Vitamins and minerals are significant contributors to the growth of several cells in the body and perform other core functions. Patients with diabetes have a lot to benefit from essential vitamins, including blood glucose levels regulation and a boost in immunity. These vitamins are readily available in natural sources like animal and plant foods, but you can also get a good dose of them from supplements.

However, many patients are clueless about getting more vitamins into their diet or even their sources. Moreover, many seem to know little about the right amount of vitamins they should take daily. On the one hand, taking too much of certain vitamins can lead to health complications. On the other hand, deficiency of some vitamins can lead to drastic effects in other people.

Your body produces specific vitamins in limited quantities while failing to produce other essential ones. Hence, the need for you to get vitamins from external sources like vegetables, fruits, or supplements. People living with diabetes are known to have specific diets tailored to their needs to help them better manage their condition. However, care needs to be taken when opting for supplements as a source of vitamins, especially for people on medication for illnesses like diabetes.

This guide discusses the essential vitamins your body needs, where to find them, how to use them, and other valuable information critical to healthy living.

Shining the Spotlight on Vitamins: What They Are and How They Work

Vitamins are substances that aid the proper growth and cell development. While the body does produce vitamins on its own, this quantity is nowhere enough to serve our vitamin needs in most cases. Fortunately, vitamins abound in other sources, including fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, etc.

Sometimes, the body doesn’t get enough of these vitamins. Vitamin deficiency can lead to a condition called vitamin deficiency anemia. This occurs when the body has very few healthy red blood cells than optimal.

Patients suffering from the condition tend to experience fatigue, pale skin, dizziness, etc., as some of its prevailing symptoms. This condition is common among pregnant women. More worrying is that other health issues can arise due to a lack of essential vitamins.

Categorizing Vitamins

There are 13 vitamins recognized as essentials for the body. Vitamins can dissolve in either water or fat, and the grouping of the 13 essential vitamins is rooted in this, as we’ll observe below.

Water-Soluble Vitamins 

Water-soluble vitamins exist in forms that can only be dissolved by water. They move through the body and are easily absorbed into the body tissues. However, they rarely stay long in the body; any excess exits the body as urine. Essentially, you need more water-soluble vitamins due to the inability of the body to store them.

There are nine water-soluble vitamins, including the B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) and vitamin C.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

These types of vitamins can only function when there’s dietary fat. The four fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Your body can retain them and usually stores any excess in the liver, muscles, and fatty tissues. However, you need to take caution regarding the consumption of these vitamins, as they can quickly accumulate to toxic levels when consumed in excess.

A Closer Look at the 13 Essential Vitamins Your Body Needs

vitamins for people with diabetes

There are various sources of vitamins, including natural ones (like vegetables and fruits) and man-made supplements. As a diabetic, you should note that not all sources of vitamins are safe to consume.

Foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium are deemed unhealthy, and you should strive to avoid them. Also, carefully examine supplements before you take them by doing the due diligence of checking with your doctor.

Here are the 13 essential vitamins with details on their core functions and best sources.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A exists in two forms — provitamin A carotenoids (beta-carotene) and preformed vitamin A (retinyl, esters, retinol). This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for the growth of body cells and supports your immune system. More particularly, taking adequate amounts of this essential vitamin will help you maintain healthy skin, teeth, hair, and bones.

Figured out the early childhood carrot myth yet?

It turns out it’s not much of a myth, as the beta-carotene in carrots helps the eyes adjust to the light.

Best Sources

Foods like meat, fortified milk, poultry, shrimp, eggs, fish, etc., contain the preformed form of vitamin A. On the other hand, provitamin A exists majorly in fruits like carrots, mangoes, orange juice, and leafy green vegetables like cabbage, potatoes, spinach, etc. 

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C is essential for its rejuvenating properties. You get exposed to free radicals daily, majorly from air pollution and ultraviolet light. Smoking also tends to increase the presence of free radicals in the body.

Vitamin C protects the body against free radicals. Moreover, it helps wounds heal faster, boosts the body’s immune system, and aids your body in absorbing iron. This vitamin also acts as a critical oxidant in the body.

However, medical conditions like kidney disease can reduce the body’s ability to absorb this essential vitamin.

Best Sources

Vitamin C exists majorly in fruits and vegetables. Take more tomatoes, potatoes, brussels sprouts, berries, citrus fruits, melons, peppers, etc., to get a good dose of vitamin C.

Vitamin D (Calciferol)

You can get more vitamin D by simply standing in the sun. Naturally, your body produces more vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. It’s the vitamin responsible for the proper development of the bone.

This vitamin aids calcium absorption, a mineral stored in the bone. Vitamin D also plays a part in controlling low diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity. Namely, the insulin hormone helps the body in blood glucose control.

A study shows a link between vitamin D deficiency and insulin resistance. Its deficiency also results in rickets or osteoporosis — manifestations of weakened bones.

Best Sources

Although your body can produce this vitamin via exposure to sunlight, you can also get the “sunshine vitamin” from fortified milk, fatty fish like mackerel and tuna, egg yolk, beef liver, mushrooms, and other fortified foods like cereals.

Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol)

Here’s another vitamin that works alongside vitamin C in protecting the body against free radicals. It’s a fat-soluble antioxidant that plays an essential role in maintaining red blood cells.

Other vital functions it performs include boosting the immune system, preventing Alzheimer’s disease, protecting the cell wall, and building muscle. Vitamin E also plays a vital role in improving insulin activity in the body, a plus for diabetics.

However, a lack of vitamin E can lead to a weaker immune system or/and muscle damage.

Best Sources

You can obtain this vitamin from green leafy vegetables, whole grains, salad dressings, and egg yolks. Also, it exists in vegetable oils like corn, soybean, or sunflower. Additionally, you can get more of this vitamin by consuming nuts and whole-grain products.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is tasked with the function of promoting optimal blood clotting. If you take blood thinners, you must get around consuming more vitamin K. This vitamin also contributes to bone health.

While your body can make up to 50% of the vitamin K you need, you can compensate for the rest through other sources, as we’ll see below.

Best Sources

This vitamin can be found in vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and dairy products like milk. You can also get more vitamin K from eggs and liver.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Thiamine is an essential nutrient—especially for people with diabetes—that helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy.

Vitamin B1 plays a key role in the proper nerve function of the body. It also aids digestion and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles. In people with diabetes, vitamin B1 helps maintain blood sugar levels.

Best Sources

Eat more whole grains, cereal, brown rice, fortified bread, pork, ham, soymilk, legumes, watermelons, etc., to meet your body’s vitamin B1 needs.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 helps in the conversion of food into energy. It’s essential for cell development and the growth of new cells while also playing a vital role in metabolizing fats, drugs, and steroids. Furthermore, riboflavin is a significant contributor to healthy skin while aiding better vision.

Although rare, vitamin B2 deficiency occurs in pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and sometimes in people on a vegan diet. Symptoms like hair loss, sore throat, cracked lips, and liver disorders are common in people deficient in riboflavin.

Best Sources

To get more of this vitamin, you should consume more animal products like eggs, milk and milk, and lean meat. Other sources of riboflavin include mushrooms, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, fortified cereals, yogurt, and some beverages.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin works hand in hand with other B vitamins in converting food into energy. Additionally, this vitamin helps regulate cholesterol levels, a big plus for people with diabetes.

Your skin, nervous system, and digestive system also benefit from vitamin B3 as it helps boost your health. Also notable among this vitamin’s functions is that it aids cell growth and enables them to function optimally.

Best Sources

Sources of this essential vitamin include seafood, poultry, lean meats, whole grains, fortified bread, and grains. You can also get a good dose of niacin from leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, and peanut butter.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

This water soluble vitamin performs the core function peculiar to B vitamins, helping the body convert food into usable energy. However, it performs other functions, including manufacturing steroid hormones and red blood cells, breaking down fats to release energy, and producing neurotransmitters. It also helps stabilize blood glucose levels.

Best Sources

Vitamin B5 is abundant in nature and can be found in almost all foods. More specifically, familiar sources of pantothenic acid are avocados, potatoes, seafood, beef, poultry, peanuts, whole grain, mushrooms, etc.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 is essential for metabolizing protein and carbohydrates to supply the body with needed energy. It also plays a vital role in maintaining cognitive abilities, helps manufacture red blood cells, and aids brain development in embryos. Other core functions of pyridoxine include converting tryptophan to serotonin and niacin, as well as aiding proper nerve function.

Best Sources

Familiar sources of vitamin B6 are meat, green vegetables, non-citrus fruits, potatoes, legumes, soy products, etc.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Besides helping the body synthesize glucose, vitamin B7 converts proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy. It’s also vital for healthy bones and hair.

Vitamin B7 deficiency is common in people with biotinidase deficiency — a rare genetic disorder that prevents the body from recycling biotin. Alcoholics and pregnant women also risk suffering from vitamin B7 deficiency.

Best Sources

You can obtain this vitamin from organ meats, egg yolks, soybeans, nuts, whole grains, green vegetables, and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic Acid)

Vitamin B9 is essential in human development, especially for pregnant women. Notably, it helps prevent birth defects that might likely occur in its absence, including neural tube defects (NTDs) like spina bifida.

Moreover, this vitamin aids the production of red blood cells. It’s also responsible for DNA and RNA formation. According to a review on PubMed, folate shows promising positive signs in battling diabetes as it helps reduce homocysteine — an amino acid linked with higher diabetes risk.

Best Sources

You can obtain folate and folic acid from fortified flour, legumes, orange juice, leafy green vegetables, liver, yeast, turnip, spinach, broccoli, etc.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 is regarded as the big gun of the vitamin B family. It plays a significant role in producing DNA, RNA, and red blood cells. Also, it contributes to the development of nerve cells.

Cobalamin plays the typical role of breaking down food to release energy for the body. Other core functions of vitamin B12 include the prevention of megaloblastic anemia and the breakdown of amino and fatty acids.

