Legumes of all sorts chickpeas, cannelloni beans, kidney beans, and lentils are a great addition to soups, salads, and a variety of ethnic dishes. And this low-fat, low-calorie, high-fiber, high-protein food helps to reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease. The fiber slows the release of glucose into your bloodstream, which prevents the blood sugar spikes that worsen diabetes blood sugar control and make you feel hungry.
A study published in 2008 in the International Journal of Obesity found overweight and obese people given two eggs a day for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight than those eating a similar breakfast without eggs. The researchers said eating eggs may control hunger by reducing the post-meal insulin response and control appetite by preventing large fluctuations in both glucose and insulin levels.
Studies show that people who eat nuts regularly have lower rates of heart disease than people who don’t eat them. (People with diabetes are at increased risk of heart disease.) Even among the healthiest eaters, the ones who also eat nuts boast the best health record. Exactly why isn’t known yet, but one reason could be compounds called tocotrienols.
The key to eating nuts is not to eat too many; they’re so high in calories that you could easily see the aftermath pouring over your pants. Either measure 2 tablespoons of nuts, count how many it is, and limit yourself to that number, or keep a jar of chopped nuts on hand. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons a day on cereal, yogurt, veggies, salads, or wherever the flavor appeals to you.
Garlic has been used for years to lower cholesterol levels (and ward off those pesky vampires). But it also shows promise for lowering blood sugar. A study in rats and a study in rabbits showed that garlic extracts may lower blood sugar. Garlic extracts increased the amount of insulin available in people with diabetes.
Researchers at Tufts University discovered that dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity, a crucial improvement in preventing or treating type 2 diabetes. What’s more, dark—but not white—chocolate also produced a significant drop in blood pressure, reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol, and improved blood vessel function.
Please not that dark chocolate is great for the occasional indulgence, but it still packs a lot of fat and calories.