Want to stay fresh this summer? Try these hydrating meals to prevent a blood sugar surge.
Beaches, swimming areas, fresh air, and humidity characterize summer. Additionally, the humidity can cause dehydration, which is risky for anyone but diabetics.
According to Katherine Mitchell, RD, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, dehydration can result in increased blood sugar levels. A prior research found that high blood sugar was linked to poor water consumption. According to Mitchell, if dehydration gets bad enough, it can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a medical issue that needs to be treated right away. According to a Diabetologia article from July 2016, DKA is risky, and if it recurs, you might raise your chance of dying young.
Clearly, staying hydrated is crucial. Leigh Tracy, RD, CDCES, The Center for Endocrinology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, states that by consuming more water, less sugar occupies room in the blood volume, lowering the blood sugar concentration. That said, you are not required to drink nothing but water all day. Approximately 20% of the fluid you consume originates from meals, according to the Mayo Clinic. Make sure to choose the following fruits and veggies to keep diabetes under control and to optimize the hydrating effects of diet.
Celery and Cucumbers
Nonstarchy veggies are some of your best choices if you’re searching for hydrating foods that won’t raise your blood sugar.
Nonstarchy veggies are high in water and contain essential vitamins and nutrients, according to Tracy. They are also lower in calories and carbs than other meals, which is excellent for blood sugar management. They are also a good source of fiber. On your platter, aim to have half nonstarchy veggies. People frequently mistakenly believe that fruits contain the most water, despite the fact that many veggies also contain a lot of water, according to Mitchell. For instance, previous studies have shown that celery contains between 90 and 99 percent water.
Another replenishing food is cucumbers, which contain about 96 percent water, according to Mitchell. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 16 calories are contained in one cup of diced cucumber. (USDA). These veggies go well with low-fat string cheese or hummus as nutrients. Or, suggests Mitchell, add them to dishes that are high in protein. For example, she advises experimenting with dishes that contain proteins like lentils, low-fat cheese, seafood, or poultry. Protein should always be consumed with these meals, says Mitchell, as this always serves to reduce the rate at which any sugars reach the circulation.
Mitchell notes that bell peppers are yet another excellent non-starchy veggie with a high water level and that they also contain fiber and vitamin C.
According to Mitchell, fiber slows down how quickly food digests, which in turn slows down how quickly sugar reaches the system. Women who consumed more fiber than 25 grams (g) per day and males who consumed more than 38 g per day had a 20 to 30% lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in January 2018 in The Journal of Nutrition.
The USDA estimates that a medium green bell pepper contains 24 calories and 5.5 grams of carbohydrates, along with about 2 grams of fiber. Additionally, bell peppers are restorative; according to MyFoodData.com, bell peppers contain about 94 percent water. According to the National Institutes of Health, they also contain some potassium, which is crucial for controlling muscle, nerve, and cardiac activity. (NIH). According to Michigan Medicine, potassium is an electrolyte, a class of mineral that is crucial for maintaining bodily hydration. According to Tufts University, choosing red bell peppers will allow you to increase the amount of the potent vitamin beta carotene in your food. A type of vitamin A called beta carotene is essential for maintaining ocular health.
Bell peppers go well with foods like low-fat cheddar, nuts, and hummus, Mitchell notes, just like celery and cucumber. Even sliced salads can benefit from their addition of color, nutrition, and moisture.
According to Mitchell, greens like cabbage can also be very nourishing. She advises choosing a denser, deeper green lettuce because it contains more vitamins and minerals than lettuces that are lighter in color.
A deeper shade of green? Spinach. According to the NIH, it is a superior form of vitamin K, providing 121 percent of your daily worth in just one cup. A nutrient called vitamin K “plays a major role in your body’s ability to form blood clots,” according to Tracy. Spinach is minimal in carbohydrates and an excellent source of potassium. Despite not being as crisp as green lettuce, spinach is remarkably hydrating, having a water content similar to that of celery.