Best Sources

Cobalamin is abundant in most animal products, including beef, eggs, milk, seafood, etc. As this vitamin is absent in plant foods, vegans risk its deficiency. However, they can make up for it by taking its equivalent supplements.

Amount of Vitamins Needed Based on Gender

daily vitamin values

These are the recommendations according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

VitaminRDA or AIRDA or AI
Adult MaleAdult Female
A900 mcg700 mcg
B11.2 mg1.1 mg
B21.3 mg1.1 mg
B316 mg14 mg
B55 mg5 mg
B61.3 mg1.3 mg
B730 mcg30 mcg
B9400 mcg400 mcg
B122.4 mcg2.4 mcg
C90 mg75 mg
D600 IU600 IU
E15 mg15 mg
K120 mcg90 mcg

Note: The amount required may vary due to pregnancy, age, or other health-related factors. Ensure you check with your doctor for exact details.

Final Thoughts

There you have it; a comprehensive list of all the essential vitamins your body needs. While the body can produce some vitamins like vitamin D in sufficient amounts via sunlight, you may need to make up for others by eating just the right foods. As this guide outlines, you can derive benefits like improved immune systems and balanced glucose levels from these vitamins.

As a diabetic, you need to ensure a balanced diet rich in these 13 essential vitamins. However, you should watch out for toxic concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins while at it, as this can be quite harmful. A rule of thumb is to ensure you consult your doctor or dietitian to figure out how to fit the essential vitamins into your diet.

An excellent way to fit these vitamins into your meal plan is via a digital meal planner like Klinio. This easy-to-use app suggests well-rounded meals that contain these essential vitamins in an amount that normalizes blood sugar levels. You can also monitor other key vitals like water and calorie intake, weight, physical activity, etc., on the app.

When people talk about diabetes diets, they tend to speak more about carbohydrates than any other class of the food. And that’s for good reason; carbohydrates have a lot of sugar, and eating too many carbohydrates can have terrible consequences for the blood glucose levels of people with diabetes.

The only problem with that is that people tend to leave out the importance of protein foods on things like your body weight, blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

In this article, we’ll be going through the relationship between diabetes and protein, and how people who live with diabetes can use this knowledge to live fuller lives.

What Is Protein

what is protein

Protein is one of the most important nutrients to living beings, and it’s found in every cell in our bodies and our bloodstream.

Protein is vital to the formation of our muscles and is an important building block in the formation of our bones. Protein is also a vital part of our immune system, and it is also important in the production of hormones like insulin and glucagon.

All protein is made up of 20 classes of amino acids, and each protein is classified based on the number of amino acids it has. Out of the twenty different amino acids, nine of them are considered essential because the body cannot make them on its own.

The protein for human consumption is classified based on whether it contains all nine amino acids or not. Proteins that contain all amino acids are called complete proteins and the ones that don’t are called incomplete amino acids.

For example, sources of protein like eggs, meat, fish, poultry, cheese, and milk are complete protein sources.

However, sources of protein like nuts, seeds, beans, and grains are incomplete. Most plant proteins are incomplete. The only exception to that rule is soy protein.

While high protein intake can also provide the body with a lot of energy, protein isn’t the body’s preferred energy source —instead the body prefers using energy from carbohydrates.

Instead of using protein for energy, the body mainly uses it to repair broken tissues in the body.

Since the body doesn’t use protein for energy, it doesn’t contribute to blood sugar levels the same way carbohydrates do.

This means that your dietary protein as a person with diabetes doesn’t have to differ too much from that of people without diabetes.

However, it’s also important to remember that too many calories can lead to weight gain, and thus can increase the risk of diabetic complications.

It’s also important to note that diabetics who have kidney problems may have to manage their protein intake. But more on that later.

Your Daily Protein Intake

daily protein intake

As long as you still have healthy kidneys, about thirty per cent of all your calories should be protein. About 45% to 65% of your calorie intake should come from carbohydrate sources too.

According to some healthcare professionals, it is a bit more accurate to use the standard formula of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

To do the kilogram conversion, all you need to do is divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. For instance, if you weigh 120 pounds, that is equal to 54 kilograms. Multiply that by 0.8 and you get a protein goal of 44 grams.

Of course, it’s important to confirm this with a healthcare professional before you get settled on a standard diabetic diet.

Is There Anything As Too Much Protein?

Yes, there is. If you pass the recommended limit for protein intake per body weight, you may start to experience symptoms such as problems with kidney function, high levels of calcium in your urine, a higher risk of cancer, problems with your liver, and even weight gain which could lead to obesity.

How To Choose Protein Rich Food Sources For People With Diabetes

protein rich food sources

When choosing protein-rich foods for a diabetic meal plan, the focus should be more on the additional fat and carbohydrate that the foods carry than the actual protein.

Some protein sources, for example, also have carbohydrates that can be easily converted to glucose, which may lead to a spike in blood sugar levels.

Additionally, people setting up a diabetes meal plan need to know that high-fat and high-carb diets can lead to obesity, which generally makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar levels.

According to the American Diabetes Association, a balanced diabetes diet should include protein from fish sources at least twice a week.

The association also argues that diabetics should avoid getting their dietary protein from red meat and processed meats like ham, bacon, and hot dogs since these food groups contain lots of saturated fat.

Instead, they argue, that people with diabetes should base their dietary protein intake on lean meats.

According to the association, people with diabetes should also space their meals and try, as much as they can, not to eat too much protein in one sitting.

This is because when the body gets protein, it extracts the one that it presently needs and makes waste with the leftover. Eating too much or not spacing one’s meal can lead to a huge chunk of one’s protein intake getting turned into waste.

So instead of having 60 g of protein with one meal, it is a lot better to spread that across 3 or 4 meals and space them properly. That way, you’ll have the complete benefits of the protein. It’s also important, the association says, to vary your sources of protein.

If you’re a fan of protein shakes, then great. But it’s also vital to get protein from other sources such as meat, fish, dairy produce, nuts, and beans.

Can Protein Help Diabetics

protein and diabetics

Many suffer under the delusion that switching to a high protein diet may help them overcome the symptoms of diabetes.

But if that works it probably only does, not because of the high protein intake, but because of the potential reduction in harmful carbs and saturated fats.

However, that’s something that could be done with just healthy eating and doesn’t require a switch to high protein diets.

Credible research has shown that increased protein intake or taking too much protein doesn’t have any appreciable impact on the way your body digests sugar.

It also doesn’t have any long term effects on your blood sugar levels or insulin resistance. It mostly just does nothing.

However, it is important to note that the opinion of scientists on this isn’t settled by any means because there have been conflicting research results.

In 2003, for example, a five weeks study suggested that people who have a high protein diet may be less likely to develop high glucose levels.

In 2010, that study was challenged after a look at 146 South Asian Indians living in the United States saw that those who followed a high protein diet also had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

These conflicting results have led scientists to have an agnostic stance on the benefits of eating protein-rich food for diabetics.

Even though we don’t know too much about the benefits of protein on people with diabetes, what we do know is that it’s certainly a healthy alternative for them.

For example, if you’re craving a quick snack, you might be tempted to get something with a lot of bad carbs and artificial sweeteners. But something like a protein shake might end up being healthier for you since protein digests slower than carbs and carries a reduced risk of a sugar spike.

If you’re one of those who think that meals high in protein need extra insulin, well, the answer to that is a bit complicated.

Here’s the thing; when you eat carbohydrates with protein or fat, it generally takes longer for your body to convert the carbs to glucose.

This can be a great thing if you eat a lot of snacks since snacks are great if they stave off hunger for longer. However, for larger meals, the effect can be a bit more complex because it’s harder to predict.

For one, it all depends on the makeup of the meal. How much protein, exactly is in it? What of fat? What kind of carbs are in it?

Let’s consider pizza, for example. When you eat pizza, you get a lot of carbs from the crust. The cheese and the toppings of the pizza are usually made up of protein and fat, so it’s a good combination of carbs and protein/fat.

Once you eat pizza, you could see your glucose levels rise for up to six hours afterwards — of course, this depends on how much you eat.

If you are on mealtime insulin, you have to account for the effect of protein or fat on your glucose levels.

Some people go around this by stretching out their insulin dose for big meals. This means that they take less insulin around the time of the meal, and then a correction bolus later. Either they do that, or they use their insulin pump to deliver an extended or dual bolus.

This is one of the reasons why taking large meals with carbs, proteins and fat can be a real problem for people with diabetes.

Taking too much insulin in this case may make your glucose levels go too, and taking too little, of course, may make it go too high. That’s why it matters to test your blood sugar a few hours after a meal or to use a continuous glucose monitor to stay on top of your glucose levels.

Another thing that people with diabetes should know is that high protein diets aren’t great for everyone with diabetes. For example, some studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes may have to get an insulin shot after eating a meal high in protein.

Diabetic Nephropathy And Protein

diabetic nephropathy

Diabetic nephropathy is a kidney disease related to diabetes. It’s one of the complications associated with diabetes, and the peculiar thing about it is that one of the most important ways to manage it is to eat less protein.

Many people think that diabetics generally have to reduce their protein intake because of diseases like diabetic nephropathy and how it affects diabetics.

But that’s not true. If you’re a diabetic and still have full kidney function and haven’t suffered from kidney disease, you have nothing to worry about. The only thing that reducing your protein intake may do for you, in this case, gives you malnutrition.

If you’re suffering from this illness, you need to have a systematic review of your diet, as you may need to stop eating protein-rich foods. However, before you make any drastic decision concerning it, you should see your doctor.

Protein And Weight Loss

protein and weight loss

If you are in search of a good and easy to follow weight loss diet and think that eating more protein is the way to get there, you may not be entirely wrong.

If you’re suffering from type 2 diabetes, for example, you’re likely already dealing with obesity since that’s a contributing factor to it.

Since protein generally takes longer to digest than diabetes, including more protein in your diet may end up making you full for longer and may decrease your urge to eat unhealthy food.

