If you are suffering from diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels is important to avoid further health complications.
And as it is said that your food has the power to heal, eating the right kind of food can also help you manage your diabetes in the long run.
1. Don’t fall for the so-called diabetic food
As more and more people are suffering from diabetes, the market is flooded with food options that label themselves diabetic-friendly. But there is no evidence that these foods have more health benefits than eating healthy. In fact, they might contain as many calories as any other packaged food, which can affect your blood sugar levels.
2. Choose whole foods over supplements
There is no evidence that minerals and vitamin supplements can help you manage diabetes. So, until your doctor advises you, you should not start taking supplements on your own. It’s rather best to get your essential nutrients from foods as supplements can affect your metabolism and make diabetes complicated.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables
We all know fruits and vegetables are good for us. In fact, fruits make for a great snack option. Choosing fruits as snacks provide you with vitamins, minerals and fibre.
And if you are wondering that fruits have sugar and thus if they must be avoided. No, you must not. Whole fruits are good for everyone, even for diabetics. Fruits have natural sugar, which does not harm the body. Choose whole fruits instead of fruit juices. Having small portions throughout the day is better than having a big portion once a day.
4. Have healthy fats
Just like any other nutrient, fat is equally important for us to be healthy. Fat gives us energy but different types of fat affect our health in different ways.
Choose food options that have healthier fats like unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish, olive oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil. Saturated fats can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Saturated fats are found in red and processed meats, ghee, butter, lard, cakes, pies, biscuits and pastries.
5. Eat less salt
Eating too much salt can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. And when you are suffering from diabetes, you are even more at risk of all these conditions.
To cut back on salt, say no to pre-packaged foods as they have too much salt. You can swap salt with different herbs and spices to get that extra flavour.
6. Eat less processed and red meat
Cutting back on carbs might want you to have bigger portions of meat to fill you up. But red and processed meat like ham, bacon, sausages, lamb and beef can increase your risk of heart problems and cancers.
Swap the processed meat with pulses, eggs, fish, poultry and unsalted nuts. These options are also rich in fibre and do not affect your blood glucose levels too much. This makes them a great swap for processed and red meat.
You can also eat salmon and mackerel. These are rich in omega-3 oil, which helps protect your heart. Try and aim to eat two portions of oily fish every week.
7. Include fibre
Try to have at least 8 grams of fibre per meal, especially when you are also having carbohydrate-rich foods. This will help manage blood sugar levels, keep your heart healthy and keep you fuller for longer. This becomes even more important because diabetes increases the risk of heart disease.
Make sure to include foods like peas, beans, oats, barley, apples, pears, berries, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots and beets in your daily diet.
8. Eat whole foods
Choose to eat 100 per cent whole wheat flour and bread. Use brown rice instead of white. You can also include grains like oats and barley. These options will keep you fuller for longer and will not lead to an instant blood sugar spike.
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