Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that can easily be managed by controlling our diet. Along with being aware of your sugar intake, your diet should help you lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, this does not mean you have to resign yourself to a lifetime of tasteless food.
Here are a few diet tips that can help manage diabetes:
- Choose high fiber carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are an essential element of the daily diet but have a huge impact on blood sugar levels. Hence, it is important to pick the right carbohydrates. Your diet should have a limited amount of refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, soda etc. and should be focused more on high fiber carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, rolled oats and bran flakes that are digested slowly. This prevents your body from producing excessive insulin.
- Be sweet smart: The key to indulge your sweet tooth and controlling diabetes is moderation. Abruptly, removing sugar from your diet can make you crave for it. Instead, gradually lower your sugar intake. If you can't miss out on the dessert at the end of a meal, reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your meal. Adding healthy fats like peanut butter, yogurt or nuts to your dessert can also slow down the digestive process and thus control blood sugar level.
- Keep a food diary: When you are diabetic, it is very important to eat at regular intervals. Eating frequent, small meals are often better than fewer large meals. Try and maintain a food diary to keep track of your calorie intake. This helps identify problem areas of where your body is getting excessive calories from. When you are aware of the calories associated with things you eat, it is easier to cut down on snacks and replace unhealthy snacks with healthier options.
- Choose fats wisely: It is impossible to completely cut out fats from your diet. While some fats such as liquid vegetable oils and commercial baked goods are unhealthy, others have important health benefits. Unsaturated fats are the healthiest and safest. Replacing your vegetable cooking oil for olive oil and biscuits with nuts are easy ways to make smart choices with your fat intake.
- Go green: Green leafy vegetables are low on carbohydrates and high on nutrients. Thus, make them an integral part of your meal. Vegetables like kale, spinach, lettuce, etc. can be eaten raw or cooked. Along with being nutritious, they also add texture and color to your meals, thus making them more visually appealing.
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