When it comes to nutrition, we can all learn from some diabetes diet tips and tricks. Since there are 79 million people in the US who have pre-diabetes and don’t even know it, one could make the case that everyone should be following a diabetes type diet for optimal health.
When you think of the nutritional needs for diabetics, the first thing that typically comes to mind is “No Sugar!” While sugar should be limited, it is a myth that is must be avoided completely. Diabetics are not bound to a diet free of desserts for the rest of their lives. Instead, most diabetics get to enjoy a wide variety of healthy, nutritious meals and snacks while still managing their blood glucose levels in a sensible way. This is something we could definitely all learn from.
Here are some other diabetes diet tips that can be applied to just about everyone.
1. Choose high-fiber, unrefined carbs. This is something you may have been hearing a lot about in recent years but there is still quite a bit of confusion. What is the difference between whole grain and 100% whole wheat? The difference is the 100%. Select pastas, breads, or crackers that specifically say 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain. If the front of the package just says “Naturally whole grain,” that doesn’t really mean anything. Flip the package over and read the ingredients. The first ingredient should be 100% whole something. Other choices include brown rice over white rice, and steel cut oats over instant flavored oats. These types of carbs are better for you because they are digested slower. This results in less of a glucose spike and better numbers for you!
2. Get some healthy fats in your diet. Most people have way too much fat in their diet, typically in the form of oils. Avoid all kinds of oils, yes, even olive oil if you can. It is still very high in calories and does not provide a lot of nutritionally value beyond what you can get from sources like flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and avocados. Sauté in a pan with water or low sodium vegetable oil. Steam vegetables in a steamer or a rice cooker. Find salad dressings with little to no oil. Use balsamic vinegar and blended berries as a delicious sauce.
3. Make a list of all of the foods you CAN eat. Typically, diabetics tend to focus on all of the foods they have to avoid. This is not really the best way to think about your new diet. You are on a path to health and this includes a lot of wonderful foods you have probably never even tried before. Stop and take a look at all of the vegetables in the produce department at the store. Have you tried them all? Most likely not.
How about the fruits? You can eat fresh fruits because they are chock-full of fiber which helps the sugars digest properly. Have you had a papaya? How about a persimmon? How about whole grains like quinoa? There is a huge world of food opportunities out there to be explored. If you are not sure about how to prepare a diabetic friendly meal plan, use a meal delivery service that caters to those who have diabetes. You may get inspired to try new things and stay healthy on a doable, simple program.
4. Watch our Diabetes News Feed for information and advice from websites around the world.
5. Read our article about how to reverse type 2 diabetes in one week.