Living with diabetes does not have to mean feeling deprived. Though diabetes is on the rise, yet most cases are preventable with healthy lifestyle changes. Some can even be reversed. Taking steps to prevent and control diabetes means eating healthy, tasty, balanced diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood. You do not have to resign yourself to a life time bland foods.
Once you get the hang of eating a healthy diet, you can relax and dig in to wide variety of delicious meals and snacks. But what does eating right for diabetes mean? You may be surprised to hear that your nutritional needs are almost thesame as everyone else.
” A diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients, low in fat and added sugar and moderate in calories. ” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietician. This is a healthy diet for anyone. The only difference is that you need to pay more attention to some food choices you eat,notably the carbohydrates. However, you have to be smart about what type of carbohydrates you eat. Visit, www.shopdiabetes.org
The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index ( G. I. ) gives information about how different foods affect blood sugar and insulin levels. High GI foods have the least effect on blood sugar. Many scientific researches however, have proved that the true health benefits of using the G.I.remain unclear. The G.I. is not a measure of a food healthfulness.
Making healthy food choices
Knowing what to eat can be confusing. But a few basic tips have weathered the fad diets and have withstood the test of time.
1. Choose high-fiber, slow release carbohydrates
Carbohydrates have a big impact on your blood sugar level more so than fats and proteins. It is best to limit highly refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, rice as well as soda, candies, packaged meals and snack foods. Instead focus on high-fiber complex carbohydrates known also as slow-release carbs. They help keep blood sugar levels even, because they are digested more slowly, thereby preventing your body from producing too much insulin.
- Instead of eating white rice, eat more brown rice or wild rice.
- Limit white potatoes ( including French fries and mashed potatoes ), eat more sweet potatoes, yams, winter squash, cauliflower mash.
- Instead of regular pasta, try whole-wheat pasta.
- Instead of white bread, eat more whole-wheat or whole-grain bread.
- Limit sugary breakfast cereal, try high-fiber, low-sugar breakfast cereal.
- Instead of cornflakes, eat low-sugar bran flakes.
- Instead of instant oat meal, try steel-cut oats or rolled oats.
- Instead of eating corn, eat more peas or leafy greens.
2. Eat more of fruits, protein and vegetables
It is recommended by the American Diabetes Association that to control and prevent diabetes, you should;
- eat more healthy fats from raw nuts, olive oils, fish oils, flax seeds, whole milk dairy or avocados.
- You eat more fruits and vegetables,ideally fresh, the more colourful the better. Eat whole fruits instead of fruit juices.
- Try to eat more fish, organic and free-range chicken or turkey says D.J. Blatner.
- Alwaysadd to your diet, high quality protein such as eggs, beans, milk, cheese and unsweetened yogurt.
3. Be smart about sweets
According to Dr. Mercola, eating a diabetes-friendly diet does not mean eliminating sugar altogether, but like most adults in the western world, chances are you consume more sugar than is healthy. The key is moderation.
- Slowly reduce the sugar in your diet a little at a time and you will give your taste buds time to adjust. With time, you will be able to wean your self off the cravings for sweets.
- Reduce how much soft drink soda and juice you drink.
- Do not replace saturated fats with sugar. For example, replacing healthy sources of saturated fats such as whole milk dairy with refined carbohydrates or sugary foods.
- Check labels and opt for low sugar products and use fresh or frozen ingredients instead of canned products. Be especially aware of the sugar content of cereals and sugary drinks.
- When buying foods such as syrups, jellies and sauces, opt for products labeled ‘ reduced sugar ‘ or ‘ no added sugar. ‘
- Find healthy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead of ice-cream, blend up frozen bananas for a creamy frozen treat.
- Do some detective work. Aside from the obvious ones – sugar,honey, molasses – added sugar can appear as agave nectar, cane crystals, corn sweetner, crystalline fructose, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose,maltose, maltsyrup and many more.
4. Eat regularly at set times
If your body is better able to regulate blood sugar levels and your weight when you maintain a regular meal schedule.
- Aim for moderate and consistent portion sizes for each meal.
- Do not skip breakfast. Eating breakfast every day will help you have energy as well as steady blood sugar levels
- Eat regular small meals, up to six per day.
- Keep calorie intake the same. Regulating the amount of calories you eat on a day to day basis has an impact on the regularity of your blod sugar levels. Try to eat roughly the same amount of calories every day.
Do not forget to exercise regularly to achieve maximum control over your diabetes. Good luck.