Eating Healthy With Diabetes
A healthy diet is one of the best tools for managing diabetes. A regular schedule of meals or snacks that includes the right nutrients, in the right amounts, will help keep glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight under control. But consistently eating well can be a challenge.
These tips can help:
Make a plan – With your doctor or dietitian, create personal guidelines for your daily diet, including a total daily calorie goal, amounts and kinds of foods, frequency and times to eat, and whether weight maintenance or weight loss is one of your objectives.
Eat a balanced diet – Choose from all of the food groups, including vegetables, fruits, lean meat, fish and poultry, beans, low–fat dairy products, and whole grains.
Check portion size – If you are trying to lose weight, cut back on the portion size to help reduce calorie intake. Many healthy meal plans include recommended serving or portion sizes. There is not always a convenient way to measure your portion sizes, but the guide below can help:
Increase meal/snack frequency – Spread your calorie intake throughout the day with small, more frequent meals and snacks to help keep glucose levels steady.
Choose low–glycemic index carbohydrates –The glycemic index (GI) is a value assigned to foods based on their effects on post–meal blood glucose levels. For example, foods with a low GI, such as lentils, prunes, or apples, will be digested and absorbed more slowly than white rice, baked potatoes, or other high GI foods. Foods high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), such as nuts, cashews, avocados, olive oil and canola oil, also have a low GI. Diets high in MUFA may have beneficial effects on blood lipid levels compared to a high carbohydrate diet.
Monitor your diet regularly – Keep a diary to track the kinds and amounts of food you eat, along with your glucose levels and weight – see how the foods in your diet influence glycemic control and weight management.
Consider using Glucerna as a meal replacement or snack – Convenient, balanced nutrition can help you stick with your meal plan to manage blood glucose.