As with any healthy eating program, a diabetic diet is more about your overall dietary pattern rather than obsessing over
specific foods. Aim to eat more natural, unprocessed food and less packaged and convenience foods.
• Healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados
• Fruits and vegetables—ideally fresh, the more colorful the better; whole fruit rather than juices
• High-fiber cereals and breads made from whole grains
• Fish and shellfish, organic chicken or turkey
• High-quality protein such as eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, and unsweetened yogurt
• Trans fats from partially hydrogenated or deep-fried foods
• Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, desserts
• White bread, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice
• Processed meat and red meat
• Low-fat products that have replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yogurt
Carbohydrates have a big impact on your blood sugar levels—more so than fats and proteins—so you need to be smart about what types of carbs you eat. Limit refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as soda, candy, packaged meals, and snack foods. Focus on high-fiber complex carbohydrates—also known as slow-release carbs. They are digested more slowly, thus preventing your body from producing too much insulin.
High glycemic index (GI) foods spike your blood sugar rapidly, while low GI foods have the least effect on blood sugar. While the GI has long been promoted as a tool to help manage blood sugar, there are some notable drawbacks.
• The true health benefits of using the GI remain unclear.
• Having to refer to GI tables makes eating unnecessarily complicated.
• The GI is not a measure of a food’s healthfulness.
• Research suggests that by simply following the guidelines of the Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diets, you’ll not only lower your glycemic load but also improve the quality of your diet.
Choosing carbs that are packed with fiber (and don’t spike your blood sugar)
Try these high-fiber options…
• White rice - Brown or wild rice, riced cauliflower
• White potatoes (including fries and mashed potatoes) - Sweet potatoes, yams, cauliflower mash
• Regular pasta - Whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti squash
• White bread - Whole-wheat or whole-grain bread
• Sugary breakfast cereal - High-fiber, low-sugar cereal
• Instant oatmeal - Steel-cut or rolled oats
• Cornflakes - Low-sugar bran flakes
• Corn - Peas or leafy greens
Eating a diabetic diet doesn’t mean eliminating sugar altogether, but like most of us, chances are you consume more sugar than is healthy. If you have diabetes, you can still enjoy a small serving of your favorite dessert now and then. The key is moderation.
Reduce your cravings for sweets by slowly reducing the sugar in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust.
Hold the bread (or rice or pasta) if you want dessert. Eating sweets at a meal adds extra carbohydrates so cut back on the other carb-heavy foods at the same meal.
Add some healthy fat to your dessert. Fat slows down the digestive process, meaning blood sugar levels don’t spike as quickly. That doesn’t mean you should reach for the donuts, though. Think healthy fats, such as peanut butter, ricotta cheese, yogurt, or nuts.
Eat sweets with a meal, rather than as a stand-alone snack. When eaten on their own, sweets cause your blood sugar to spike. But if you eat them along with other healthy foods as part of your meal, your blood sugar won’t rise as rapidly.
When you eat dessert, truly savor each bite. How many times have you mindlessly eaten your way through a bag of cookies or a huge piece of cake? Can you really say that you enjoyed each bite? Make your indulgence count by eating slowly and paying attention to the flavors and textures. You’ll enjoy it more, plus you’re less likely to overeat.
Tricks for cutting down on sugar
Reduce soft drinks, soda and juice. For each 350 ml serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage you drink a day, your risk for diabetes increases by about 15 percent. Try sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime instead. Cut down on creamers and sweeteners you add to tea and coffee.
Don’t replace saturated fat with sugar. Many of us replace saturated fat such as whole milk dairy with refined carbs, thinking we’re making a healthier choice. Low-fat doesn’t mean healthy when the fat has been replaced by added sugar.
Sweeten foods yourself. Buy unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, or unflavored oatmeal, for example, and add sweetener (or fruit) yourself. You’ll likely add far less sugar than the manufacturer.
Check labels and opt for low sugar products and use fresh or frozen ingredients instead of canned goods. Be especially aware of the sugar content of cereals and sugary drinks.
Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar. Prepare more meals at home.
Reduce the amount of sugar in recipes by ¼ to ⅓. You can boost sweetness with mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract instead of sugar.
Find healthy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead of ice cream, blend up frozen bananas for a creamy, frozen treat. Or enjoy a small chunk of dark chocolate, rather than a milk chocolate bar.
Start with half of the dessert you normally eat, and replace the other half with fruit.
It’s easy to underestimate the calories and carbs in alcoholic drinks, including beer and wine. And cocktails mixed with soda and juice can be loaded with sugar. Choose calorie-free mixers, drink only with food, and monitor your blood glucose as alcohol can interfere with diabetes medication and insulin.
I hope I did not spoil your plans for the weekend…..
Have a drink less and stay healthy.
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