Fish is an amazing source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a great source of vitamin D and helpful for our bones, joints, and heart. What you might not know is that fish that is rich in these omega-3s is also beneficial for people with diabetes. Let’s take a closer look at why.
What is Diabetes?
According to the National Institutes of Health, “Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough, or any insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells.”
There are two main forms of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. People with Type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin. You can think of it as not having a key. People with Type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should, and later in the disease, often don’t make enough insulin. Both types of diabetes can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels.
As a result diabetics need to check their sugar levels throughout the course of the day and find meals that are low in sugar and carbohydrates and high in proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
How Fish Can Play A Role
Eating certain foods while limiting others can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. A diet rich in proteins, nutrients, healthy fats, and minerals is essential and can have significant benefits for people with diabetes.
For people who have diabetes, the key to a beneficial diet, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), is as follows:
- Include fruits and vegetables.
- Eat lean protein.
- Choose foods with less added sugar.
- Avoid trans fats.
In addition to the benefits of lean proteins in fish, they are also a great source of Vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D are common in people with diabetes, so including fish in the diet is a good way to add to your dietary vitamin D intake.
Scientists and researchers have hypothesised that consumption of fish may reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
If you have diabetes in either form, talk to your doctor about how adding a few servings a week of fish to your diet could help your overall health.