However, people with diabetes should know that adding more protein to their diet will only help if the protein that is added is used to replace carbohydrates and fat. If it’s merely added on top of your normal diet, it will not lead to weight loss but weight gain.

This doesn’t mean that protein should replace all the important carbohydrates in your diet. For example, protein shouldn’t replace fresh fruits, vegetables, and wholegrain foods because these food groups contain fibre which is very beneficial to the body.

Reducing the level of fibre in one’s diet can be dangerous since fibre is crucial to the normal workings of the body.

It follows that the best diabetes diet or weight loss one can have is to combine foods rich in protein with high fibre ingredients, as they provide the best benefits nutrient-wise.

FAQs About Protein And Diabetes


Is Protein Better Than carbohydrates For Diabetics?

There’s a popular myth that protein is better than carbohydrates for diabetics — or even that carbohydrates are bad for diabetics. That’s just patently false.

First off, carbohydrates are an important part of any diabetic diet. Cutting carbs from your diet entirely as a diabetic will only lead to malnutrition.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can eat carbs with abandon. They do affect your blood sugar levels, which is where you need to keep track of how much you eat each day.

Carbohydrates are necessary to provide your body with energy to function, and a lot of carb food sources also have vitamins, minerals and fibre, which are all important to the body. Some of those carb food sources include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Some carbohydrates, such as starchy foods or sugary carbs do not have these essential nutrients, so they are less vital and their intake should be tightly controlled.

It’s easy to say that protein is better for people with diabetes than carbohydrates, but that’s not necessarily true either.

A lot of protein comes with too much saturated fat, which can lead to weight gain or obesity, which is a risk factor for people with diabetes.

You should also be very careful with your portion size even when taking protein, as exceeding your recommended daily calories can lead to high glucose levels.

Should you use carbohydrates and protein to treat hypoglycemia?

According to the American Diabetes Association, pure glucose is the preferred treatment for low blood sugar, which is also known as hypoglycemia. This doesn’t mean you should always use pure glucose, though, as any carbohydrate that has glucose will raise your glucose levels.

Carbohydrate sources with a very high levels of protein should not be used to treat or prevent hypoglycemia because it doesn’t have the level of glucose needed to drastixau increase the body’s glucose levels.

Is It Possible To Eat Fruit For Snack Without The Protein?

Yes, fruit can be a snack. It’s also advised that you eat something with protein and fat while eating fruit, as it will keep you full and prevent a spike in your glucose levels. A good example is eating a slice of pineapple with something like peanut butter on each slice. You could also eat nuts too, as they usually have a lot of protein.

But you’ve also got to remember that everyone has different bodies, so you need to check your glucose levels to know exactly what’s right for you.


Protein doesn’t directly affect your blood glucose levels. However, since it’s difficult to eat foods that are just protein alone, it’s important to understand how the other components of high-protein foods can affect you.

That’s why diabetics need to understand what kind of proteins they should be eating, and which kinds they should limit to a recommended level.

In addition to that, people with diabetes need to limit their protein intake to the daily recommended amount and avoid using it to entirely replace the carbs in their diet, since carbs are still essential.

All of this is really hard work, and it can be very difficult to keep track of the protein in one’s diet, and how it’s affecting one’s blood sugar levels. That’s why diabetics should consult experts who understand how to help them live fuller lives with healthier habits.

With the help of such experts, diabetics would be able to make brave and sensible decisions about their lifestyle choices that will help them have a more complete life.

If you’re making an effort to create a healthy lifestyle and follow a nutritious diet, you’ve probably heard of the health benefits of leafy greens. While you may recognize that it’s important to incorporate green leafy vegetables into your diet, you might not know what foods fall under this category. Here, learn the answer to, “What are leafy greens?” as well as some information on the specific health benefits of these superfoods.

What Constitutes a Leafy Green?

It’s no secret that leafy greens are healthy, but you may not know exactly what vegetables fall under this category. Some of the healthiest leafy green vegetables are listed below:

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Beet greens
  • Watercress
  • Mustard greens
  • Arugula
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • Endive
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bok choy

What all of these vegetables have in common is that they come from plants with edible leaves, and as their name suggests, they can be identified by their green color. Some leafy greens like spinach can be consumed raw, whereas cooked collard greens are preferred, since they have a bitter flavor and tend to taste better when steamed.

Eating leafy greens like the ones above can be part a nutritious diet that supports a healthy lifestyle.

Nutrition Content of Leafy Greens

So, why eat leafy greens? You’ve probably heard of the health benefits of leafy greens, which come from their rich nutritional profile. According to nutrition experts, green leafy vegetables are rich in important nutrients, including vitamins A, C, E, and K. Some leafy greens are also an excellent source of the B vitamins, and many of them provide a healthy dose of fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Beyond these micronutrients, green leafy vegetables are known for being high in antioxidants and carotenoids, which can protect the cells and reduce the risk of cancer. What makes leafy greens so beneficial for health is that they pack a powerful nutritional punch, while being low in sodium, carbohydrates, and cholesterol. This means that they can be incorporated into numerous diets, including those for individuals with health problems like diabetes.

Finally, leafy greens contain dietary nitrates, which are believed to have numerous health benefits.

While leafy greens as a whole come packed with nutrition, the specific nutritional content will vary between specific types of leafy green vegetables.
Consider the nutrition facts of various leafy greens below:


kale for diabetics

As a member of the cabbage family, kale comes with the following nutritional content per cup, cooked:

  • 43 calories
  • 6 grams carbohydrates
  • 1 gram sugar
  • 1 gram fat
  • 3.5 grams protein
  • 5 grams fiber


spinach for diabetics

Packed with iron, magnesium, folic acid, and calcium, spinach is a true superfood. It’s also rich in beta carotene and can promote eye health. Beyond these benefits, a cup of spinach includes the following nutritional profile:

  • 7 calories
  • 1 gram carbohydrates
  • Trivial amounts of fat and sugar
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 1 gram of fiber


watercress for diabetics

Cruciferous vegetables like watercress protect the body from cancer cell growth and other damage. A cup of watercress includes the following:

  • 4 calories
  • Under half a gram of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of protein
  • Trivial amounts of fat, sugar and fiber

Romaine Lettuce

romaine lettuce for diabetics

A favorite in salads, romaine lettuce is a good source of beta carotene and other antioxidants which can boost the immune system. A cup of romaine lettuce boasts the following nutrition facts:

  • 8 calories
  • 2 grams carbohydrates
  • 1 gram sugar
  • 1 gram protein
  • 1 gram fiber
  • A trivial amount of fat


arugula and diabetes

Arugula is also among the cruciferous vegetables, and it is often eaten raw, as it has a pleasant peppery flavor. People may also put it in soups or pasta dishes. The nutrition facts for a one-cup serving of arugula are as follows:

  • 3 calories
  • Under half a gram of carbohydrates
  • Trivial amounts of fat, protein, sugar, and fiber

Swiss Chard

swiss chard and diabetes

Swiss chard is rich in polyphenols, which can stop cancer cell growth. A cup of Swiss chard contains:

  • 7 calories
  • 1 gram carbohydrates
  • Less than one gram of sugar and fat
  • Half a gram of protein and fiber

Bok Choy

bok choy for diabetics

Referred to as Chinese cabbage, this cruciferous vegetable contains the following in each one-cup serving:

  • 9 calories
  • 1.5 grams carbohydrates
  • 1 gram sugar
  • 1 gram protein
  • Almost 1 gram of fiber
  • A trivial amount of fat


cabbage and diabetes

While cabbage can sometimes be purple or white, it can also have green leaves, making it a member of the class of leafy green vegetables. A one-cup serving of this cruciferous vegetable contains the following:

  • 22 calories
  • 5 grams carbohydrates
  • 3 grams sugar
  • A trivial amount of fat
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 2 grams of fiber

What you probably notice when reviewing the nutrition facts of leafy green vegetables is that they are all low in calories, carbs, and sugar. This makes them an important part of a healthy diet. Raw greens and other leafy greens are packed with nutrition, but because they do not contain many calories, you can eat large portions to fill you up, so you get the fuel you need without overdoing it on calories. Their low sugar and carb content also makes them suitable for a diabetes diet.

Specific Health Benefits of Leafy Greens

It’s pretty clear that green leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce and raw spinach are full of nutrients, and along with this nutrition profile come specific health benefits. Consider some of the health benefits of leafy greens below:

  • Veggies with dark green leaves are packed with vitamin K, which reduces inflammation and improves bone health, thereby lowering the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Antioxidants in leafy greens can reduce the risk of stomach, breast, and skin cancer and lower the risk of heart disease.
  • The fiber content in green leafy veggies helps with digestion and weight management, making these vegetables beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Leafy green vegetables promote skin health, as research has shown that consuming them leads to reduced risk of skin cancer.
  • Leafy greens contain beta carotene, which promotes eye health and can reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

Research With Leafy Greens

Since leafy greens have gotten so much attention for their role in a healthy diet, researchers have conducted studies to determine the exact benefits of these veggies. Studies have shown that eating more leafy greens does reduce the risk of breast cancer. In fact, a study in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found that eating more leafy vegetables reduced the risk of breast cancer by 30 percent!

Leafy greens can also lower the risk of heart disease. A new study in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that eating about one cup of leafy green vegetables per day reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers the incidence of hospitalizations linked to heart failure, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

The beneficial effects of eating more leafy green vegetables are so strong that a review of 95 different studies showed that these veggies reduce the risk of heart disease and lower the risk of death from any cause.

Additional studies have shown that green leafy vegetables can reduce the risk of developing diabetes, because of their nutritional profile. For those who have diabetes, leafy greens may assist with blood sugar regulation, as animal research has shown that extracts from leafy green vegetables can lower blood glucose levels.

