In the United States, more of 30 million people have diabetes, according to data from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Following a healthy, physically active eating plan can help you keep your blood glucose (sugar) level within your target range.
According to specialists, there is no single diet that is for all patients with different types of diabetes. However, there is healthy eating tips which are general for help you control your glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
1. Choose healthy carbohydrates
All carbohydrates affect blood glucose levels. Try to limit the carbohydrates they have added sugars or refined grains, Like the highly processed cereals, the white bread and white rice. Instead, eat carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and skim or low-fat milk.
Choose cereals that have a whole grain as the first ingredient. Look for those with three grams of dietary fiber or more per serving, notes the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
2. Eat less salt
High salt intake contributes to arterial hypertension and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. With diabetes, you are at higher risk for all of these conditions. The World Health Organization recommends less than 5 salt a day, less than a teaspoon.
Try to cook at home, to reduce the use of salt, season your food with spices and when you buy prepackaged food choose options with lower amounts of sodium.
3. Eat less red and processed meat
The British Diabetic Association (Diabetes UK) recommends switching from red and processed meat to legumes like beans and lentils, eggs, fish, poultry such as chicken and turkey, and unsalted nuts.
Legumes are rich in fiber and do not affect blood glucose levels too much and keep you full. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are good sources of complete protein and the best source of omega-3s, a heart-healthy fat that fights inflammation
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Vegetables help you get vitamins, minerals, and fiber that your body needs to be healthy. Adults should consume 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day. Consume in your breakfast, lunch and dinner, also as snacks.
A piece of fresh fruit or fruit salad for dessert is a great way to satisfy cravings and get nutrition extra you’re looking for, states the ADA. Most fruits have a low glycemic index (GI) due to their fiber content.
5. Choose healthy fats
Healthy fats are necessary and beneficial for health. Limit foods high in saturated fat and avoid “bad” trans fats.
The healthier fats found in foods like unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, and avocado oil. Good fats can improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, and stabilize your heart rate.
6. Cut down on added sugar
Swap sugary drinks like sodas, energy drinks, and fruit juices for water, tea and coffee without sugar. Eliminating added sugars can help you control your blood glucose levels and maintain control of your weight.
Diabetes UK notes that if your diabetes treatment uses sugary drinks to treat hypoglycemia, this is still important for managing your diabetes and should not be eliminated. It is important that if there are regular hypoglycemia, you discuss it with your doctor.
7. Avoid abusing alcohol
Moderate alcohol consumption equates to one drink for women and one to two drinks for men in a day. It is better if you go several days without alcohol. Do not drink on an empty stomach, alcohol can increase the likelihood of hypoglycemia.
8. Get minerals and vitamins from food
Food contains vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and other substances beneficial to health. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people must get most of their nutrients from food.
Diabetes UK explains that some supplements can affect your medications or make some diabetes complications worse, as the renal disease. With a balanced diet you do not need to take supplements, unless directed by a doctor.
9. Enjoy healthy snacks
Instead of chips, cookies, and candy, opt for unsalted nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, vegetables, or yogurt. Taking care of the portions.
10. Don’t fall for “diabetic foods”
Many foods that are falsely promoted as “diabetic food” often have fat and calories like similar products and can still affect your blood glucose level, warns Diabetes UK.
How to integrate your plate
Remember to fill half of the plate with non-starchy vegetables, in one quarter of the plate place protein and in the other quarter of the plate serve grains or another type of starch source such as corn. You can also have a small cup of fruit or a piece of fruit if it is included in your meal plan.
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