Diabetes is when a person has a high blood sugar level or high blood glucose level. No two persons with Diabetes can be the same, so there is no one-fit healthy eating for diabetes patients.
There are two basic types of Diabetes:
- In type 1, your body does not make insulin
- In type 2, your body cannot use insulin well
Only blood tests can ensure the type of Diabetes, but we can tell you how to control your Diabetes. You can control it by taking medicines, exercising, weight control, and taking a proper diet meal.
Here we will educate you about the perfect healthy eating tips that will aid you in controlling Diabetes.
What is Healthy Eating?
Healthy eating habits help you control your weight and keep you safe from extreme diabetic complications like strokes and heart attacks.
In Diabetes, healthy eating means making food choices that should be rich in nutrients and low in fats and calories.
Moreover, the patient should take a moderate amount of food while sticking to regular meal times.
The calorie count is significant for a diabetic person. His/her food should wisely choose healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich food, and good fats.
Before moving toward ten healthy tips for Diabetes, let’s look at the food to avoid if you have Diabetes.
Food to Avoid if you are Diabetic:
Diabetes can lead to clogged and hardened arteries, strokes, and heart attack if the patient does not take proper medication and a heart-healthy diet.
The food that you should skip from your diet include;
Saturates Fats: Diabetic patients should avoid high-fat dairy products. Additionally, they should limit the use of coconut and palm kernel oils.
Animals proteins like butter, beef, hot dogs, sausages, and bacon should also be omitted from such patients’ diet.
- Trans Fats:
Processed snacks, shortening, stick margarine, and baked goods contain trans-fat, so they are a big no for people with Diabetes.
The aim of a diabetic patient is limited to 200 mg of cholesterol intake in a day. The cholesterol sources include:
Liver and other organ meat.
High-fat dairy products.
- High-fat and animal proteins.
Usually, a diabetic patient is recommended to aim for less than 2300mg sodium, but it is advisable to stick to the amount suggested by your doctor or nutritionist.
Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating with Diabetes:
It is significant to educate yourself about healthy eating habits and tips to aid you in heart-healthy eating.
Below are the ten ways tips to follow for healthy eating for Diabetes.
1. Choose healthier Carbohydrates:
Besides strictly following the portion size, a diabetic patient should also have a deep knowledge of healthy sources of carbohydrates.
Here are some of the healthy sources of carbohydrates.
- Whole Grains (i.e. brown rice, white oats, busk wheat)
- Pulses (chickpeas, beans, and lentils)
- Low-fat dairy (unsweetened yogurt and milk)
Make a habit of checking food labels before purchasing them and avoiding low-fiber food like white rice, white bread, and highly-processed cereals.
2. Minus Salt:
When you have Diabetes, you are already at risk of strokes and heart attack. Having the salt minus in your diet will maintain your blood pressure. Hence will decrease the other health risks.
A maximum of 6g (1 teaspoon) salt per day is enough for a diabetic patient.
Diabetic patients should cook food from scratch instead of using processed and canned foods. It will help them keep a check on salt intake.
Furthermore, you can also switch salt to some other spices and herbs to enhance the flavor.
3. Limit the use of Processed and Red Meat:
Keep this thing in mind that while being a diabetic, you have to avoid all kinds of food that can harm your heart in any way.
In this regard, it is advised to wipe the red and processed meat with other available options like:
- Beans and lentils
- Fish (preferably salmon and mackerel)
- Unsalted Nuts
- And, poultry like turkey and chicken.
The food mentioned above makes you feel full and are a great alternative to red meat as they are high in fiber don’t affect blood glucose level much. Try to have two portions of high-oil fish a week to have a good intake of Omega-3 oil.
4. Increase the intake of Vegetables and Fruit:
The natural sugar in fruit is way different from the added or free sugars so the fruits can be taken as snacks and can be eaten at mealtimes.
The fruits will provide vitamins, fiber, and minerals to your body to keep you healthy and energetic.
It is recommended to have an intake of fruit in small portions throughout your day instead of taking a hefty portion at one time.
It is healthier to take whole fruits than fruit juices to take the fiber benefit from the fruit.
You can have dried, frozen, canned, or tinned fruits but you should preserve them in juices, not syrup.