Adding Leafy Greens to Your Diet

If the idea of eating cooked spinach or raw greens on their own doesn’t seem too appealing, the good news is that you can incorporate leafy greens into your diet by adding them to some of your favorite dishes. Consider the following ways to incorporate leafy green vegetables into simple dishes you’re probably already making:

  1. Make a wrap that combines a lean meat like turkey or chicken, and throw in your favorite leafy greens, like romaine lettuce or swiss chard to add some crunch.
  2. Toss some spinach into your morning omelet or scrambled eggs.
  3. Throw together a salad with a variety of greens, such as kale, mustard greens, and swiss chard.
  4. Use stir fry greens like broccoli or bok choy and mix with chicken for a healthy homemade Asian-inspired dish.
  5. Steam collard or mustard greens and serve them as a side dish with dinner.
  6. Make green smoothies, and mix some of your favorite leafy greens with powerhouse fruits like blueberries or raspberries.
  7. Put leafy greens like bok choy and Swiss chard into homemade soups.
  8. Place greens on top of a pizza for a healthier version of this classic dish.

Healthy Recipes Including Leafy Greens

Throwing leafy greens into your favorite dishes is an easy way to incorporate these vegetables into your diet, but if you’re looking to try something new, consider the healthy recipes below.

Baked Kale Chips

baked kale chips

For this simple recipe, you’ll need just three ingredients: one bunch of kale, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.

Follow these steps to prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove kale leaves from the stems with kitchen shears, and break into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Wash and dry the kale leaves in a salad spinner.
  4. Drizzle olive oil on the kale leaves and sprinkle with salt, and then toss.
  5. Bake for 2o to 30 minutes, or until edges start to brown.

Caesar Salad

caesar salad

Caesar salads are an excellent way to eat more leafy greens. Toss one at home with one large head of romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, croutons, and homemade salad dressing.

The following steps are required for this recipe:

  1. Whisk together minced garlic, dijon, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar, and then add in olive oil while continuing to whisk. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing boil, and then toss in the dressing, mixing until the salad is evenly coated in dressing.

This Caesar salad makes an excellent side dish. If you’d like to turn it into a full lunch or dinner, consider adding some strips of grilled chicken for a healthy dose of protein.

Swish Chard & Tahini Dip

Swiss chard tahini dip

For those who love hummus, this dip will hit the spot. Ingredients include 2 bunches of Swiss chard, 2/3 cup olive oil, 5 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 cup Tahini, 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, Kosher salt, toasted flatbread, and lemon wedges.

To make, follow the recipe below:

  1. Separate ribs and stems from the Swiss Chard and finely chop. Separately, tear Swiss chard leaves into small pieces.
  2. On medium-low heat, heat up 1/3 cup of olive oil.
  3. Cook Swiss chard ribs and stems for 5-7 minutes, until tender, stirring often. Add in garlic and cook while stirring for one minute.
  4. Add one handful of Swiss chard leaves at a time, and add another handful once the previous handful begins to wilt. Cook, while tossing, for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Let the Swiss chard cool, and remove excess liquid.
  6. Put Swiss chard and 1 tablespoon of cooking liquid in the food processor. Add tahini, lemon juice, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Season with salt and then process until the dip is creamy.
  7. Place the dip in a serving boil and drizzle with olive oil.
  8. Serve dip with flatbread and lemon wedges.

Sautéed Bok Choy

Sautéed Bok Choy

For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 peeled, minced garlic cloves
  • One half-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 4 bunches baby bok choy, with ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock
  • Toasted sesame oil

Prepare with the following steps:

  1. Use a sauté pan with a lid to to heat canola oil over medium-high heat until it begins to simmer, and then add garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook, while constantly stirring, for 45 seconds.
  2. Add bok choy and stir the mixture carefully to cover the bok choy with oil. Cook for 2 minutes, add soy sauce and chicken stock. Cover the pan and cook for about two more minutes.
  3. Uncover the pan and and cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated, which will take about 3 more minutes.
  4. Remove the bok choy from pan and drizzle with sesame oil.

You can enjoy this recipe as a side dish along with chicken or another meat.

If you’re looking for ways to add more leafy greens to your diet, the recipes above are worth trying. In addition to using these recipes, you can make a habit of regularly throwing green leafy vegetables like kale into salads, smoothies, or eggs to easily incorporate them into your diet. You can find additional recipes on the Internet when you want to try something new.

The Bottom Line on Leafy Greens

Vegetable intake in general is important for health and nutrition, but leafy greens come with some unique health benefits. Incorporating more leafy greens into your diet is an excellent way to get the nutrients you need without adding excess fat, sodium, or calories to your diet. If you’re watching your weight or trying to manage a health condition, adding your favorite leafy greens to everyday dishes will deliver a healthy dose of micronutrients and fiber. This can keep your body systems functioning optimally and regulate blood pressure and blood glucose levels, reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

For those already living with diabetes, it can be helpful to add leafy greens to your diet. These foods will add volume and crunch to your favorite dishes, making them more satiating and satisfying, while helping you to keep calories and carbohydrates in check. Filling your plate with these low-calorie vegetables can also assist with weight management and prevent complications like high blood pressure that can come from excess weight.

If you’re looking for additional support for managing diabetes, download Klinio diabetes app. It offers time-saving resources, such as personalized diabetes meal plans and at-home workouts, so you can make the lifestyle changes necessary for keeping blood sugar levels in check.

When it comes to overall general health where there is no issue of a congenital or chronic condition, it would be fair to say that the vast majority of issues that people tend to experience over the course of their lives is related to their diet and the food they eat.

Common health issues such as obesity, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes are all massively linked to the foods and nutrients (or lack of) that you are putting into your body every single day. And these issues are very common as statistics show:

  • More than 70 million adults in the USA are classed as obese (35 million women and 35 million men). A further 99 million are overweight (54 million men and 45 million women).
  • Over 37 million Americans have diabetes and in approximately 90-95% of them, it is type 2 diabetes.
  • 40% – 93 million – Americans have high levels of cholesterol.

If you have been told by a doctor or other healthcare professional that you need to start making changes to your lifestyle or you simply feel like the time is right to start taking your health more seriously, then your diet is the most obvious place to look.

The Basics

basic food substitutions

Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows how difficult it can be. You can’t eat things you normally love and you need to cut down on portion size. You need to be conscious of every bite and understand more about the nutritional value of every food.

You need to start out with a positive mindset and that you can still enjoy a varied diet and maintain a good healthy balance of nutrition. The important thing to remember when trying to change your diet is the fact that healthy eating does not have to mean boring or flavorless eating. It isn’t all about fresh fruit and salad leaves.

The aim is to achieve a calorie deficit over a period of time – usually a day – and this can be done by building a healthy plate with the correct portions of the correct food groups, as well as controlling your snacking.

A tasty snack isn’t just the kinds of fatty, sugary, overly salty junk foods that you may have been tempted by too many times before. Healthy fats are just as tasty as the saturated fat that is found in junk food, And you can satisfy a sweet tooth without resorting to sugar. it’s all about seeking out the products that are deemed to be healthier and more acceptable to nutritional experts.

One of the easiest things to start doing is making healthy substitutions for foods that aren’t necessarily classed as healthy or beneficial.

Here is a guide to some of the best food substitutions that you can make regularly without sacrificing any flavour or satisfaction. These simple food substitutions will not only bring with them plenty of health benefits like reduced risk of heart disease, but they will also broaden your culinary horizons and introduce you to much more great food than you have been used to up to this point!

  1. Eat whole eggs not just the egg whites

One of the trendiest foods people quote for losing weight is egg white omelet. This is a low fat, low-calorie dish and it is so often quoted as being “diet food” because of this. However, there is so much more nutrition in the egg yolk. The yolk also contains a fat-fighting nutrient called choline, so you are much better off having whole eggs and cooking them in a healthy way like poaching or light scrambling them.

  1. Replace jam/jelly with mashed avocado

Instead of reaching for the sweet sugary jam to spread on your toast, swap things around and use some avocado. It obviously doesn’t replicate the flavours, but it is a massively healthy food swap that has a creamy texture and is packed full of healthy nutrients. It is easy to upgrade the flavor of avocado without adding calories. Try some hot sauce or mix in some taco seasoning. Look on Instagram for some amazing inspiration for ways to serve avocado toast.

  1. Replace cheese with fresh veggies

Instead of throwing cheese into an omelet, grab a handful of fresh vegetables and you automatically make your meal healthier with fewer calories. You don’t need us to tell just how important fresh fruit and vegetables are, not only for things like heart health but also for more fiber. For a cheesy flavor in other dishes, try adding some nutritional yeast flakes.

  1. Switch to a non-dairy milk

Organic whole milk is a hearty ingredient, but it contains too much fat for a truly healthy diet. Instead, try to experiment with some of the popular milk alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, peanut milk or any of the different types of milk that you will see on supermarket shelves these days. Almond milk is now so common that coffee chains usually offer it along with soya milk and most non-dairy milks can be used in the same way as dairy milk in everything from breakfast cereal to banana ice cream.

  1. Switch to brown bread

White bread is a classic that tastes nostalgic, but it really doesn’t have much nutritional value. The same can be said for white rice and brown rice. Nutrient deficient white rice and white bread don’t do anything for a good diet, but their whole-grain counterparts are simple food substitutions that can help a person to eat healthier. Avoid refined carbs in favor of good carbs.

  1. Choose low sodium soy sauce

Soy sauce is an easy way to make a bland rice recipe taste better, but it has a high salt content. A simple way to get around this is to opt for a low sodium version. Thankfully, these are very easy to find in supermarkets so you won’t have any trouble.

  1. Replace ground beef with ground turkey

Turkey is super low in calories, and it is also delicious when you know what to do with it! Red meat is one of the worst foods for heart health, so making the switch to turkey for things like homemade burgers and chilli can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.

  1. Replace vegetable oil with olive oil

You would be surprised by how many calories there are in vegetable oil portions that aren’t that big. You can get around this by switching to olive oil in your cooking. You don’t need to use as much, and it is lower in calories to start with. A win/win situation with this food substitution! Also, where you can, use a spray oil. A little goes a long way.

