Sip On Flavored Seltzer Rather Than Fruit Juice
While fiber-rich whole fruits are considered healthy carbohydrates for people with diabetes, fruit juice is another story. People with diabetes should avoid drinking juice, even 100 percent fruit juice, says Kimberlain. Fruit juice contains more vitamins and minerals than soda and other sugary drinks, but the problem is that juices have concentrated amounts of fruit sugar and therefore cause your blood sugar to spike quickly. Plus, sipping fruit juice doesnt fill you up the same way that eating a piece of fruit does, because juice doesn’t have the same fiber that’s found in whole fruit, she adds. If you want a refreshing drink, go for zero-calorie plain or naturally flavored seltzer with a spritz of lemon or lime. Infusing water with cucumber and mint is nice too, suggests Kimberlain.
What Is The Glycemic Index
Along with a number of carbs, foods also have a glycemic index . This number measures how fast a food raises your blood sugar. The index goes from 0 to 100. Your body turns some carbs, like refined sugars, into glucose quickly. These have a high glycemic index. Low-GI foods take longer to digest and release glucose more slowly. Theyâre usually high in fiber, protein, and fat.
Choosing low-GI foods can keep your blood sugar levels steady. And while the glycemic index can be a helpful tool, it isnât perfect. It doesnât rank a foodâs nutrition. For example, a low-GI food can still be high in calories or unhealthy fat. It also doesnât factor how a food is prepared or what you combine it with. Your body absorbs carbs slower, for example, if theyâre paired with a protein or fat.
At Italian Restaurants And Pizzerias: Fruita De Mare
This traditional Italian dish contains different types of steamed and cooked seafood, which makes it an excellent source of lean protein, Zanini says. If its served with pasta, ask if whole wheat is an option. Since Zanini says pasta portions should be no larger than a half-cup, ask for the noodles on the side, and add the appropriate amount to your plate yourself.
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Reduce Your Sugar Intake
If you are fond of reaching for a can of soda, then now is the time to start ditching that habit. It is a good idea to start getting used to drinking coffee without sugar in it and avoid those fruit-flavored drinks as well.
You may also want to ask your doctor or dietitian about healthy sugar substitutes. If you want to get rid of your craving for soda, try making your own fresh fruit juice. Fresh fruit juice already tastes sweet and it does not have to be added with sugar in order to taste delicious. Your juicer can become your new best friend.
How To Build A Diabetes
There are four pillars to keep in mind when planning a diabetes-friendly meal, breakfast or otherwise. They consist of:
Focusing on these four categories of food will ensure that your plate checks all the boxes of a satisfying, nutrient-dense meal. Plus, you’ll set yourself up to make better meal choices throughout the rest of the day.
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Adopting A Diabetes Diet Plan For Long
It may ease your mind to know you will be able to incorporate your favorite foods into a healthy diet while being mindful of your diabetes diet goals . Check out our type 2 diabetes diet sheet for an idea of the variety of delicious and balanced meals that can fit into a diabetic meal plan. For many people, at least initially, this may seem harder than it should be and thats understandable after all, it can seem very, very challenging to change current eating habits and find the right food rhythm to fit your lifestyle.
You don’t have to go it aloneSeek advice from a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator who has the right training to help you come up with an individualized meal plan that will help you meet your self-management goals, get the nutrition you need, and show you how you can incorporate some of your favorite foods into your diet so that you continue to enjoy eating. Hopefully, your doctor has someone on the team, but if not, call your health insurer to ask for the names of a few in-network RD/CDEs.
There are also virtual coaching programs that appear very effective this means you can get individualized dietary guidance at home or at work. Most health insurance companies will cover the cost of diabetic diet counseling so ask your doctor for a prescription so cost doesnt hold you back.
At Mexican And Spanish Restaurants: Fajitas And Fajita Bowls
When checking out restaurants for diabetes, head somewhere that has this Tex-Mex staple on the menu. It tastes indulgent but is actually nutritious and veggie-filled. Fajitas contain a good combination of protein and vegetables. You can keep the carb count reasonable by choosing to either have the rice, beans, or the burrito or a little bit of each, Smith advises. Zanini is also a fan of the dish but suggests ditching the starchy stuff altogether and transforming your fajita order into a salad. Make a fajita bowl by serving your fajitas fillings on a bed of lettuce along with a cup of black beans, she suggests, adding, Its a filling and balanced meal. If you ask the kitchen to hold the wrap and the rice, they probably wont mind giving you some lettuce, instead, free of charge.
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Prediabetes Diet Plan And Eating Healthier
Here are some diet recommendations for prediabetes, including a list of foods that are best for those looking for the best diet to lower blood sugar.
Below are some foods that can help you regulate your blood sugar and keep your weight in a healthy range.
|Foods to Choose: nutrients for prediabetes||Examples|
|Non-Starchy Vegetables: fiber, potassium, low-calorie||Fresh lettuce and salad greens tomatoes celery cucumbers onions snow peas mushrooms broccoli spinach brussels sprout eggplant zucchini bell peppersetc.! frozen vegetables|
|Seafood: protein, healthy fats, potassium||Salmon shrimp tuna crab clams mackerel herring tilapia pollock|
|Legumes: * fiber, protein, potassium||Split and black-eyed peas lentils beans such as kidney, black, garbanzo, and pinto beans soybeans and soy products, such as tofu, edamame, and soy milk meat substitutes|
|Whole Grains:* fiber|
|Water decaffeinated black coffee and unsweetened tea without cream water with mint, lime, lemon, or cucumber|
Want to Download This Prediabetes Diet Plan As A PDF?
