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Heathy eating for diabetes
Lean meats like grilled chicken, served with a fresh salad, offer an easy-to-make alternative for a delicious meal.

Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 09:10 AM

10 tips to eating well with diabetes

Living with diabetes doesn't mean you can't enjoy good food.

November is American Diabetes Month. Marshall Medical offers classes to help our patients who are among the 30 million people living with this disease. For information on MMC Diabetes Self-Management Classes contact Julie Drzewiecki, MS, RD, CDE at 256-571-8052.

So what’s the secret to good eating? Be picky. Choose the right foods to keep your diabetes in check. And try to cook at home instead of going out. It's easier to keep track of what you eat when you prepare your own meals.

Use these ideas as motivation when you're whipping something up in the kitchen. Keep these tips in mind when you dine out, too.

1. Think Whole 

Use brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Look for 100% whole wheat flour and breads, and other whole grains like oats and barley.

Make the switch simple. For instance, if you're short on time, pop a packet of pre-cooked frozen brown rice into the microwave.

2. Fill Up! 

Aim for at least 8 grams of fiber per meal, especially when you eat carbohydrate-rich foods. It will help manage your blood sugar, keep you feeling full, and be good for your heart health. That's extra important because diabetes makes heart disease more likely.

Try:

Peas

Beans

Oats

Barley

Fruits like apples, pears, berries, and citrus

Vegetables like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, and beets

3. Replace Some Carbs With Good Fat 

Monounsaturated fats – nuts, avocados, olive oil, and canola oil – can help lower your blood sugar. Just avoid huge portions so you don't take in too many calories.

Add nuts and avocado to salads and entrees. Look for salad dressings, marinades and sauces made with canola or olive oil. You can also cook with these two oils.

4. Eat Foods That Won't Spike Blood Sugar 

Good choices that aren't likely to cause a big rise in your levels include lean meat, poultry, fish, avocados, salad vegetables, eggs and cheese. Add these items to your plate to help balance the foods you eat that have carbs.

5. Go Lean 

Choose recipes with less saturated fat. Maybe skip that cream sauce and look for lean cuts of meat, skim or low-fat dairy, and vegetable sources of protein like beans, lentils or nuts.

6. Check the Fine Print 

Does your recipe spell out what the calories, carbs, fiber and fat are? That info comes in handy. Then all you have to do is stick to the suggested serving size and you'll know exactly what you get.

7. Think Plant Fat 

Make canola oil or olive oil your go-to ingredients. Both are rich in monounsaturated fat. Canola oil also has heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

8. Make Salads Easier 

Prep so it's super-simple to throw together. Store a large spinach salad or vegetable-filled romaine lettuce salad in an airtight container without dressing (you can add that later). You can enjoy it with your dinner or as a snack for the next several days.

9. Slice Up Dessert 

With a few chops of a knife, you can turn a few pieces of fruit into a beautiful fruit salad. Drizzle lemon or orange juice over the top. Then toss to coat the fruit. The vitamin C in the citrus juice helps prevent browning.

10. Outsmart Your Drink 

Watch the calories, sugar and alcohol. If plain water doesn't appeal, you can try a fizzy, flavored (but not sweetened) water. Or sip no-calorie tea or coffee as the perfect finish to your homemade meal.

SOURCES: Nutrition.gov and American Diabetes Association (http://www.diabetes.org).


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