  1. Decide on homemade salad dressing

If you look at the label of a supermarket salad bottled dressing, you will be amazed by how many unnecessary additives and things like excess sugar there are. Cut a lot of these calories out by making your own salad dressing at home. All you need to do is a quick Google search and you will find plenty of recipes that are only a few healthy ingredients but still pack a big flavour punch. When you make your own you control exactly what is included and avoid the added sugar and preservatives so common in processed foods.

  1. Replace burritos with bowls

If you love Mexican food, you can enjoy all the ingredients in a bow and forego the flour tortilla or corn tortilla. This way, you still get all of the valuable nutrients of the vegetables and rice, but without the calories of the nutrient-void white bread

  1. Make the switch to sweet potatoes

French fries are everyone’s guilty pleasure, but they don’t have to be quite so guilty if you choose to use sweet potatoes instead. They are much more nutritionally healthy because they are low on the glycemic index and also have an incredibly high vitamin A content. Sweet potatoes are just as tasty as mashed potatoes long as you avoid throwing in a knob of butter or some sour cream. A blob of Greek yogurt will work just as well to make a creamy mash. ,

Another potato switch that you can make is to cut out potato chips in favor of vegetable chips. Things like beets and parsnips make for great crunchy chips.

  1. Change your dairy habits

We have already spoken about making changes with the milk that you drink, but you should also look to make changes with your other dairy. Stay away from things like heavy cream and full fat cream cheese, and use low fat cheese options instead.

There are plenty to choose from on supermarket shelves. You also might want to consider switching to things like greek yogurt. There is more protein in plain greek yogurt than regular yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt can be a wonderfully healthy alternative to something like sour cream. All you need to do is add a few fresh herbs and spices to fill it with flavour.

Also with yogurts, be sure to check the label if you choose a fruit version, even if you opt for Greek yogurt. Sweetened fruit can significantly add to the calorie count.

  1. Be careful with your sauces

There are so many hidden calories in condiments and sauces, you don’t want to make a healthy meal full of things like dark leafy greens, zucchini noodles or cauliflower mash only to ruin it nutritionally with bad sauces.

Make sure that you pay attention to the labels and find tomato sauce that isn’t too sugary, for example. Unsweetened applesauce is also another great find.

  1. Always Choose Dark Chocolate

If you find that you can’t keep from craving chocolate, then at least make it a more acceptable craving by always opting for the dark chocolate. Things like dark chocolate chips are nutrionallty better than milk or white because they contain lots of antioxidants.

As food swaps go, swapping milk chocolate chips for dark one isn’t the worst thing in the world!

  1. Bake smart

Baking traditionally uses a lot of butter and sugar but you will find so many recipes for your favorite baked goods if you look online. For example, coconut oil, creamed coconut, apple sauce or mashed banana can be used instead of fat in many recipes. Wholegrain cereals can be a substitute for breadcrumbs. Greek yogurt can replace milk and oil. Honey or agave syrup can replace sugar and there are many lower calorie flour options than regular white flour. And did you know that garbanzo beans water (known as aquafaba) can substitute for egg whites?

  1. Try To Add Lots Of Flavour To Food Swaps

The number one complaint that people have when making food swaps is that the new versions don’t taste as good as the old versions. Do your best to make this a myth by adding lots of your own flavour into your food.

Things like lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, taco seasoning and chia seeds can really make a big difference. You are basically trying to replace the added sugar of the corn syrup that we have all become addicted to in junk food with ingredients that are much better for your heart health.

  1. Eat Meals That Are Good For Bone Health

Try to concentrate on your bone health by enjoying meals like chicken broth, lasagna noodles, garbanzo beans, a quick healthy stir fry, baked goods made with whole wheat flour (like a whole grain English muffin) and mashed bananas that have a lovely creamy texture.

  1. Focus On Portion Control

Once you have made all of these great food substitutions to get more fiber and nutrients into your diet, the next step is portion control. Make the effort to only have a few slices of pizza rather the whole thing, or cut your chicken tenders into thin strips rather than eating a whole basket etc.

Substitutions are about being smart. Try to set out to find new flavors to enjoy rather than trying to simply replicate the unhealthy foods you usually eat. Make clever swaps to improve your diet. Remember that you are making these food substitutions for the sake of your blood sugar and other health factors and when your blood sugar levels are normal, you are able to live a happy, normal life.

When it comes to healthy eating, the average person needs nutrients combined from various food categories. Namely, you need to feed your body with meals that pack a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, fat, fiber, and minerals. Each of these food categories offers essential nutrients, which you need in varying amounts.

For a person with diabetes, carbohydrates are generally considered a no-no. In fact, most doctors advise people with diabetes to reduce their intake of carbs as excessive consumption is deemed unhealthy for the body.

Carbohydrates are rich sources of sugar and starch, both ranking high on the glycemic index scale. Our system quickly digests them and converts them into blood glucose. This usually translates to increased blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes.

However, you don’t necessarily need to avoid carbohydrates completely. Carbohydrates contain fiber which has been regarded as “the good carb.” According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), it’s the healthiest form of carbohydrate. The health body asserts that fiber-rich foods will significantly benefit people with diabetes and those at risk of developing the illness.

This exploratory guide enlightens you on how fiber works in battling diabetes and how you can increase your fiber content to just the right amount.

An Overview of What Fiber Is and How It Works

Dietary fiber is a significant promoter of digestive health. A 2018 review of dietary fiber by Marc P. McRae reinforces this valuable plant food nutrient to be incredibly effective in reducing the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Fiber acts as nature’s broom for our digestive system. It’s a type of carbohydrate commonly found in plant-based foods.

Naturally, the body is unable to digest this type of carbohydrate. However, it’s known to pass through the digestive tract, taking on waste as it exits the system. Even in its unprocessed state, it constitutes a healthy diet and benefits the body, mainly regulating blood sugar levels.

To get the best from fiber, you should consume 20–30 grams per day. However, only 5% of people in the US get up to this amount per day. The majority only get about 15 g on average per day.

The reason for this somewhat low number isn’t far-fetched — most people don’t just eat enough fruits, whole grains, vegetables, etc. While it’s essential to have a high fiber diet as a person with diabetes, you should ensure you increase your fiber intake gradually to curb side effects like bloating, cramping, and gas.

Categorizing Fiber

categorizing fiber

Fiber is categorized into two, including:

Soluble Fiber

This type of fiber is characterized by its ability to dissolve in water. It forms a gel-like substance that helps slow down the digestion process when fully dissolved. It’s also quite effective in weight loss and lowering blood glucose levels.

Furthermore, soluble fiber is incredibly effective in lowering cholesterol levels by preventing the digestion of dietary cholesterol. It also boosts colon health by helping the gut bacteria thrive. You stand to derive these benefits and more when you consume foods high in soluble fiber, including black beans, lima beans, apple, artichoke, lentils, etc.

Insoluble Fiber

As the name implies, this type of fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. Instead, it’s left intact during digestion passing through the digestive tract to execute its effects.

Insoluble fiber offers many benefits to the body in this undigested state. For example, it helps prevent constipation by absorbing fluid in the gastrointestinal tract and speeding up waste processing. Examples of foods that contain this form of fiber are almonds, pear, lentils, garbanzo beans, strawberries, walnuts, etc.

Is Fiber Supplement a Thing?

Apart from eating food high in fiber content, you can also get a good dose of fiber from fiber supplements. These supplements are usually available in drug stores or food stores. Suffice to say, they can be a great alternative to plant fibers, especially for people with gastrointestinal issues.

Although fiber supplements function just as well as regular high fiber foods, some have been observed to cause side effects like bloating. Thus, a preference for high fiber foods over fiber supplements is often advised. It’s also vital you consult with your dietician before taking fiber supplements.

How Does Dietary Fiber Benefit Diabetes Patients?

fiber supplements

When it comes to chronic illnesses like diabetes, the kind of food a patient consumes warrants special attention. Foods containing high fiber have proven incredibly effective in battling this illness. They provide a wide range of health benefits for people with diabetes and can also help prevent the disease from developing.

One of the significant challenges people with diabetes face is fluctuating blood sugar levels. When blood levels rise too high, it can result in some health complications.

Also, diabetes is known to lead to cardiovascular disease, resulting from high blood cholesterol.  Thankfully, a high fiber diet, especially those rich in soluble fiber, helps lower LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like heart disease.

It does this by preventing the recirculation of bile salts when it binds to them. This way, it forces the body to produce more of these salts using cholesterol from the liver. The resultant effect is a reduction of blood cholesterol.

Obesity is another significant risk factor for diabetes. Luckily, a high fiber diet is filling, helping you manage your appetite. In addition, foods high in fiber content have been observed to take longer to chew, giving your body enough time to figure out if it’s full or not, preventing you from overeating. This helps with weight management and also maintains your blood glucose levels.

Finally, fiber takes care of gut health by keeping your internal plumbing running smoothly. Namely, it functions as a laxative agent, getting rid of unnecessary waste in the digestive tract. Your gut bacteria also benefit from soluble fiber as they get the necessary food they need from its fermentation.

The Right Amount of Fiber for a Person With Diabetes

High-fiber diets are essential for people of all ages. But, more importantly, people living with diabetes are to follow the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Eating fiber within this range guarantees you a healthy, fiber-rich diet. However, you must integrate fiber into your diet plan gradually. That’ll help your body adjust to the diet change. 

Fast-tracking things or going overboard can lead to uncomfortable digestive symptoms. Notably, you can quickly get bloated or suffer constipation if you don’t pace your fiber intake.

ADA advises taking more water when on a high-fiber diet meal plan. Water aids the smooth movement of food through the body, which is also true for fiber-rich meals. So, drink water and lots of it at that.

Foods That Are High Fiber Sources

Generally, fiber tends to exist in varying quantities in different kinds of food. However, to get the correct amount of fiber for you, it’s good to know those that have it in high amounts. That said, here are some fiber-rich foods that’ll surely be a great addition to your diabetes diet.


