Diabetes is about eating in balance. Consult a doctor or nutritionist regarding your diet plan, which will probably include foods on the low end of the Glycemic Index. Everyone who has diabetes has a different kind of eating plan based on weight, lifestyle and symptoms.
For most diabetics, oats and other cereal grains have demonstrated a significant drop in the amount of insulin required each day. Years ago, there was a study in which diabetics were placed on an oatmeal, Grape Nuts and All-Bran diet. Insulin usage dropped from an average of 26 units per day to 7.1 units per day. Some experts call oats and other whole grains “miracle” food for diabetics.
Whole grains supply our bodies with valuable vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber, with little to no fat, and improve our heart’s health. Whole grain, fiber-rich, low-sodium and low-fat diets help our bodies to lower blood pressure, normalize blood cholesterol and blood glucose, and help maintain healthy bowel function.
Whole grains, which are rich in antioxidants, must contain three parts of a grain to be considered whole. These parts are bran, germ and endosperm. Bran is the tough outer layer of the grain that contains dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins and minerals; germ is the core or heart of the grain filled with protein, fat (if any), E and B vitamins, minerals and fiber; endosperm is the starchy middle layer filled with carbohydrates, protein and vitamin B. In processed grains, this is usually the only part of the grain.
Sources of whole grains include:
- Whole wheat flour
- Whole grain barley
- Brown rice or wild rice
- Wheat berries
Whole grains, which are rich in viscous fiber, lower our bad cholesterol by binding with cholesterol-containing bile in our stomachs and carry the bad stuff out with our bile.
If you are trying to lower your blood pressure and reduce your cholesterol, always select whole grain cereals, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat flour, brown rice, oatmeal and oat bran instead of white flours or refined foods. Go for the most fiber-dense foods.