Health & Wellness

Diabetes and Diet

Healthy eating is essential for diabetics. Overeating or eating unhealthy foods may cause a spike in blood sugar. On the other end, skipping a meal could make your blood sugar too low. Your best bet is to eat controlled, healthy meals regularly. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group shares what foods should be on your plate!

Foods to Enjoy

Fiber is especially important for people with diabetes but is a healthy choice for everyone since it counteracts an overload of carbohydrates. Whole grain breads, tortillas, pastas, rice, and cereals are high in fiber. Some fruits, including dried figs and raisins, have high fiber counts as well. Sprinkle some dried fruits on top of a bowl of oatmeal for a fiber fix.

While fruits and vegetables are vital to a healthy diet, some are better than others for people with diabetes. Stick with beans, peas, and dark green leafy vegetables– like spinach, broccoli, and kale– or dark orange veggies, such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes. Opt to eat veggies that are fresh or frozen instead of canned.

Ideally, these vegetables should make up half your plate at every meal. A fourth of your plate should consist of whole grains, and the last fourth lean protein, such as skinless turkey or chicken.

A small dish of fresh fruit with fat-free yogurt is a great dessert if you’re craving something sweet!

Foods to Avoid

Resist sugary foods including desserts, sweetened drinks, and similar treats. Stay away from salty foods as well, including canned veggies and soups, pickles, and processed meats. Fatty foods including whole milk, butter, and margarine, should be swapped for healthier alternatives like fat-free milk, coconut oil, and avocados.

Tips for Dining Out

Dining out is difficult when you are on a special diet. Try to order a meal rich in fruits and vegetables. Only eat half since restaurants often have oversized portions and bring the rest home for the next day. If you decide to splurge for dessert, once again, limit yourself to half or less and give the rest to a friend. Be sure to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly.

Adopting a new diet can be extremely difficult, but keeping your body in tip-top shape is definitely worth it. Through CHI St. Luke’s Health, find a primary care physician or a nutritionist who can customize a diet plan just for you and support you every step of the way!

 

Sources

Diet and Diabetes

CDC - Eat Right!

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