Various types of beans have differing quantities of fiber. Experts advise mixing up these legumes to get the best portion of the fiber. For example, a half-cup serving of black beans has as much as 6 g of fiber, while a similar serving of white beans contains only about 5 grams. Combining them with other food such as salad or soup would make a fiber-rich meal.

Fresh Popcorn

Popcorn is often regarded as one of the healthiest snacks. However, we’re not referring to those enjoyed at the movie theaters, often mixed with salt, butter, and popcorn topping. Rather, we mean a fresh air-popped popcorn source containing 2 grams of fiber.

Enjoying a bowl of popcorn on a regular afternoon is a great way to get more fiber into your system. Worthy of mentioning is that this snack contains no cholesterol or fat; it’s as healthy as it comes.


Get more soluble fiber with these green veggies. They’re rich in vitamins A, C, and K, offering the perfect replacement for rice.

You get about 3.5 g of fiber from ⅔ cup of canned peas. Apart from getting a good amount of fiber per serving, you also get 3.8 g of protein and just 11 g of carbohydrates. Yellow peas contain more fiber, offering about 9 g per quarter-cup serving.

However, it’d be best if you watch your carbohydrate intake. For example, adding some peas to your salad will increase its fiber content.


These legumes are a great source of fiber, with 50% of their carbohydrate makeup being just fiber. Remarkably, a cup of lentils offers as much as 15 g of fiber. More particularly, they’re an excellent source of soluble fiber. Other added benefits include 40 g and 18 g of carbohydrates and protein, respectively, per one-cup serving.


Get a good fill of fiber in your next meal by scooping some avocado. These bright green fruits contain both soluble and insoluble fiber as well as healthy fatty acids. Namely, a quarter-cup serving offers at least 2 g of fiber, 3 g of carbohydrate, 5 g of fat, and just 50 calories.

Suffice to say, this fruit contains all the nutrients essential for people with diabetes. Eating this in place of saturated fat is a good recommendation to help lower LDL cholesterol.


The above are just a few examples of fiber-dense foods. It’d help if you looked out for artichokes that contain about 4.8 g of fiber in a half-cup serving. Broccoli is another cruciferous green veggie that offers a decent amount of fiber at 2 g per cup. Berries, pears, oatmeal, wheat bran, shredded wheat, etc., are other excellent sources of fiber. 

Having outlined the various types of food that are pretty rich in fiber, the next thing to look at is how to integrate them into your regular diet. The following section outlines the right way to get a diet that’s a lot richer in fiber, especially for a diabetic.

How to Get More Fiber in Your Diet

Figuring out how much fiber is right or the type of food that contains the fiber you need can be quite a hassle. However, knowing how to add more fiber to your regular meal in just the right way would go a long way to improving your overall health.

You can also adopt new diet plans that are exceptionally rich in fiber. It’s advisable to spread your fiber intake across your daily meal plan instead of taking it at once. The following tips can help:

  • Go for a fiber-friendly breakfast: A bowl of crunchy nuts and berries should suffice for a healthy, fiber-rich breakfast.
  • Do more of whole grains: Brown rice is an excellent source of fiber; take more of it in place of white rice. Also, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread are excellent choices to give yourself a fiber boost.

Key Takeaways

Fiber or healthy carb (as it’s commonly referred to) is essential for people with diabetes and those at risk of developing the illness. Of course, you need to inform your dietician or doctor before switching to a fiber-rich diet. These healthcare professionals are in the best position to enlighten you on the right amount of fiber you require and how you can successfully fit them into your diet.

Overall, opt for a fiber-rich whole-grain diet with dried fruits, nuts, and berries. Don’t forget to eat apples at least once per day. You also can’t go wrong with the veggies, broccoli, and other green vegetables that qualify as great fiber sources. While this guide outlines how you can successfully add fiber to your regular meal, you should slowly introduce fiber-filled foods into your diet to preclude certain side effects like bloating and gas.

Another great way to monitor your fiber intake is via digital meal planners, which help manage your meal plan and monitor your blood sugar level. Our Klinio app offers a great resource of foods rich in fiber and suggests just how much you should take daily based on your blood sugar levels. To cap it all, our app users enjoy frequent updates on the most recent approaches to managing diabetes through diet changes and workout sessions.

If you know somebody with diabetes, or are perhaps diabetic yourself, then you will know just how much food and its nutritional content can matter on a minute-by-minute basis during the day.

In this modern age of health consciousness, many people are much more mindful of healthy eating patterns and the calories and ingredients that they put into their bodies. When you have diabetes, however, this consciousness of healthy eating takes on a whole new significance.

Rather than thinking about small-scale issues like skin complexion or hitting a calorie target for the day, those who have diabetes have to pay much more serious attention to the foods that they consume. In very serious and sensitive cases, making sure that you as a diabetic have the perfect plate of balanced food following United States government guidelines could be the difference between maintaining good health and becoming ill.

What Is Diabetes?

In simple terms, diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) condition that negatively affects the way that your body is able to turn food into energy.

Most of the food that you eat every day gets broken down into glucose, which is essentially sugar and is then released into your bloodstream.

When this release happens and your blood sugar rises, what should normally happen is your body sends a signal to your pancreas to release the insulin hormone. Insulin acts like a gatekeeper, unlocking the door of your body for blood sugar to be used as energy.

If you have diabetes, your body is not able to make enough insulin to successfully complete this task, or it is unable to make the best use of the insulin that it does create. When there is insufficient insulin and it can’t perform its function efficiently, too much sugar stays in the bloodstream, which can lead to problems ranging from vision loss to kidney disease to heart disease and more.

There are two main types of diabetes – type I and type II. Type I is usually congenital while type II is acquired. Diabetes cannot be self-diagnosed and must be confirmed by a medical professional.

Type II diabetics can manage their condition through lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active.

Type I diabetics have to maintain insulin levels by introducing it directly into their bodies and also follow healthy eating patterns in order to manage their condition.

How Does Diabetes Affect The Body?

Before a diagnosis, diabetics usually experience symptoms such as

  • An increased thirst that can’t seem to be satisfied.
  • A much more frequent feeling and need to urinate.
  • A higher level of fatigue than your daily exertions should warrant.
  • Moments and periods of blurred vision.
  • A sensation of tingling or slight pain in all or some of the hands, feet or legs.

When not properly medicated and controlled by lifestyle changes, diabetes can have a massively negative impact on the body. Due to the fact that it contributes to high blood pressure, diabetes massively raises the risk of heart-related problems and strokes.

People who do not make serious changes to their lives are also very likely to lose much, if not all, of their vision over time. This is due to the damage caused to blood vessels by high sugar levels.

Another area of concern is the kidneys. Function deteriorates over time, particularly if issues such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are not addressed.

The Relationship Between Diabetes And Food

The relationship is complicated because it is multifaceted.

Diabetes affects how the body processes fat, protein and carbohydrates and its ability to turn them into energy (sugar). All these nutrients require insulin but, carbohydrates, for example, needs insulin immediately after it is ingested.

If your body is unable to sufficiently cope with even average amounts of sugar, then it makes perfect sense that you need to start cutting out as much sugar from your diet as you possibly can.

Diabetics also need to be conscious of eating healthy to avoid weight gain. Excess weight can exacerbate any problems diabetes can cause.

Somebody who has diabetes should maintain a healthy diet that includes all of the nutrients and ingredients that are needed in order to give the body the energy that it needs. This isn’t the kind of eating that involves fasting and crash dieting to lose weight. Rather, this is a complete lifestyle that will help you to keep your diabetic symptoms under control.

Alongside insulin and any prescribed medications, eating right is the best thing you can do to control your diabetes. Experts have devised some guidelines to help called the Diabetes Plate Method.

What Is The Diabetes Plate Method?

The Diabetes Plate Method is also known as MyPlate. MyPlate is used in nutrition counseling for both diabetes and general healthy eating.

Developed and approved by award-winning, groundbreaking experts in the fields of diabetes and nutrition, the official website of MyPlate is maintained by the United States Government Department of Agriculture.

This federal-backed nutrition policy encourages healthy eating for all Americans not only with what foods to eat but also has beneficial educational purposes that help us understand more about the food we eat. By having a greater understanding of the healthy eating pyramid and food groups, everyone can produce balanced meals.

Using this method, you follow the dietary guidelines to create meals that are not only perfectly portioned in terms of calories, but also optimally balance important and essential nutrients from all food groups.

Here is an easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow guide to using the Diabetes Plate Method.

Choose a dinner plate in your kitchen that is not too big and not too small. Ideally, this should be about 9 inches in diameter. Don’t choose an overly large plate – you need the visual aspect of food filling the plate to aid the mental processes of hunger.

  1. First, visualize the plate in four quarters. This food plate chart is an essential of the MyPlate guidelines and it will make it easier to build the ideal meal with different foods.
  2. Now fill half of the plate with non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables are low in carbohydrates, which means that they do not significantly raise your blood sugar levels. They are also very high in minerals, vitamins and fiber, and should make up at least half of your meal. Examples of non-starchy vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Salad greens
  • celery
  • Cabbage

    3. In one quarter of the plate, add your protein. It should be high in protein but low fat. Protein, especially from animal sources, can contain too much saturated fat, and this increases the risk of heart disease. Red meat, for example, is best avoided as a prime nutrition source. Some of the good sources of lean proteins are
  • Eggs
  • Poultry (chicken and turkey)
  • Oily fish like salmon, trout, tuna
  • Lean pork
  • Shellfish

Some of the best plant-based sources of protein are

  • Edamame
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • chickpeas
  • Nuts

    4. The final quarter of your plate is for carbohydrates. Some carbohydrates are essential for maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, but too many carbs can raise blood sugar immediately after consumption.

Examples of healthy carbohydrates

  • Whole grains like bulgur wheat, brown rice and quinoa.
  • Whole grain products like pasta and bread.
  • Starchy veggies like butternut squash, green peas, pumpkin, sweet potato and plantain.
  • Legumes and beans like garbanzo, kidney, black and pinto.
  • Portions of fresh and dried fruit.
  • Dairy products like yogurt and milk, as well as milk substitutes such as soy.

5. Although not included on the food plate chart, the final step is to choose the beverage that accompanies the meal. A glass of water is the very best option. It contains zero calories, zero carbohydrates and has zero effect on blood sugar.

Other options include

  • Unsweetened tea (both hot and cold)
  • Sparkling water/club soda
  • Diet sodas with zero calories.
  • Unsweetened coffee (both hot and cold)
  • Flavored waters that don’t contain any calories.

So to recap, the ideal diabetic plate is one quarter lean protein, one quarter unrefined carbs and two quarters vegetables. It’s about learning what you can and can’t eat and in time, practice and knowing how to plate food will result in healthy eating habits without needing the visual clue of the food plate chart. Using a diabetes management app will also aid the process.

What foods should a diabetic person avoid?

The cruel part of being diabetic is the list of foods that are ‘off limits’ are generally delicious, guilty pleasure foods that would normally be the first thing you would order off a menu.

They range across all five food groups but no whole group is ruled out. They are not prohibited as such, but to manage diabetes and for general healthy eating, they should be limited but best avoided.

Sugary Drinks

You would be amazed by the amount of sugar in a can of soda. In addition to the glucose, most sugary sodas also contain fructose, another type of sugar that has been linked to insulin resistance. For obvious reasons, it is advisable to stick to the zero-calorie diet versions of fizzy and other soft drinks such as heavy fruit-based drinks.

Trans Fatty Acids

Also known as trans fat, this is a type of saturated fat that is artificially made to be stable and have a longer shelf life. You will find trans fats in most cheap processed snacks and foods, and they have been identified as contributing to insulin resistance. Most dietary guidelines suggest avoiding foods containing trans fats if you follow healthy eating habits. Avoid margarine and butter substitutes (spreads) and choose olive oil over other types.

Refined Grains

Refined grains are processed grains. Unlike whole grains which have multiple health benefits, refined grains have been so processed that most of their nutritional goodness is lost. The downside of this is that foods made from refined grains are very high in carbohydrates. Sadly, refined grains also make up the bulk of the basic Western diet – white bread, white pasta and white rice.

It is much better to choose brown (whole grain) versions. There are plenty of different types of bread and lots of different shapes of whole wheat pasta.

Fruit Flavored Yogurts

You might think that, unless you are lactose intolerant, yogurt would be a good Myplate food. Dairy yogurt comes in low fat versions made from low fat milk, sits nicely in the protein group, has good nutritional value and is said to have numerous health benefits.

This is certainly applicable to plain yogurt but when you move into the realms of fruit and fancy yogurts, the sugar content should be a cause for concern for diabetics. Some fruits are very high in sugar. If you opt for a non-dairy option, the product is usually loaded up with stuff to make it taste like yogurt. Compare the calories of flavored and non-dairy yogurts against plain yogurt to see the difference immediately.

Sweetened Breakfast Cereals

This is important to know because so many cereal companies gear their advertising to kids, positioning their cereals as a sensible, healthy breakfast option. Despite the various health claims on the boxes of sweet-tasting cereals, they are incredibly processed, incredibly high in sugar, and incredibly high in carbohydrates … all things to avoid when you are diabetic and trying to stick to good foods on the healthy eating pyramid. MyPlate balanced meals include breakfast and there are many good choices of cereals based on whole grains.


It might seem that as a diabetic, you have to follow the same sort of restricted diet as someone trying to lose weight but if you are committed to keeping your blood sugar levels down, then you have to play by the rules of the science.

With the help of the Diabetes Plate Method and the knowledge of foods to avoid, you should be able to control your diabetes and enjoy a healthy, happy life.

Whole foods are unprocessed, or minimally processed vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds. They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.  

Whole foods are usually a little bit more expensive, so we highly recommend shopping at local farmer’s markets instead of trendy “whole food” stores. Naturally, you won’t find organic milk at a farmer’s market, but you will definitely find some delicious fresh veggies and fruit.

Follow these tips to include more whole foods in your diet:

  1. Consume whole grains instead of refined grains whenever possible.
  2. Replace white flour with whole-wheat flour. 
  3. Eat lots of fresh veggies and fruits.
  4. Include beans in your meals and snacks: they’re a great source of plant protein, fiber, phytochemicals, and other nutrients.
  5. Eat fewer convenience and processed foods.

Smoothies are a regular meal choice in the average household. Fortunately, people with diabetics can also enjoy these drinks despite their condition as long as they do it right.

Specially formulated diabetic smoothies aren’t harmful to blood sugar levels and won’t trigger spikes when consumed in the correct quantity. These drinks aren’t exactly different from the usual ones. However, there are moderations to specific recipes to make diabetic-friendly smoothies healthier, and this article highlights them.

What to Expect?

  • How Smoothies Benefit Diabetes?
  • How Can Diabetics Enjoy the Health Benefits of Smoothies?
  • Top 5 Diabetic Friendly Smoothies

How Smoothies Benefit Diabetes?

We can’t underestimate the benefits of smoothies on diabetes. Some diabetic smoothies’ recipes control blood sugar and even reduce it to normal. Most diabetic management plans will always include this special drink due to its remarkable effect in preventing blood sugar.

So why’re diabetic smoothies so effective against diabetes? The answer is simple — fruit and vegetables.

Smoothies are majorly made from vegetables, fruits, and natural sweeteners. Moreover, natural sweeteners aren’t always present, as most smoothies barely have any need for sweeteners.

The fruits and vegetables that make up the majority of most smoothies are usually very low in calories and glycemic load. This means they’re not easily converted into glucose — the primary cause of blood sugar spikes.

The ingredients of most smoothies make smoothies extremely rich in vitamins and protein. There could be healthy fat in a smoothie if it contains avocado or smoothie. However, it’s just enough to benefit the body rather than cause any genuine concern.

The fact that smoothies are incredibly high in vitamins, healthy fats, and proteins while offering extremely low amounts of carbohydrates simply makes them the perfect diabetic diet. Nutrient experts and health professionals generally recommend smoothies for their patients as a good diet choice.

Diabetic smoothies usually have varying appearances, thanks to their different ingredients. Chocolate or strawberries will give a rich and creamy smoothie, while leafy and green ingredients will yield a fine, thick color.

You could have a healthy breakfast smoothie or even have it as dinner. Notably, it’s quite beneficial and helps regulate blood sugar spikes in the morning and night.

How Can Diabetics Enjoy the Health Benefits of Smoothies?

While smoothies help people with diabetes control blood sugar and prevent complications, altering the natural ingredients that make each smoothie can dilute the health benefits. This section highlights specific guidelines to ensure a healthy smoothie drink.

Don’t Add Artificial Sweeteners

As a diabetic, one thing you shouldn’t add to your smoothie is an artificial sweetener. Similarly, you should omit table sugar and other added sugars in diabetic smoothies. Even honey and related carbs aren’t exempt from the list of smoothie ingredients to avoid as they alter the drink’s health benefits.

Too many sweeteners may become counterproductive and increase blood sugar. Furthermore, to prevent consuming any harmful nutrients, you should make it a rule of thumb to always use natural ingredients, sparkling water, and frozen fruits instead of ice cubes.

Choose the Right Smoothie

All diabetic smoothies are deemed healthy. However, they’re all different in calories as each smoothie recipe differs. This means that you should choose a smoothie that’s in line with the stage of your diabetes.

A pre-diabetic could easily go for any type of diabetic smoothie and enjoy consistent blood sugar regulation. However, someone already experiencing severe complications from diabetes may want to stick to keto green smoothies — they have zero sweeteners and are great in healthy fats.

There are so many smoothies that have been experimented on and are great for varying stages of diabetes. All you have to do is meet your doctor for diagnosis and get expert advice on the exact smoothie that can work very well with your diet.

Don’t Overdo It

One thing that you shouldn’t do with smoothies is to take excessively high amounts. Smoothies are incredibly rich in vitamins and fats, but that doesn’t mean they lack calories — even the ones with some of the biggest greens have up to 50 calories. As a result, taking too many smoothies can lead to a counterproductive effect.

Top 5 Diabetic Friendly Smoothies

There are different diabetic smoothies recipes that you can add to your diet and not necessarily have blood sugar spikes. These smoothies can serve as breakfast or a complete meal. You can also add a light snack if you want something solid.

The fruity mix outlined in this list can serve as pre-diabetic smoothies for people who experience blood sugar spikes and are vulnerable to diabetes. They can also serve as healthy diabetic smoothies as they are confirmed to be rich in vitamins while having an extremely low glycemic index.

That said, here are the top 5 diabetic-friendly smoothies you can go for.

Superfood Smoothie

Source: SkinnyMs

The superfood smoothie is indeed super in every way.

As far as this smoothie is concerned, there’s no one-size-fits-all recipe as you can mix it with different fruits, and it’s subjective to ethnicity. This means that someone from Europe may have a different idea of what a superfood smoothie is to an American. However, the bottom line is that the smoothie has to be extremely healthy and very nourishing.

A smoothie can only be a superfood smoothie if it’s extremely rich in vitamins and calcium and very low in carbs. This inherent feature makes it an excellent choice for people with diabetes.

Superfood smoothies are low in carbs and pass as excellent breakfast and dinner options. Their glycemic indexes are usually low as they contain just vegetables and fruits.

A common feature in pretty much all superfood smoothies is the almond milk which serves as the base for the other additions. Almond milk is extremely rich in vitamins and perfect for people with diabetes.

Other essential ingredients that you can add to make your smoothie food include the following:

  • Carrots
  • Dates
  • Blackberry
  • Chia seeds
  • Bananas
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric

You may choose to consume the superfood smoothie as a complete meal or decide to take it with a very light snack to avoid stacking up carbs.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder Avocado Smoothies

For many, calories are the first line of thought at the sight of cocoa. While excessive calories don’t benefit diabetics, the unsweetened cocoa powder avocado smoothie is one enjoyable drink that doesn’t increase blood sugar levels and trigger glucose spikes. Thanks to its rich amount of avocado and its unsweetened cocoa powder, this smoothie has low carb and calorie content, with a serving offering nothing more than 80 calories.

