While numerous sources can claim they know the “best diet for diabetics”, what constitutes a good diet for a person with diabetes can vary. According to the Mayo Clinic, it really only boils down to two things: “eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts” and “sticking to regular meal times.” We’ll explain what implementing these two things into your life looks like below in three helpful steps.
Note: Please consult your doctor or medical practitioner if you have diabetes and are looking to change your diet. Getting care that is personalized to your needs and medical history is of the utmost importance.
Step One, Make a Plan
Managing diabetes is all about controlling your glucose/blood sugar, keeping your heart healthy, monitoring your blood pressure, and managing your weight. Creating a plan, either with a dietitian or your doctor, can help you implement ways to manage your diabetes into your daily routine. You can also create a sample meal plan that will outline the ingredients you are consuming, as well as track how many calories you ingest. Consult your doctor when creating your plan to create the best strategy for your specific diabetes diagnosis and your current health.
Step Two, Choose Foods That Are Right For You
Experts recommend that diabetics who are looking into improving dietary habits, “choose healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, fish and ‘good’ fats” as the primary components of your diet. In order to break down blood glucose, you must ingest healthy carbohydrates and fiber, both of which are found in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. However, not all carbohydrates are your friend. Avoid those that have a lot of sugar and salt, as they will be detrimental to your blood sugar. Heart health (and preventing heart disease) can be promoted by consuming Omega-3 fatty acids, usually found in fish like salmon and tuna. Avoid fried fish or fish with lots of mercury in it. “Good” fats, or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can help manage your cholesterol levels. These can be found in avocados, nuts, and olive, canola, and peanut oils.
Step Three, Reap the Results!
Putting good food into your system will aid your body in managing your diabetes symptoms and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle. Additionally, by consuming lots of fruits, vegetables, and fibrous foods, you reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer!
By curating your diet and lifestyle to your needs as a diabetic, you can live your life significantly less impacted by your diagnosis.