According to the American Diabetes Association, about 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, and over 86 million more are on the verge with pre-diabetic conditions that may be symptom free.1
But just because it’s common doesn’t mean diabetes isn’t serious. Living with the disease means a higher risk for heart disease, kidney problems, nerve damage, blindness, and limb loss.
Some kinds of diabetes are preventable; some are manageable. For people with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese, two of the most effective strategies for reversing the disease are losing weight and getting active. Losing just 7% of body weight can make a huge difference in the need for medications to control blood sugar.
As far as eating goes, the best foods for people at risk for type 2 diabetes are low-glycemic items, foods that don’t cause sudden upsurges, or spikes, in blood sugar (glucose) levels. A diet centered around lean protein, vegetables, whole fruit, and low-fat dairy is the best diet to keep sugar under control.
As far as bread and other starches go, sticking with whole grain products in smaller portions can help keep your blood sugar within normal limits. But simple starches like potatoes and white bread, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and sugary sodas—the most common culprit—are high glycemic and best left alone.
For some great shopping lists check out this webpage, and click on “Healthy Low Glycemic Shopping for Health”