When you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, losing weight is about more than just looking good, it is also about being healthy! Losing a few extra pounds can actually help you to manage your diabetes and make it easier to control blood glucose. The best way to accomplish this is with regular diet and exercise. Many people struggle with creating a diabetes diet they can stick to, but changing the way you eat is important if you want to see a change – it can even reverse the disease!
So what exactly is a diabetes diet? To put it simply, a diabetes diet requires a healthy eating plan that is naturally rich in nutrients, low in calories and low in fat. Basically, it means you have to stop eating foods that are bad for you! It requires eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Basically, it’s an eating plan that is good for everyone, whether they are diabetic or not.
The key to a successful diet with diabetes is sticking to regular meal times. By eating three meals a day at regular times, you help your body better use the insulin it produces or is receiving through medications. Eating food in moderation and not over-eating are also important factors while on a diabetes diet, so make sure you choose portion sizes that suit the needs for your size and your activity level. This will reduce your risk for complications such as heart disease and stroke – pretty serious stuff I’m sure you want to avoid!
Below is a list of nutritious foods you want to eat on your diabetes diet:
During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on the healthiest carbohydrates!
Whole Wheat Flour
Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber moderates how your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Aim to eat foods that are high in fiber!
Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week, it is a good alternative to high-fat meats. Cod, tuna, and halibut have less total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than do meat and poultry. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, and bluefish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health by lowering blood fats called triglycerides.
***healthy tip***avoid fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury, such as tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel!
Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (good fats) can help lower your cholesterol levels. But remember that all fats are high in calories, so try not to overdo it!
If you still need some help, a registered dietitian can help you put together the best diabetes diet for you based on your health goals, tastes, and lifestyle. He or she can also assist you with a guide on how to improve your eating habits and how to create a regular exercise plan. Even if you are not diabetic and need to lose weight, a diabetes diet provides a simple, nutritious way to reach your weight loss goals safely. And trust me, once you get the hang of eating a healthy, you can relax and start to dig into a wide variety of delicious meals and snacks!