Eating a variety of nutritious foods is essential for all humans to thrive. People with diabetes, both Type I and II, need to be extra vigilant about what they eat and how much of each type of food they consume on a daily basis. Balancing blood sugars and maintaining good cardiovascular health are two of the main reasons healthcare specialists recommend seafood as a great choice for diabetics.
What Is Diabetes?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes diabetes as a chronic health condition that impacts how the body turns food into energy.
The food that we eat is broken down by the digestive system into sugar that gets released into the blood system. As the body’s level of blood sugar goes up, it signals to the pancreas to release insulin into the body to use as energy.
According to the CDC, “If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin (insulin resistance), too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.”
While there is not a cure yet for diabetes, there are certain lifestyle changes that can help regulate those blood sugars including: regular exercise, eating healthy foods, losing weight, and maintaining prescribed diabetes medicines.
How Seafood Can Help
As we mentioned above, diabetic patients are at risk for heart disease, insulin resistance, and body inflammation that may also negatively impact the heart.
The fatty acids (you know, those omega-3 fatty acids we are always talking about) can reduce insulin resistance and the heart risks associated with eating fatty meats and proteins.
The American Heart Association (AHA) published research showing that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 40%.
But Which Seafood is Best?
The AHA recommends eating 2 servings of fish per week, where 1 serving equals 3.5 ounces of cooked fish, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish. Furthermore, they emphasize eating fatty fish like Shrimp, Salmon, and Tilapia, because these choices are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon is a top source of omega-3, the healthiest fat that reduces inflammation in blood cells and helps manage your cholesterol level, according to the Diabetic Sock Club.
For those looking for a mild flavor and low calories, Tilapia may be a perfect choice. These high-protein fish are easy to find either frozen or fresh.
Shrimp is also a great choice for those looking to fit fish in several times a week but not as the main course. Shrimp can be an excellent appetizer or as a protein on top of a salad.
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