There's no magical cure for diabetes, but you can take measures to decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A lot of our risk is genetic but lifestyle factors—such as exercise and a healthy diet—can reduce your risk. So what exactly is considered a healthy diet for preventing diabetes? Here are five foods that you can eat every day to reduce your risk.
Pictured Recipe: Toasted Almonds with Rosemary & Cayenne
Consistently spiked blood sugar is one of the risk factors for diabetes, and the more you snack on refined carbs, the more unstable your blood sugar becomes. To curb those afternoon carb cravings, snack on foods high in protein and fat—such as nuts—to keep you full until dinnertime. Additionally, nuts are high in polyunsaturated fats—which have been linked to slowing the development of type 2 diabetes.
Related: Meal Plans for Diabetes
Pictured Recipe: Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats
With four grams of fiber in a one-cup serving of oatmeal, enjoying a bowl for breakfast will keep you full for a long time—and may even prevent you from snacking before lunch. A recent study found that people who ate the most fiber—more than 26 grams a day—lowered their odds of developing type 2 diabetes by 18 percent, compared to those who consumed the least (less than 19 grams daily). Fiber helps keep blood sugar steady which may help you lower your risk of developing diabetes.
Pictured Recipe: Citrus Fruit & Feta Salad
Aside from providing a wealth of vitamins and minerals, eating fruit on a daily basis will decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Since a diet high in fiber has been known to reduce the risk of diabetes, you'll want to focus on fruits that are high in fiber—such as apples (including the skin!), berries and citrus fruits.
Pictured Recipe: Roasted Broccoli with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
Although all vegetables should have a place in your diet, it's important to focus on green and non-starchy vegetables when it comes to preventing diabetes. Cruciferous vegetables—such as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts provide you with vitamins and minerals to keep your body running smoothly (and also deliver fiber). Aside from their fiber content, cruciferous veggies contain sulforaphane—an anti-inflammatory compound that may protect against blood vessels damage associated with diabetes and help control blood sugar. Additionally, spinach is a great source of magnesium, which helps your body use insulin to control your blood sugar levels.
Related: Best Foods for Diabetes
Pictured Recipe: Chickpea Curry (Chhole)
From chickpeas to lentils, legumes are so versatile and great for reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes. Not only are they packed with fiber that will help stabilize your blood sugar, but they're chock-full of protein that will keep you full and prevent you from snacking to help maintain your weight—which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.