6 of the Best Dietary Supplements for a Diabetic Diet—and 3 You Should Avoid

Should I take supplements?

From cinnamon and magnesium to herbal formulas claiming to smack down high blood sugar, “diabetes-friendly” supplements are popping up in health food stores and drugstores and in the medicine cabinets of more and more people with diabetes. More than 50 percent of people with diabetes say they’ve used dietary supplements, according to one 2011 study—and at least one in four has given herbal remedies a try. The big question: Should you?

6-of-the-Best-Dietary-Supplements-for-a-Diabetic-Diet,-and-3-You-Should-Avoid
Billion Photos/Shutterstock

“People with diabetes may be looking for something that seems less potent than a medication or something that will treat other health issues beyond blood sugar control, such as high cholesterol,” notes Laura Shane-McWhorter, PharmD, a University of Utah professor of pharmacotherapy and author of The American Diabetes Association Guide to Herbs & Nutritional Supplements: What You Need to Know from Aloe to Zinc. But experts are reluctant to recommend supplements to people with diabetes for two important health reasons. First, there’s virtually no research on long-term safety. Second, no supplement controls blood sugar as effectively as diabetes drugs (in combination with a healthy lifestyle). “There are no miracle treatments for diabetes,” Shane-McWhorter says. “The most important thing to know if you have diabetes is that no supplement will take care of it for you. Diabetes is a condition that can be well-controlled with a healthy lifestyle plus medication if needed. A supplement can’t replace those.” And new science is changing the supplement landscape. In consulting the latest research as well as supplement experts for this report on the best-studied and most…

The Most Annoying Health Foods of 2016

Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

When you first discovered avocado toast and shared it on Instagram – #BestBrunchEver! – you probably thought nothing could top it. But the dish isn’t the only healthy food that drove double taps this year. Here are all the healthy dishes that filled everyone’s feeds in 2016, beginning with the photogenic favorite:

1. Avocado Toast

It’s not hard to see why avocado toast got so popular among healthy eaters: Spread for spread, avocado has roughly one-fourth the calories of butter (which has made quite the comeback this year) with healthy fats and fiber to boot. It’s why you probably don’t even mind paying entrée prices for a simple bread and spread, a dish that used to come free with your eggs. #WorthIt.

2. Ricotta Toast

Although ricotta contains more calories than mashed avocado, andmore than its healthy dairy cousins, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, ricotta toast is typically a lighter choice than, say, a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, particularly when the ricotta toast is topped with fruit. That it’s served open-faced makes it bonafide Instagram candy – sometimes quite literally when served with jam or honey, which can contribute lots of sugar (with a side of unsustainable energy). Oh well. How pretty?!

3. Sweet Potato Toast

As would be expected in 2016, the year when toast took really over, healthy eaters picked up on this curious way to use sweet potatoes. You slice them up really thin, bake or toast them until they’re crisp, then top them with cheese, dried fruit, or the spread of your choice. Never mind that no one said potatoes are a health food you should be eating all the time. Sweet potatoes still serve up vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber, and unlike bread, they’re vibrant, so no filter needed.

4. Zoodles

Noodles made from spiralized zucchini have fewer calories and carbs than regular pasta, which make them an awesome alternative for those who pay attention to that stuff. Plus they photograph just as well as pasta, which makes them equally likable for both the carb lovers and carb counters who follow your every bite.

5. Matcha Desserts

Dessert chefs have decided to lace their treats with matcha, the antioxidant-rich powder made from green tea leaves and traditionally used in Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies….