It’s important for everyone to have a healthy diet. But this becomes even more critical to those with diabetes. A good diet is key to managing weight, but a lot of people are confused as to what they can or cannot eat. Here are five tips to consider:
Concentrate on Five Food Groups
It’s vital that you’re including the right types of food in your meals. There’s no perfect food that would give us all the vitamins and minerals we need. However, it’s essential that you eat plenty of –
- Lean protein (chicken, fish)
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy products (milk, cheese, butter)
- Whole grains
Boost Fiber Intake
Fiber is important to someone with diabetes. It slows down the amount of sugar being released into your system, thus stabilizing your blood sugar. Whole grain foods and root crops like sweet potatoes are good choices.
Cut Down Carb Intake
Reducing your carbohydrate intake is a good first step when you’re trying to manage diabetes. Too much carbs make our cells resistant to insulin and cause a spike in your blood sugar. However, your body still needs carbohydrates. A better approach would be to spread your carb consumption throughout the day. Select high-fiber complex carbs like whole wheat pasta or bread, steel-cut oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and yams. The body digests these slow-release carbs slowly, thus stopping your body from making too much insulin.
Frying becomes a no-no when you have diabetes for two reasons. One is that most fried food is covered with breading, which adds carbohydrates. Second, most use oil that’s full of trans-fat or saturated fat for frying. Broiling, boiling, baking, or grilling your food is better. But if you can’t live without your fried chicken, make sure you use avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.
Learn to Food Swap
Swapping your food choices or the ingredients you use for healthier options can have a major impact on your blood sugar levels. You can make healthier changes slowly so it will be less shocking or painful for you. For example, start drinking more unsweetened tea or water instead of sodas or other sweetened drinks. You can use Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream or lemon juice instead of butter and salt for flavoring fish and pasta.
These few tips are simple and easy to implement. But it will make a big difference in your diet. It will help you control your blood sugar and improve your overall health.