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Try these tips to eat healthier and help manage your diabetes better:
Know your five food groups. Your daily focus needs to be on making sure you’re getting the right types of foods. What does a healthy diabetes diet look like? for starters, it offers lots of variety. There isn’t one perfect food that can provide all of the nutrients the body needs. Follow a diet that emphasizes healthy foods for diabetes from these five food groups:
- Whole grains
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
- Lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, and lean beef
- Although you can indulge in other foods on occasion, these food groups are the building blocks of a healthy diabetes diet.
Have a meal plan. Taking the time to draw up a meal plan can save you time and stress in the long run. Jan elsten, rd, cde, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at indiana university health-ball memorial hospital in muncie, says the first step to healthy eating for diabetes is planning to eat at least three meals a day, spaced four to six hours apart. This is sometimes easier said than done, but eating meals on a schedule can help keep your blood sugar levels where they need to be.
Get comfortable counting carbs. Your doctor or diabetes educator can work with you to create a diabetes meal plan to make sure you’re getting the correct balance of carbs (as well as protein and fiber) at each meal. “carbohydrates affect your blood sugar quicker than protein and fats do" elsten explains" they’re broken down to glucose and used by the body for energy, and the body needs foods with carbohydrates throughout the day.” however, too many carbs at one time could cause a spike in blood sugar, so you want to spread carbs evenly throughout your day. Carbs are in many different types of foods: whole grains, fruits, and low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt are healthy options. Soda, candy, and sweets also have carbs, but offer very little nutritional value, so they should be eaten in moderation.
Build a better plate. Make sure that you not only have the right kinds of food on your plate at each meal, but also have them in the right proportions. The american diabetes association recommends drawing an imaginary line down the center of your lunch or dinner plate and filling one half with non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes. Next, draw another imaginary line through the other half of your plate and fill one section with a high-quality starch such as a whole-grain roll, pasta, or brown rice. In the remaining section, add a lean protein such as fish, beans, eggs, or a meat substitute. Add an 8-ounce glass of low-fat or fat-free milk and a small piece of fruit to complete your meal. Apply the same concept at breakfast, using a smaller plate or bowl.
Learn the fine points about foods. You don’t have to know everything about every food, but get a grasp of the big picture. For example, foods high in saturated fats, like butter and fatty meats, can lead to heart disease, while foods with fatty acids called omega-3s, like coldwater fish and healthy oils and nuts, can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Foods with high salt (sodium) content — which is often most processed foods — can raise blood pressure, while potassium-rich foods, such as spinach, tomatoes, and bananas, can counteract sodium in the body and help reduce high blood pressure.
Healthy diabetes cooking tips
Ready to take these diabetes diet tips to the next level? making healthy substitutions and slight modifications to how you cook can mean the difference between successfully managed diabetes and wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels. Try gradually implementing these changes for healthier eating for diabetes:
What to drink:
Replace sweetened drinks with water or no-calorie beverages.
Limit 100-percent fruit juice to one 4-ounce serving a day. Or instead of fruit juice, consider tomato or vegetable juice.
What to eat:
- Substitute crisp, non-starchy vegetables such as sweet peppers, celery, and carrots for empty snacks like chips and pretzels. This will also help increase your veggie intake to at least 3 cups a day.
- Buy lean cuts of beef such as sirloin instead of marbled cuts like rib eye, and try ground turkey instead of ground beef when making tacos, chili, or burgers.
- Use low-fat or fat-free dairy products instead of full-fat varieties.
- Substitute greek yogurt in place of sour cream for a rich, creamy taste with more protein and calcium.
- Enjoy frozen yogurt instead of ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth.
How to prepare food:
- Limit fried foods and instead use healthy diabetes cooking methods such as baking, grilling, and broiling.
- Reduce sodium by rinsing canned vegetables with cold water before cooking.
- Boost the flavor of veggies, fish, and pasta with fresh lemon juice instead of butter and salt.
- Use non-stick cooking sprays instead of butter and even healthy oils when cooking.
- Pay attention to portion sizes — keep the measuring cups handy to be sure.
- By taking these simple steps toward a diabetes-friendly diet, you can gain better control of what and how you eat. In turn, you’ll improve how well you manage diabetes and protect your overall health as well.