This particular smoothie may be ideal for those that miss the sweet feeling of cocoa. There are no artificial sweeteners, though, so you don’t have to worry about high sugar intake.

The primary ingredients are avocado and coconut milk. Other complementary additions are a pinch of salt, water, and mint (optional). Hence, in total, there are five main ingredients in addition to the greens and cocoa.

Preparing the unsweetened cocoa powder avocado smoothie isn’t difficult. You can take the following as a guide when preparing one:

  • Get all the ingredients: Cocoa powder, avocado, coconut milk, salt, water, and mint (optional).
  • Put all the ingredients inside a blender except the fresh mint, which you may include later after the whole process. The water added should be just sufficient for successful blending.
  • Blend on high speed until you notice a fine thick creamy texture.
  • Introduce fresh mint to the mix if you wish.

This chocolate avocado smoothie with coconut milk can help you lose weight and make every exercise worth it.

Avocado Smoothie With Leafy Greens

Avocado is one crucial food choice that plays a vital role in helping people with diabetes handle their condition without complications. The fruit has a very low glycemic index and, as such, doesn’t trigger a rise in blood sugar.

The avocado smoothie with leafy greens is one of the best choices that a diabetic can make for a healthy breakfast. The smoothie is remarkably tasty, which is a good thing as diabetics will find it refreshing and yummy.

To avoid a rise in blood sugar spikes at night, nutrition experts usually advise that diabetics go for smoothies such as the avocado smoothie. The good thing about the drink is that it’s not difficult to make. The main ingredients are avocado, mint, lemon, and healthy greens.

You won’t get a sweet taste with this smoothie; it’s simply creamy and tangy. However, its associated health benefits make it one of the most preferred options to go for.

Here are the steps to follow when making this healthy drink:

  • Get all the ingredients: Kale, spinach, avocado, water, mint, lemon juice, and ice cubes.
  • Blend all the ingredients until they all form a fine mixture.

You can add drops of stevia or tiny amounts of honey for sweetness but don’t overdo it, so you don’t alter the drink’s health benefits.

Low-Carb Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

Source: Healthicle

Here’s yet another smoothie that you can go for to avoid and control sudden blood sugar spikes. This low-carb smoothie bowl is one mix that you can probably never get tired of. It’s a fresh, tasty, rich, and creamy smoothie with many nutritional benefits.

Nutritionally, a serving of this smoothie diet includes:

  • 370 calories
  • 10 g of carbs
  • 24 g of fat
  • 18 g of protein

The ingredients of the mix include Greek yogurt and soymilk, which eliminate the need for artificial sweeteners and effectively control high blood sugar. Adding chia seeds only makes the drink much better as it improves the fiber content, which also helps regulate blood sugar increase.

Additionally, you can make this drink without adding cheese. However, if you want a bit of whey protein, adding a small cheese quantity won’t cause significant harm.

Here are the steps to follow in preparing this drink:

  • Gather the following ingredients:
    • 5 strawberries of medium sizes
    • A cup of unsweetened soy milk
    • Half cup of Greek yogurt
    • Six ice cubes
  • Blend the ingredient until a smooth mix is formed and serve as desired. It’s important to note that a serving contains up to 100 calories.

Green Keto Smoothie With Avocado and Peanut Butter

This leafy green smoothie brings a lot to the table for people with diabetes. It’s extremely low in calories, controls blood sugar, and ensures a full stomach.

Of course, with the keto tag, there’s no doubt that it contains healthy fats (due to the avocado and peanut butter present in it). The drink isn’t exactly sweet, but there’s an undertone of sweetness due to the peanut butter and almond milk additions.

If you desire a smoothie that complements your diabetes diet, then this drink is the exact go-to option. The complete ingredients for this drink are quite easy to find, and they include:

  • Cucumber
  • Kale
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond milk

There’s no need to add any artificial sweetener as the drink is best taken naturally. Moreover, the only fats present in this drink are healthful fats.

Nutritionally, a serving of this drink offers:

  • 141 calories
  • 4 g of protein
  • 9 g of carbs
  • 11 g of fat

Like the other smoothies, all you need to do is simply blend with little water until it forms a fine mixture.


There are many smoothies you can enjoy, even as a person with diabetes. Apart from those discussed in this article, others include the peach smoothie fortified with spinach and others that provide vitamins and healthy fats.

In other words, the types of smoothies that you can add to your diet as a diabetic are almost endless, and it’s just about you choosing the ones you love most. If you love more than one healthy smoothie, then getting our digital meal planner to help you properly plan them out is extremely important. More specifically, a digital app will help you prevent too much intake of unhealthy smoothie recipes that could eventually lead to extremely low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

Individuals with diabetes are at higher risk during the COVID19 global pandemic. There is a good chance your daily routine is somewhat different than before. The good news is that you can use the quarantine period to boost your immunity system through a balanced healthy diet.

Simultaneously, you should also adhere to all the basic guidelines laid out by WHO and CDC to remain safe. Naturally, people with diabetes do not want to face complications after the contraction of the virus.

That said, the data does indicate that people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk. And that is because when you are ill, it becomes difficult for people with diabetes to manage the right level of glucose. By eating specific foods, however, you can boost your immune system.

How is the Virus Spreading So Fast?

As of now, the COVID19 virus spreads largely from individual to individual via respiratory droplets from sneezing or coughing. Furthermore, the virus could live on numerous surfaces for 2-3 days. You might not display all the symptoms (i.e., coughing, fever, or shortness of breath), but you should still protect yourself to prevent the spread of the COVID19.

What Could Happen?

Well, the information is not to scare people away, but to enlighten the possible risks of COVID19. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is clear about folks with diabetes who develop the virus are inherently at higher risk of developing a severe illness like pneumonia.

Technically, people with diabetes under stress or other illness can increase their blood sugar levels. In fact, the state of diabetic ketoacidosis could happen when an individual with diabetes does not have sufficient insulin in the body to handle the elevation.

As a result, your body starts to break down fats to get the required energy, which leads to the development of ketones in your blood cells. Ketones turn your blood more acidic and can cause severe health issues. Well, now that you know the worst, it is time to move on to the part where you learn to boost your immune system.

Boost Your Immune System

Here is the thing; there are many foods that can boost your immune system, which means protection against COVID-19. However, you should consult with your doctor and dietary physician before starting a diabetic diet.

There are numerous nutrients, such as folate, iron, copper, selenium, or zinc that can build immunity. Similarly, vitamins A, C, D, B6, or B12 can also play a vital role in your immune system. Ideally, eat a balanced and healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits.

As much as eating healthy matters, you cannot sit on your couch all day. Any continuous physical healthy activity in your house would be enough to reduce stress. Additionally, get as much sleep as you can to regulate your immune functioning.

In essence, make sure you meet your dietary requirements. After all, minerals and vitamins are crucial to maintain good health and normalize your immune system. Once you start to eat a healthy and balanced diet, it would provide all the required nutrients your body needs. However, if you face difficulties in meeting dietary requirements, you can include nutrient supplements.

What Exactly Can You Add in Your Diet?

Seeds and Nuts

Nut butters – almond, peanut, and cashew

Nuts – walnuts, almonds, and peanuts

Seed butters – seed, sunflower, or tahini

Seeds – sesame, flax, sunflower, chia, or pumpkin

Beans & Peas

Dried and canned beans – black, white, garbanzo, kidney, or split peas

Grain Foods

Whole-grain and bean pastas

Whole grains – barley, brown rice, quinoa, millet, couscous, farro, or oatmeal

Whole-grain bread, crackers, or muffins

Whole-grain cereal

Canned Vegetable and Fruit Items

Select a variation of no extra salt vegetables – asparagus, corn, green beans, tomatoes, beets, artichokes, carrots, roasted peppers, potatoes, or mushrooms

Select fruits packed in water or juice – pineapple, pears, mandarin oranges, applesauce, or fruit cocktail

Soups & Broths

Soups – minestrone, reduced-sodium vegetable, or chicken noodle  

Broth – beef, reduced-sodium chicken, vegetable stock or broth

Other Protein Sources

Pouches or tuna Cans, salmon cans, sardines’ cans, chicken, clams, or ham

Fish or beef jerky

Shelf-based tofu

Control Your Glucose

One of the most valuable elements in any infection control for diabetic patients is the maintenance of glucose levels. When your glucose levels are in control, you could significantly decrease the risk of complication and as well as the seriousness of the infection.

It All Comes Down to YOUR Diet Plan

It is high time you start a meal plan that can guarantee a balanced diet. Besides, people with diabetes cannot afford to let the luck run its course. Instead, use a diet plan that offers you sufficient required nutrients and vitamins to remain healthy. You can, of course, follow a web-based diet plan that will allow you to boost your immunity more naturally.

Don’t Overlook Common Preventive Measures

While you boost your immune system through a balanced diet, follow the precautionary safety rules of WHO and CDC. If you have to go out, maintain a distance of at least 2 meters (6 feet) from the person who might be contagious.

In addition, wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water. If you are out of soap, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% of alcohol. Wash your hands if you touch door handles, tabletops, or countertops. And most importantly, do not touch your nose, mouth, or eyes with those unwashed hands. And practice physical distancing religiously.


The truth is COVID-19 is a lethal virus, and it is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges faced by medical professionals all around the world. The infectious nature of the disease spreads like wildfire because of the close physical contact.

Diabetic patients, for instance, should have a family member, friend, or neighbor on a speed-dial. And if you feel unwell, contact your trusted doctor online. Your doctor can make the right call because of the knowledge of your diabetic history.

The best course of action for people with diabetes would be to prepare beforehand. Whether you contract the virus or not, improve your immunity all the same. Apart from preparedness, stay informed about any new information that might make all the difference.