Diabetes: The Basics of Healthy Eating

Healthy eating can have a major impact on how well you maintain normal blood glucose levels. That is why managing your diet wisely is an important part of keeping your diabetes in shape.  Maintaining your blood glucose level within a healthy range will help reduce your risk of developing complications like heart disease or stroke. Start your healthy eating lifestyle by following these guidelines:

  • Eating a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Choosing foods that are rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber
  • Minimizing how much processed food you eat
  • Controlling your portion sizes and not overloading on foods high in sugar, fat, or calories.

Another critical part of healthy eating is making sure that your diet helps you to maintain a healthy blood glucose level while also satisfying your nutritional needs. Here are a few methods that will help diabetics eat for wellness.

  • Carb Counting
    Eating carbs causes your blood glucose to rise. Keeping track of the amount of carbs you eat can therefore help you keep your blood glucose level in your target range. Read nutrition labels to see how many grams of carbs are in the food you eat, and then monitor your blood glucose (the ADA suggests that you start with 45-60 grams of carbs at one meal). Using this method, you can fine-tune the amount of carbs you eat at a meal to maintain a healthy blood glucose level.
  • Divide Your Plate
    This is an easy guideline to control your portion sizes. Imagine that the inside of your plate is divided into three sections: One half is devoted to non-starchy carbohydrates such as spinach and broccoli; one quarter of your plate is for protein sources like chicken breast and turkey; and the last quarter is for grains/starchy foods (rice, potatoes, or yams, for example). Dividing up your plate helps prevent overeating and adding needless calories to your diet.

 

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