s LTC Pharmacy Solutions would love if everyone ate as healthily as they could and incorporated these diabetes-prevention foods into their diets. For those of you who already have diabetes, eating these foods can help you control your blood sugar levels, as well.
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