May 18, 2024
Diabetic Food

Keeping Diabetes Under Control with the Right Food Choices

What are Carbohydrates and how to Manage them?

Carbohydrates have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels, so it’s important for people with diabetes to choose them wisely. Carbohydrates are found in foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, and yogurt. It’s recommended to aim for 45-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal for good blood sugar control. Focus on choosing whole grains like whole wheat bread and brown rice over refined grains when possible. Whole grains have more fiber, which helps slow the rise in blood sugar after eating. Also pay attention to portion sizes of carbohydrate foods and pair them with lean protein or healthy fats at meals to slow sugar absorption.

How to Choose High Fiber Carbs?

Fiber is important for keeping blood sugar stable and promoting fullness. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed. Good sources of fiber that are suitable for diabetes include vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts, and 100% whole grains. When choosing carbs, select those highest in fiber. For example, choose an apple over apple juice or a baked potato with the skin over mashed potatoes without. Fiber-rich carbs are more filling and gentler on blood sugar levels compared to refined carbs. Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily to meet fiber needs.

Understanding sugar and sweetener alternatives

Naturally occurring and added sugars can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels, so they need to be limited. Diabetic Food It’s best to avoid sugary drinks, desserts, candies, and processed snacks as much as possible. When an occasional sweet treat is desired, look for healthier alternatives. Opt for no-calorie sweeteners like stevia extract or sucralose in place of sugar. Be wary though as these don’t provide any nutrients. Dried fruit is a better choice as the fructose is bound to fiber. Also try plain Greek yogurt topped with nuts or fresh fruit for a naturally sweet snack. Small amounts of honey or real maple syrup can be enjoyed too in moderation.

Fish: A Superfood for Diabetes

Fish is one of the healthiest foods recommended for diabetes. It provides essential omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation linked to insulin resistance. Studies show eating fish, especially fatty types like salmon, two times per week can help manage blood sugar levels and decrease heart disease risk for those with diabetes. Aim for at least 8 ounces of fatty fish per week. Good choices beyond salmon include trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring. For variety try shrimp, scallops, and tilapia too which are low in mercury. To reap maximum benefits choose fish baked or broiled rather than fried. Add fish to meals 2-3 times weekly, substituting it for other proteins.

What is the Best Protein Choice for Diabetes?

Protein is filling and supports blood sugar stability. Diabetic Food The general recommendation is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. Focus on choosing lean cuts of poultry, like chicken and turkey breast without skin. Other excellent diabetes-friendly proteins are fat-free or low-fat dairy like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. Beans, lentils, and nuts provide plant-based protein and also lend blood sugar regulating fiber and healthy fats. Eggs can absolutely fit into a diabetes meal plan, just don’t overindulge as the yolks contain cholesterol. Seafood offers not just lean protein but also omega-3s. Pair protein rich foods with carbs and veggies at meals for balanced glycemic control.

Healthy Fats for Balanced Blood Sugar

Not all fats need to be avoided by those with diabetes. In fact, some unsaturated fats support insulin sensitivity and reduce disease risk when enjoyed in moderation along with an overall healthy diet. Good examples are olive oil, canola oil, avocados, fatty fish, and nuts like almonds. Use fats to flavor meals rather than as staple sources. Stick to 1-2 tablespoons of oil daily or a handful of nuts as snacks. For cooking choose monounsaturated fats like olive oil instead of butter or lard. Watch portions of high fat meats and cheeses which should be consumed sparingly. Overall aim for a balance of lean proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, and produce at each meal.

Keep Blood Sugar Stable with Regular Meals and Snacks

Eating frequent small meals and snacks at consistent times is ideal for stable glucose control. Skipping meals leads to hunger and overeating later which spikes sugars. Aim to eat every 4-5 hours throughout the day which keeps metabolism and insulin circulating at steady levels. Pack portable snacks like fresh fruit, plain Greek yogurt, whole grain crackers and nut butter, or cheese sticks for on-the-go moments. Plan balanced diabetes-friendly meals centered around lean protein, quality carbs, and produce. Avoid sugary or calorie-dense processed options. Regular nutrition is key to optimally manage diabetes.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it