Also available are cabbage and greens. According to the USDA, kale includes vitamins A, C, and K as well as elements like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, while arugula also has calcium, vitamins A, and C.
You could cook the spinach to increase the amount per portion or choose a leafy green salad with additional vegetables and protein. Another inventive method to maintain adequate hydration? To give your water a fresh, interesting flavor, add some mint or basil leaves. According to Mitchell, the technique also works with the adds of cucumber, lemon, lime, and frozen fruit.
Another excellent source of hydration is tomatoes. One cup of cherry tomatoes has about 27 calories and 6 grams of carbohydrates, according to the USDA. Additionally, they are a fantastic supply of vitamin C.
Tracy says that a cup of cherry tomatoes has about 30 calories, is rich in potassium, and is low in carbohydrates.
Lycopene is also present in tomatoes. In addition to giving tomatoes their deep crimson color, lycopene also functions as a potent antioxidant to safeguard your cells, according to the expert. Aim to eat cooked tomatoes at least twice a week to get the most nutrition, as lycopene is best taken when the tomatoes are prepared, according to the University of California in San Francisco Department of Urology.
According to MyFoodData.com, tomatoes have a water content of roughly 95%. According to the USDA, one average red tomato only has about 5 g of carbohydrates but 1.5 g of fiber. The NIH states that tomatoes also contain vitamin A, which strengthens the immune system of the body and supports good eyes, epidermis, and cell development.
To make a light caprese salad, combine tomatoes with reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, basil, and other ingredients. Alternatively, add tomatoes to a salad that includes legumes and other vegetables. You can get even more inventive and choose a cool gazpacho, which Mitchell describes as a broth made from vegetables that is low in sugar but high in water and packed with vitamins.
You don’t have to completely avoid vegetables if you have diabetes and are looking for meals that will keep you hydrated. The majority of vegetables will contain natural sugar, but Mitchell advises selecting those with more nutrients. According to her, fiber slows down how quickly your body digests those foods and how quickly they impact your blood sugar.
According to Mitchell, choosing fruits with their skins on is a fantastic choice because the skins offer extra fiber. For a hydrating, protein-rich snack, she advises combining apple pieces with peanut butter, pointing out that apples are an excellent source of fiber; one medium apple has 4.5 g of fiber. And that’s all it takes to place you on the right track to achieving your fiber target, which the Mayo Clinic advises setting at 21 to 25 g for women and 30 to 38 g for men per day.
Other suggestions for eating an apple every day? It goes well with a slice of low-fat string cheese, but you could also try it with a pear or a fruit.
Although you should still keep an eye on your blood sugar to be cautious, these fruits shouldn’t result in a rise. One more test? Check your blood sugar if you have diabetes and observe that you’re visiting the toilet more frequently than usual because it might be too high, advises Tracy. The kidneys have to work harder to remove the extra sugar when blood sugar levels are elevated, which increases thirst and necessitates more bathroom stops.
Another fantastic high-fiber, hydrating choice is fruit with nuts. According to Mitchell, berries in particular are a fantastic source of antioxidants like flavonoid and are high in vitamin C. Consider pairing some high-protein nuts with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, or other fruit for a wholesome lunch.
Tracy concurs, pointing out that berries are both high in nutrients and low in calories — for instance, according to the USDA, a cup of sliced, eight big strawberries contains only about 13 g of carbs and 53 calories. According to Tracy, the equivalent amount of strawberries and raspberries is about three-quarters of a cup. According to the USDA, blueberries rank only marginally higher, with about 16 g of carbohydrates per 34 cup portion.
If berries aren’t your thing, you can also choose other replenishing fruits with seeds, like kiwis and watermelons, which are both high in water, fiber, and minerals. According to Tracy, a cup of watermelon has about 11 g of carbs and almost a cup of water, whereas the USDA estimates that a kiwi has about 10 g of carbohydrates.
You can combine these fruits with protein-rich foods to help reduce the impact of these fruits on your blood sugar levels, advises Mitchell. For example, she advises trying basic nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt with some fruit.