11 Non-Perishable Foods Diabetics Can Safely Consume During This Pandemic
Non-Perishable Foods Diabetics
If you have diabetes, then you know how important it is to follow a healthy and balanced diet that can help you maintain glycemic control. In other words, keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Social distancing and self-isolation rules during the coronavirus pandemic have “forced” us to reduce our trips to the store, which means we need to rely on non-perishable foods now more than ever. Luckily, certain frozen or shelf-stable foods have a minimum impact on your blood sugar levels and are safe to eat.
Let’s see 11 best non-perishable foods diabetics can safely stock up on and consume during this pandemic. (See also this grocery shopping list of nutrient-dense, shelf-stable items you or your family should also have during the coronavirus lockdown).
Chickpeas are extremely versatile and can be included in numerous fast and flavorful plant-based, protein-rich recipes such as hummus or falafels. Apart from being rich in protein, they also have a high content of fat (the good one) and fiber which can help you keep your blood sugar level under control.
Tomatoes are considered superfoods for diabetics due to their high content of antioxidants, such as lycopene, which are good for heart health. In addition, they’re also packed with vitamin C, vitamin A and rather low in carbs, which means they have little effect on your blood sugar levels. Canned vegetables, tomatoes included, can last for several years if unopened.
Peanut butter is an all-time favorite snack in the United States. The fact that it is a good source of healthy protein and fiber makes it even more worthwhile of your attention. To keep your blood sugar in check, make sure you buy natural peanut butter without added sugar. This filling snack can last for up to one year after opening.
Canned salmon is a great choice if you want to increase brain function and fight inflammation. Being packed with healthy nutrients such as protein, calcium but most importantly omega-3 fatty acids, salmon was also singled out by nutritionists and diabetes specialists as one of the best foods for people suffering from diabetes.
This canned good lasts around 2 years and it’s quite easy to prepare and include in recipes such as fish cakes, salads or omelets.
Chia seeds provide numerous health benefits due to being rich in antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, soluble fiber, and magnesium. These tiny seeds are also gluten-free and easily digestible, helping improve glucose and insulin levels and preventing blood sugar spikes.
Chia seeds can easily last up to 4 years, when stored properly, and enjoyed in chia pudding, muffins, or protein bars.
Non-Perishable Foods Diabetics
Mushrooms are diabetic-friendly vegetables due to their high content of fiber and low content of carbs which affect your blood sugar levels minimally. Canned mushrooms can make a healthy substitute for fresh mushrooms, just make sure you get the low-sodium type.
Canned mushrooms maintain most of the properties of fresh mushrooms and provide plenty of nutrients that can help you with blood sugar management. Canned mushrooms typically last up to 2 years after purchase.
If you’re still looking for a diabetic-friendly food, you just found it. Spinach is a superfood in a league of its own that provides huge amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and provitamins A and K. You can stuff yourself with large quantities of low-carb spinach and your blood sugar levels will still do just fine. No wonder the American Diabetes Association denoted spinach as a superfood for type-1 and type-2 diabetes.
Canned spinach doesn’t expire until 4 years after purchase while frozen spinach lasts for about 1 year.
Proper nutrition is an important factor in achieving most health (and wellness) goals for diabetics. With protein powder, you’re one step closer to those goals. That’s because protein powders are usually low in carbs and added sugars and high in protein which helps you fight off inflammation and maintain a healthy weight.
You can either go with whey protein, resulting from cow’s milk, or a plant-based protein powder such as soy or pea protein. If safely stored in a cool, dry place, protein powder can last for up to one year.
Having a backup supply of frozen berries, especially when you need to limit your trips to the supermarket to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, is always a good idea.
According to the ADA, berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber but, more importantly, they have a low glycemic index, which means their effect on your blood sugar levels is negligible. Plus, they are delicious and can last up to 1 year in the freezer.
Shelf-stable milk, whether dairy or plant-based, can make a great addition to anyone’s diabetic-friendly food list. If you opt for cow’s milk, which is a bit higher in carbs, you’ll benefit from the protein and fat combo which may have an effect on blood glucose.
Plant-based milk, such as this almond milk, is extremely low in carbs and as such, has little effect on glucose response. Both shelf-stable and plant-based milk can last for several months, if unopened, and should be kept in the fridge after opening.
Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you cannot indulge your sweet tooth every once in a while. If you’re looking for a diabetes-friendly treat, opt for dark chocolate. The darker, the better, because this means it has a high content of cocoa which is rich in fiber and healthy fats and low in added sugar. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how to include it in desserts.
A dark chocolate bar, such as this one, can last for up to 4 months in your pantry, but it can last even longer if you put it in the freezer.
See also The Best 30-Day Meal Plan for People With Diabetes and learn how to plan and prepare your meals in a healthy way.