Top Summer Foods for Diabetics

Top Summer Foods For Diabetics

If you’re uncertain about what to eat this summer, because you have diabetes, check out top picks for fresh and flavourful summer foods that will keep you cool, nourish your body, lower high blood sugar, and control weight.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are considered a super-food for diabetes. Packed with nutrients, including lycopene, potassium, folate, dietary fibre, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin E, tomatoes offer numerous health benefits. With a low Glycemic Index ranking, research suggests that tomato consumption might help reduce the risk of diabetes complications like cardiovascular disease. If you are not into fresh tomatoes or just can’t seem to get any, then try the famous San Marzano tomato. You won’t be sorry.

Summer squash: Squash, is high in vitamins and nutrients. It contains beneficial antioxidants and may help lower blood sugar and insulin levels. It may be noted that winter squash is higher in carbs compared to summer squash. Many animal studies suggest the compounds in summer squash can help keep insulin, metabolism and blood sugar levels in balance, as well as protect against the onset of type 2 diabetes. Here is a great way to prepare zucchini squash.

Blueberries: Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are excellent choices for people with diabetes. Blueberries, though, are loaded with a variety of nutrients – such as filling fibre, potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. One study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that drinking blueberry smoothies can make the body more responsive to insulin in obese adults with pre-diabetes. Easy on the sugar please, remember blueberries are sweet right off the bush.

Eggplant: Eggplant is a non-starchy vegetable which is low in calories and carbohydrates. It has a low Glycemic Index of only 15. The vegetable is a great source of many nutrients, including dietary fibre, potassium, vitamin K, magnesium, copper, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, and niacin. It is claimed that the antioxidants in eggplant may help reduce inflammation and fight off diseases. It has been found that high phenol levels in eggplant may improve the metabolism of carbohydrate and protect beta-cells, the cells that produce and secrete insulin. 

Bell Peppers: Red, green, yellow and orange are the colors of summer and you can find all those colors in bell peppers. The alpha-glucosidase enzyme found in bell peppers slows the absorption of carbohydrates in the body thereby keeping blood glucose levels manageable. The Capsicum in the peppers acts a a very powerful antioxidant and the vegetable is very low in calories. It is said that the yellow variety is the best of the lot in controlling blood sugar.

Cucumber: Typically a summertime favorite, cucumber can be a healthier choice for diabetics. Animal studies show that cucumber extracts can be beneficial for lowering blood sugar. Cucumbers are very low in carbohydrates and calories but high in vitamins and nutrients that may help lower blood sugar levels and improve health. Cukes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which has many health benefits, such as curbing appetite and helping with blood sugar control. Moreover, the Glycemic Index of cucumber, like the eggplant is 15, meaning you can almost eat as many as you want.

Keep cool as a cucumber and include these versatile vegetables into your summer cuisine. One cup of sliced cucumbers has only 16 calories and 4 grams of carbs. Florida and California provide cucumbers to the United States most of the year, with cucumbers from Mexico found in stores during the winter months. China is the largest producer of cucumbers, providing two-thirds of the global supply. Health benefits of cucumbers are numerous. The skins and seeds of cucumbers are rich in nutrients so always eat the whole vegetable, so keep that skin on, but be sure to wash it as you will find out below.

Both conventional and organic cucumbers are often waxed. The only waxes used on organic cucumbers are non-synthetic waxes, which must be free of chemical contaminants that are prohibited under organic regulations. Conventionally grown cucumbers may have synthetic waxes that contain chemicals. It is recommended to wash all cucumbers thoroughly. Cucumbers contain phytonutrient and the plant fibre lignin, both thought to provide anti-cancer benefits by promoting the protective role of bacteria in the digestive tract. .

Eat Right and Enjoy the Summer

Eating a healthy and balanced diet may help avert blood sugar fluctuations. This scorching summer, you can also tweak your diet a bit to make sure your blood sugar levels are in control. Here are some summer diet tips that may help you manage your diabetes naturally.

Watermelon: Refreshing, tasty, and hydrating, watermelon needs no dressing up to provide the nutrition and flavors we crave. Summertime is when watermelons are best in quality and price. Watermelons come in all shapes and sizes, and they have thick green rinds that are spotted or striped.

The inflammation-fighting antioxidants in watermelon may reduce the risk of complications of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and arthritis. Watermelon is also high in vitamins C and A (in the form of beta-carotene) and the antioxidant lycopene, known for reducing risk of macular degeneration and prostate cancer. Potassium, which helps muscle and nerve function, regulation of the body’s electrolyte and acid-base balance, and reduction of high blood pressure risk, is also a benefit from eating watermelon.

With about 92 percent of weight coming from water, watermelon also contributes to fluid intake — especially important during warm weather. Even with its sweet taste, watermelon fits into a diabetic meal plan.

One cup of watermelon has 45 calories and 12 grams of carbs. Most watermelons purchased in the West are grown in California and Arizona; Florida, Texas, and Georgia are also leading producer states. Hermiston, Oregon is widely known for it’s succulent watermelons and if you are lucky enough to get one, don’t pass it up.

Pluots: One of the most delicious fruits of summer with their natural sweetness and unique flavor, pluots are an easy, highly nutritious addition to any diabetes and weight management eating plan. A cross between an apricot and a plum, it looks more like a plum because genetically the fruit is about 70 percent plum and 30 percent apricot.

Pluots have intense flavor. They are a great source of vitamins A and C, and as a plant food, they are extremely low in fat and sodium and are cholesterol-free. Pluots are mainly grown in the Central Valley area of California and are available from late May through September. Pluots are ripe when the fruit gives to pressure and is fragrant. They should be handled delicately.

4 Tips for a Great Summer

1. Stay away from sweet juices. Chilled fruit juices offer immense respite after a long, hot day but one must understand that juices are not so rich in fibre and are also dense in high natural sugar content. If you must drink fruit juice, make sure you practice moderation and make them at home with fresh fruits. Try to steer clear of the packaged juices. 

2. Sugary mango shakes are not a great idea either. A chilled glass of mango shake is one summer ritual we cannot get enough of. But mangoes are pretty dense on natural sugars. Besides, throwing them in a blender, may take away all kit’s essential fibres. Traditionally, mango shakes are prepared with a lot of sugar and topped with whipped cream or ice cream too, which may up your blood sugar levels. It is best to prepare mango shake at home, with minimal sugar. You must also practice moderation here.

3. Have a fibre-rich breakfast. Including fibre in your breakfast enables slow release of sugar into the bloodstream, which prevents blood glucose spikes. Fibre-rich breakfasts also prevents cravings as it fills you up. Think oats, eggs, bananas. Avoid fruit cereals they are often high in sugar. You can also include low-carb and fibre-rich fruits in your breakfast, like berries and apples.

4. Stay hydrated. It is very important to stay hydrated in the summer. Dehydration can make you weak, and in extreme cases could cause you to collapse. In the summer we tend to perspire more, so be careful because perspiration equals water loss. Dehydration is even more risky for diabetics. Diabetics need to keep drinking water to keep their blood sugar levels low and flush out excess sugar and toxins from the bloodstream.


If your looking for an fast and easy way to check your Blood Glucose levels, check out this link . My wife uses this system and she loves it. You can sometimes get a free sample of the sensor from you doctor. A great feature is that you can read your Blood Glucose level right on your smartphone, There is also a Canadian site, click on the link:

Disclaimer: Diabetics must take ample measures to ensure their blood sugar levels are stable. Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.

From: Published: N/A

From: Published: Sushmita Sengupta  |  Updated: 6/8/2019

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