5. Take Energy from Healthy Fat:
Fat is a good energy source, and you cannot skip it from your healthy diet routine. Below is the list of food with healthier fats:
- Unsalted Nuts
- Olive Oil
- Oily Fish
- Sunflower Oil
- Rapeseed Oil
Saturated fats are harmful, so it is appropriate to avoid red and processed meat, ghee, lard, butter, biscuits, pastries, cakes, and pies. The best way is to use grill, steam, or baked food to cut down the general oil from your diet.
6. Say NO to Added Sugar:
It is very difficult to cut added sugar at once from your routine, so it is advisable to start by replacing carbonated drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juices with plain water, sugar-free coffee, and tea.
Once your body gets used to no-added-sugar, it will be very easy for you to completely skip-free sugar.
The cut down in added sugar will also help you maintain your weight or lose it if you intend to do it.
7. Snack Choices:
Snacks and munching are also a reality you can’t deny, but it is wise to opt for smart snacks like unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetable sticks.
Avoid using chips, crisps and chocolates and biscuits; they will increase your weight also. It is vital to keep an eye on your portion control while having healthy snacks also.
8. Don’t get Attracted Toward Diabetic Food Racks:
It’s a trend in grocery stores nowadays that they have specified racks for certain diets. There is no evidence of what they claim to have in the processed items.
The possible laxative effect of these food items can lead to high glucose levels and cholesterol.
9. Avoid taking Supplements:
Whether you have Diabetes or not, the best choice is to take your nutrition, minerals, and vitamins from food instead of opting for supplements.
You don’t have to take supplements except the folic acid prescribed by a doctor in case of pregnancy. In the case of Diabetes, some supplements can make worse complications like kidney diseases so, always seek a health care team before starting any supplement if necessary.
10. Use Alcohol Sensibly:
Alcohol is injurious to health, and it is best to keep it away from your routine but if you are already an alcoholic, keep it to a maximum of 14 units a week.
It is best to go for several days or weeks without alcohol if you are trying to lose weight or evade hypos.
It is recommended to take help from a certified nutritionist before sticking to any diet.
A Method Plate:
If you have Diabetes or want to help your loved one who has Diabetes, follow this method plate.
- You should fill half plate with no starchy vegetables like tomatoes, green peas, carrot and spinach.
- The quarter of the plate should have proteins like chicken, tuna or lean.
- The last quarter of the plate should have whole grain items like brown rice.
- Another important item of your method plate should be healthy fatlike unsalted nuts or avocados but in less quantity.
- You can also add a serving of low-fat dairy, fruit or unsweetened tea, or coffee.
A Perfect Simple Menu:
It is clear that being a diabetic, you have to focus on less processed meat and carbs, high-fiber, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats. Below is the simple menu that a diabetic patient can follow.
Healthy Breakfast for Diabetes:
- One medium slice of whole wheat bread with 2 tsp Jelly.
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- Half cup shredded wheat cereal
- A piece of fruit or coffee
- Wheat bread stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, and roast beef
- Low-fat American cheese
- One medium Apple
- High-oil fish (preferably salmon)
- 1.5 teaspoon of vegetable oil
- I small baked potato
- Have your fish with steamed half cup carrot, half cup green beans, and a medium dinner roll
- Unsweetened ice tea or milk
- 2.5 cups popcorn with 1.5 teaspoon margarine.
16 Best Foods for Diabetes:
Following is the list of 16 healthy foods that are best for Diabetes of both types:
- Fatty fish
- Leafy Green vegetables
- Chia beans
- Greek Yogurt
- Un-salted Nuts that are high in fiber and low in net carbs.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Shirataki Noodles
The 10 Worst food for Diabetes:
Below is the list of 10 worst foods for diabetic patients. These should be on their no and never list.
- Added and Free Sugars
- Sweetened Beverages & fruit juices
- White bread, white rice, and pasta
- Fruit-flavored yogurt
- Sweetened cereals
- Flavored coffee drinks
- Honey, Maple Syrup, and Agave Nectar
- Dried Fruit
- Snack food in packaging
- French Fries
Diabetes is a very common disease nowadays and prevents the serious damages caused by this disease, and it is significant to eat a heart-healthy diet. A diabetic patient should increase the intake of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and fish.
These tips might sound very common to you, but they are highly effective if followed. Have a healthy lifestyle to lead a good, energetic, and healthy life because you are what you eat. This was all from us on healthy eating for Diabetes.
Stay Healthy and Stay Safe.