High in soluble fiber, oats are slower to digest than processed carbs. Eat them and you’ll release glucose into the bloodstream more slowly, which will prevent spikes in your blood-sugar levels.
In a 2012 study from Sweden’s Karolinska University, researchers found that eating four servings of whole grains daily reduced the risk for developing prediabetes by 30 percent. Other research shows that if you eat whole grains you experience less inflammation, which could lower the odds of your developing insulin resistance, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
This sweet seasoning contains a compound called hydroxychalcone, which may stimulate insulin receptors on cells and, in turn, improve your body’s ability to absorb blood sugar. Researchers from the University of California-Davis recently reviewed eight different studies on cinnamon and reported that about half to one teaspoon a day lowered fasting blood sugar levels by an average of nine points among people with diabetes. Sprinkle the fragrant spice onto oatmeal or add a dash to a cup of coffee.
Eating more whole fruits, particularly grapes, blueberries, and apples, was significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a Harvard study published in the British Medical Journal in 2013.
People who ate at least two servings each week of certain whole fruits reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 23 percent when compared to those who ate less than one serving per month. Eating the whole fruit seems to be key, though; researchers found that fruit juice drinkers faced as much as a 21 percent increased risk of developing diabetes.
This Mediterranean staple is rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which may improve insulin sensitivity. A Spanish study found that people who ate plenty of these good fats at breakfast had better insulin sensitivity throughout the day than those whose morning meal rich was in saturated fat or carbohydrates. MUFAs may also help zap belly fat, which can contribute to inflammation and increase type 2 diabetes risk.