Diabetes is a chronic imbalance of blood glucose levels. Diabetes can be managed through diet, exercise, and medication. Choosing the right foods, eating regular meals, and limiting portions are ways that you can improve your diet to manage your diabetes.
Here are some tips for healthy eating:
- Eat healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These carbs typically contain natural sugar and fiber, which help to create a balanced diet.
- Eat more lean protein, such as chicken, eggs, fish, and unsalted nuts as well as decreasing the amount of red and processed meat.
- Check the food labels and be aware of the serving size, fat, carbohydrates, sugars, fiber, and protein. Avoid items with high sugar and trans fat.
- Eat regular meals, rather than snacking or skipping meals, to maintain preferred glucose levels. Furthermore, set and follow a regular meal-time schedule. After a few weeks, your body will be trained to use this schedule.
- Keep track of what you’re eating. Logging what you eat during the day helps you to be accountable and more aware of the types of food that you eat. (Tip: The MyFitnessPal is a free app that you can use to track your meals.)
- Increase your water intake and limit sugary drinks. It’s important to note that processed fruit juices are not ideal to obtain the benefits of fruit, as they typically have added processed sugar that can spike your glucose levels.
- Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol is high in calories and sugar, and it can lead to further complications.
- Monitor your portion size. Non-starchy vegetables should take up the largest portion of your plate. When you’re out to eat, put half of your meal in a box to take home so that you won’t be tempted to overeat. Never eat directly out of a box or bag. Measure the desired portion size and put that into a bowl or on a plate.
- Plan your meals ahead of time. Creating a meal plan helps you to manage when, what, and how much to eat to get optimal nutrition. In addition, it also decreases the likelihood that you will splurge on foods that are unhealthy for you.
- Eat all meals slowly and take a break in between bites.
Be mindful of every bite that you take, and above all, enjoy your food!
Eating healthy is only one part of creating a healthy lifestyle and managing diabetes. Staying active and increasing the occurrence of regular exercise is important to improve your overall health and well-being. When you exercise, your body uses up the glucose that you intake, rather than storing it as fat.
Unmanaged diabetes can lead to stroke, heart disease, nerve damage, organ failure, and more. Use the simple tips above to modify your lifestyle to decrease your risk of complications, so that you can live a healthy life. Sage Outpatient and Day Neuro offers dietary services with a licensed dietician to help you address any needs or concerns you may have.