Top 10 Calcium Rich Foods (Dairy Free)
The Best Sources of Calcium for People With Diabetes
Why Foods With Calcium Should Be Part of Your Diabetes Diet
When you have diabetes, it’s important to modify your diet to ensure that your blood sugar and weight stay controlled. That means fueling up with foods like lean protein, whole grains, nonstarchy veggies, and certain fruits. But there’s another beneficial type of food you may not have considered adding to your diabetes diet: eats that are rich in calcium. Research suggests that the mineral not only can help offset the risk for osteoporosis, with which diabetes is associated, but it may also help halt progression of the disease in those who have been diagnosed.
“Supplementation of both calcium and vitamin D have been shown to be beneficial in optimizing glucose metabolism,” says Melissa Joy Dobbins, RDN, CDE, who is based in Chicago. That’s crucial when you have diabetes, which is marked by insulin resistance — a condition that prevents glucose from reaching cells for energy or from being stored for later use, resulting in an accumulation of that glucose in the bloodstream. A study published in October 2014 inPLOS Onebacks up this idea, suggesting that daily supplementation with both calcium and vitamin D over a six-month period may help improve insulin sensitivity in those with prediabetes.
The potential benefits of calcium-rich food for diabetes don’t end there. The mineral may also benefit individuals with prediabetes, the precursor to the full-blown form of the disease, as well as people who are at risk for prediabetes based on their family history, diet and lifestyle, or ethnicity.
“Observational studies have shown an association between low vitamin D status, calcium intake, and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome,” says Angela Ginn-Meadow, RD, CDE, a senior education coordinator for the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology and owner of the consulting firm Real Talk Real Food in Baltimore.
The benefits of calcium on bone health for people with diabetes should be not overlooked either. Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes has been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone density, as well as bone fractures. A review published in July 2011 inDiabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviewsfound that people with diabetes were more likely to suffer from fractures of the hip, foot, and spine than individuals without diabetes. This increased risk is all the more reason to make sure you’re loading up on calcium-rich foods when you have diabetes.
So how much calcium do you need? For women and men between the ages of 19 and 51, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium is 1,000 milligrams (mg) per day.
Video: Top 10 Calcium Rich Foods
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