Keep a regular check on your blood glucose levels along with blood pressure.
Manage your blood glucose levels as near to normal.
Keep your BP levels below 130/80 to prevent kidney damage.
Stay in your target cholesterol range.
Eat foods lower in sodium.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Have a balanced diet and indulge in regular physical activity.
Get your kidneys checked at least once a year.
Avoid taking any painkillers on a regular basis. You may unnecessarily put your kidneys at risk.
Have an A1c test at least twice a year, but ideally up to 4 times a year. An A1c test measures the average level of blood sugar over the past three months.
A healthy diet during pregnancy is very important as it promotes baby's healthy growth and development. Although there is no set formula for a healthy pregnancy diet, one needs to give attention towards including few important nutrients to ensure healthy growth of the baby. There are also certain foods that must be avoided during pregnancy.
Nutrients essential for a healthy pregnancy
A healthy balanced diet is a must for a healthy pregnancy. Have small frequent meals every 3 hours instead of taking three big meals in a day. For a balanced nutritive diet, your food must include ingredients from the four main food groups, which are- fruits and vegetables, starchy foods, foods rich in protein, and dairy food products.
Apart from the regular healthy food, you also need to ensure that your food is rich in the following nutrients which are very essential for proper growth of the baby.
-protein is very crucial for the growth of the baby, especially during second and third trimester of pregnancy.
-a pregnant woman needs 71gm protein on a daily basis.
-some good sources of protein are peanut butter, dairy products, tofu, peas, dried bean, lentils, eggs, lean meats.
-apart from these, you can also ask your doctor for the supplements that your body requires.
2. Folic acid
-folic acid is known to prevent birth defects. The amount of folic acid needed by a pregnant woman is 800 micrograms per day.
-folic acid or folate is a b group vitamin whose requirements in your body increase substantially during pregnancy.
-some good sources of folate are spinach, lentils, dried beans, chickpeas, broccoli, bran flakes, asparagus, orange juice, leeks, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, parsley, whole grain bread, walnuts, unsalted peanuts, strawberries, potato, hazelnuts.
-since the developing child draws iron from the pregnant mother, the need for iron increases significantly during pregnancy.
-the recommended iron intake during pregnancy is 27mg per day. However, the amount of iron needed also depends on the quantity already stored in the body prior to pregnancy.
-include iron rich foods like green leafy vegetables like spinach, dates (khajoor), jaggery (Gur), apples, beans, dry fruits like raisins and apricots and meats.
-doctors often recommend supplements as by depending only on natural sources one may not satisfy the exact requirement.
-iodine is an important mineral which is required for thyroid hormone production in the body and is very important for growth and development.
-some god sources of iodine include eggs, dairy products, fish, baked potato, strawberries, prunes, seafood, and seaweed.
5. Calcium and vitamin d
-your body needs extra calcium and vitamin d during pregnancy to help in proper development of the baby's teeth and bones.
-doctors recommend around 1000-1200mg of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin d per day during pregnancy.
-include calcium-rich foods like milk, milk products, nuts, lean meats to get adequate calcium. Your doctor may recommend calcium supplements depending on your health status.
-you can ensure adequate vitamin d levels by sitting in the sun in mornings for 15 minutes to help your body synthesize vitamin d
Foods to avoid during pregnancy
Understanding what foods you must avoid during pregnancy will help you make the healthiest choices for you and your baby. The foods which must be avoided during pregnancy include:
-though seafood is an excellent source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids which help in promoting the brain development of your baby, some types of fish contains potentially high levels of mercury that can harm the baby
-fish like tilefish, king mackerel, shark, and swordfish are not safe to eat. On the other hand salmon, tilapia, cod, catfish, crab and shrimps can be eaten.
-stay away from contaminated, undercooked or raw seafood like shellfish, raw fish, sushi and refrigerated smoked seafood.
-avoid undercooked eggs, poultry and meat.
-avoid unpasteurized foods like Mexican style cheese, blue cheese, camembert, feta.
-avoid excess caffeine as it can cross the placenta and reach your baby. The caffeine intake should not be more than 200 milligrams in a day.
a strictly avoid herbal teas and alcohol during pregnancy.