Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean settling for less tasty foods or going over budget, especially for diabetes patients. A low-glycemic diet  — high in fiber and protein — is recommended for most diabetics to help  control blood sugar levels and weight. Following a diabetes diet will  still allow diabetics to eat their favorite foods, yes, even those with  the sweetest tooth.

Diabetics should ensure they consume foods that provide key nutrients — calcium,  potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E — says the Mayo Clinic, to improve glycemic control and risk factors for coronary heart  disease. This low-glycemic diet is not just for diabetics, but ideal for everyone, especially to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes for  non-diabetics. A tasty, healthy eating plan — high in nutrients, low in  fat, and moderate in calories — can be created by adding these six  budget-friendly superfoods to any diabetes diet:

1. Beans

Beans are considered to be the best source of dietary fiber as it slows  digestion and keeps blood sugar levels from raising after a meal.  Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, navy, or black beans, half a cup will  provide you with about a third of your daily fiber requirement, says Harvard University Health Services. These starchy vegetables are a great alternative to meat.

Tip: Buying canned beans can save time and end up costing you less. Remember to drain and rinse these beans to reduce sodium intake.

2. Berries

Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or a variety can cater to even the sweetest tooth and become part of your new healthy dessert. Berries are  considered to be a diabetes superfood by the American Diabetes Association, loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Most importantly,  they’re low in carbs. Three quarters of a cup of fresh blueberries have  62 calories and 16 grams of carbohydrates.

Tip: Buy fruits and vegetables when they are in season. The quality of the  fruit will not only be richer, but they will typically cost less. To  purchase produce that is out of season, opt for canned and frozen fruits which can not only be cheaper, but also stay fresh longer.

3. Cinnamon

To add some spice to your life, just sprinkle cinnamon on your foods to  effectively lower your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon helps the body use  insulin more effectively, allowing more glucose to enter cells. Just  half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total  cholesterol levels for those with type 2 diabetes, said Dr. Mercola,  physician and surgeon, on his website.

Tip: Check to see if there is a discount grocery store in your area where you can save up to 40 percent in groceries.

4. Fat-Free Milk and Yogurt

Milk and yogurt contain calcium that helps build strong bones and teeth, and they are also a good source of vitamin D. Diabetics who consume  calcium-rich foods, such as yogurt, may have an easier time losing  weight, and are less likely to become insulin resistant, according to HealthCentral. A nonfat, plain yogurt for breakfast, or as a snack can be garnished with fresh fruit or low-fat granola.

Tip: Opt to buy store brands because they often taste the same and could even save you more than 50 percent.

5. Fish

Fish is an excellent substitute for meats with high fat because they are a good source of protein. The University of Rochester Medical Center says Fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids — unsaturated fats — that help  keep the arteries cleaner. Typically, diabetics have high triglycerides  and low levels of HDL — the “good” cholesterol, so opting for fatty fish can help improve your health. Salmon, mackerel, and tuna are among some of the excellent sources of omega-3s.

Tip: Visit a local grocer or fish market and look at the eyes and the gills  to make sure there is no discoloration. It’s better to cook the fish  immediately, rather than to put it in the freezer where the fish can get mushy.

6. Nuts

Consuming 2 oz. of nuts not only provides healthy fats and controls hunger, they  are also rich in magnesium, fiber, and “good” fats, which help reduce  insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found nuts can provide a specific food option for people with type 2 diabetes who wish to reduce their carbohydrate intake.

Tip: Buying in bulk often means the unit price of an item goes down as the size of the container goes up.

Remember to not only be a savvy shopper, but a healthy shopper. Avoid buying  foods labeled diabetic because they can be pricey and are not necessary  to abide by a healthy meal plan. Diabetics, you can still eat  budget-friendly healthy foods to manage your diabetes.

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P.S.  Research has confirmed that also eating healthy fats including avocados and cooking with coconut oil can also be beneficial for diabetics.

P.P.S.  Visit exercises for diabetics today to find out how to lower your A1c by up to 6%.

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