Healthy Seafood for People With Diabetes

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

A healthy diet is essential for everyone, but it is more important if you have diabetes. Actually, fish is recommended for people with diabetes for healthy cardiovascular health. Fish is one of the best and most nutritious foods and a great source of fatty acids, which helps in reducing inflammation and insulin resistance in the body. Seafood is rich in omega-3, fatty acids, DHA, and EPA.

Seafood to Choose in Diabetes

1. Salmon

The healthy fat helps reduce inflammation in blood cells and helps manage your cholesterol level. Salmon helps control your blood glucose levels, resulting in the improvement of the body’s response to insulin.

2. Herring

Herring is excellent seafood for people with diabetes. It's an essential source of vitamin D. Herring is rich in fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA. These fatty acids aid in the prevention of heart disease and also help the brain function properly. It also helps in decreasing inflammation in the body.

3. Shellfish

Consuming shellfish is good for people with diabetes. Shellfish decreases the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease and promotes healthy cholesterol levels.

Crabs are a great source of chromium that helps the insulin for the metabolism of glucose. It also lowers the high blood glucose levels in your body. Lobsters are good for individuals with type 2 diabetes, as they are an important source of omega-3 fatty acids.

4. Tilapia

Tilapia is a low-fat, high-protein fish. Tilapia is great seafood for people with diabetes. It has no carbs, and also it is rich in fibre, which helps reduce the risk of arterial hypertension in a person with diabetes. It contains selenium, which helps in balancing glucose levels in the blood.

5. Sardines

Sardines are preferable for an individual with diabetes. Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein. You can include it as part of your diabetic diet, as it is rich in calcium and vitamin D, making them excellent seafood for people with diabetes.

6. Mackerel

It is a good source of micronutrients like iron, protein, vitamin B12, and niacin. Atlantic mackerel is freshly available, and it has less mercury, whereas king mackerel has high mercury. The Pacific mackerel is a fatty fish that contains high omega-3 fatty acids. A high level of fatty acid helps lower the arteries blockage, whereas triglycerides raise good cholesterol.

7. Trout

Trout has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids. It has very little or no carbohydrates. Hence, there is no risk of a rise in blood sugar level after consuming a trout. Trout is a good source of both protein and vitamin D, and both are beneficial for type 2 diabetes.

8. Cod

Apart from being a low-calorie source of protein, it also has several important nutrients that can benefit your health. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a good source for blood thinning and also a great source of vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. These vitamins are essential to keep the homocysteine levels low. This molecule is responsible for damaging the blood vessel walls, and high levels of this can raise the risk of a heart attack.

9. Tuna

Tuna is a low-calorie fish; an excellent diet for people with diabetes. Tuna provides the necessary protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and other micronutrients. Tuna is good for a healthy heart. You don’t have to worry about a rise in your blood glucose level, as Tuna has little to no carbs and saturated fat. Individuals with diabetes can have tuna sandwiches using whole grain bread.

Seafood to Avoid in Diabetes

  • Seafood like clams, mussels, and oysters is high in protein but low in calories.
  • Don't consume raw oysters or clams as you may be more vulnerable to Vibrio Vulnificus infection found in raw shellfish. If you love eating shellfish, you must ensure that they are fully cooked first.
  • Fried or stir-fried shrimps are restricted for people with diabetes as they have more carbs, calories and are high in fats.

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1. Does seafood raise blood sugar?

Diet rich in carbohydrates raise blood sugar in a person with diabetes. Seafood have hardly any carbohydrates; however, some shellfish like shrimps do. Overconsumption of shrimp can elevate your cholesterol levels which will impact your blood sugar.

2. What is the risk of consuming seafood for diabetes?

Apart from fish having nutritional health benefits, it has potential risks too. Fish can ingest toxic toxins from the water bodies in which they live. Chemicals like mercury and PCB accumulate in the body over time. Consuming such seafood might have negative health consequences, such as nerve damage, especially in diabetics.

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