What Is The Ada Diabetes Diet
The American Diabetes Association advocates for a healthy diet with an emphasis on balancing energy intake with exercise. Historically, they have advocated for the majority of calories coming from complex carbohydrates from whole grains such as whole-grain bread and other whole-grain cereal products and a decreased intake of total fat with most of it coming from unsaturated fat.
Recently, this has shifted to acknowledge that there is no one ideal macronutrient ratio, and that dietary plans should be individualized. ADA guidelines advocate:
- Low glycemic load
- Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages including soda
- The importance of fat quality as well as quantity
However, many people find these guidelines difficult to implement in real-life, and the dietary patterns described below can be easier and more common sense ways for people to manage their eating plan.
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At American Restaurants: Turkey Burger With Steamed Broccoli
When youre getting food from your local sports bar or diner, registered dietitian Isabel Smith, RD, CDN, says that a turkey burger is the way to go. Remove the top bun, which doesnt typically contain much fiber and swap fries for a green veggie. This will add fiber to your meal and help slow blood sugar spikes and promote satiety, she explains.
What’s The Best Breakfast For Diabetesanswers By Jaclyn Konich Mph Rd
For people with diabetes, the most important meal of the day can also be the most confusing. Typical American breakfast optionsbagels, cereal, pancakes, muffins, bacon, eggsare loaded with refined carbs, sugar, and saturated fat, the exact things that were told to limit. So what should we eat for breakfast?
Research confirms that eating breakfast is generally a good ideait can help with weight management, help you feel fuller throughout the day, and help keep blood glucose in range. Just because breakfast is important doesnt mean it has to be an elaborate meal. It can be as simple as a piece of toast smothered in avocado or peanut butter, a string cheese and a handful of nuts, or a hardboiled egg and a piece of fruit. Related: How To Start a Healthy Day
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At Italian Restaurants And Pizzerias: Caprese Salad
A Caprese salad is an excellent choice for anyone with diabetes, says registered dietitian Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, the creator of the Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan. A Caprese salad is fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, drizzled with olive oil or balsamic vinegar. I recommend that my clients start their meals at Italian restaurants by ordering this salad because its delicious and is free of added sugars.
Tips For Building A Healthy Breakfast
What works for you for breakfast will depend on your personal meal plan, food preferences, health goals, schedule, and budget, but here are a few tips for building a healthy breakfast:
Limit or avoid refined grains and sugars. This means most breakfast cereals and pastries are best avoided. If cereal is your go-to breakfast, look for options that are low in added sugar and higher in fiber . You can apply this same rule to other sweet breakfast foods like muffins or granola bars.
Be carb conscious. The total amount of carbs you have at breakfast will depend on your personal meal plan and how your body handles carbs in the morning. A lot of traditional breakfast foods contain carbs, so its important to keep track of what foods in your breakfast contain carbs and what it all adds up to. Cereal, milk, and fruit all contain carbs, and can add up quickly when combined together. And a single bagel can have upwards of 50g of carb!
Choose healthy fats. Fats can help you feel fuller longer, but choose wisely. Bacon, sausage, and eggs fried in butter are all high in saturated fats which can increase risk of heart disease. Instead, fry eggs in a little bit of olive oil, choose turkey bacon or chicken sausage instead of their pork counterparts, and incorporate healthy unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, and avocado.
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At Breakfast And Smoothie Joints: Veggie Omelet
No weekend would be complete without a delicious family brunch from your favorite restaurant. Smith suggests ordering an omelet with vegetables and pairing it with either two slices of whole grain toast or a fruit salad. However, if youre eating at a big chain, consider getting sunny-side up eggs with veggies sauteed on the side, instead. Places like IHOP add pancake mix to their egg mixtures to make omelets more fluffy. You dont need those sneaky extra carbs.
Which Foods Should Be Avoided In A Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan
People with type 2 diabetes should avoid many of the same unhealthy foods everyone should limit. Dietary restrictions include:
- Sodas: both sugar sweetened regular soda and diet soda raise blood sugar
- Refined sugars
- Processed carbs
- Trans fats such as butter “spreads,” some mayonnaise “spreads” some salad dressings, packaged sauces, bakery goods
- High-fat animal products
- High-fat dairy products
- High fructose corn syrup
- Artificial sweeteners
- Highly processed foods novelty sweets, candies, chips, kettle corn, cookies)
The best way to avoid these foods is to shop around the edges of the grocery store and minimize the number of processed, packaged foods in the middle. Sticking with “real” food in its whole, minimally processed form is the best way to eat well for diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes who eat a healthy diet pattern like the ones discussed here reduce the risk of complications that stem from high blood sugar, like cardiovascular disease and obesity.
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At Italian Restaurants And Pizzerias: Chicken Caesar Salad
Turn a side Caesar or house salad into an entree by adding a grilled protein and healthy fat, suggests Zanini. Healthy protein options include grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon, while a vinaigrette dressing or avocado slices make for delicious sources of healthy fats. To make sure the kitchen doesnt overload your plate with calories or sugar, Zanini says to ask for the dressing on the side and double-check that the dressing has no added sugars. If your server is unsure, err on the side of caution and go for oil and vinegar, instead.
What Vegetables Are Good For People With Diabetes And Which Arent
Vegetables are an important food group to include in any healthy diet, and a diabetes diet is no exception. Veggies are full of fiber and nutrients, and nonstarchy varieties are low in carbohydrates a win for people with diabetes who want to gain control over their blood sugar level, Massey says.
As for packaging, frozen veggies without sauce are just as nutritious as fresh, and even low-sodium canned veggies can be a good choice if youre in a pinch. Just be sure to watch your sodium intake to avoid high blood pressure, and consider draining and rinsing salted canned veggies before eating, per the ADA. If possible, opt for low-sodium or sodium-free canned veggies if going that route.
Follow this general rule: Aim to fill one-half your plate with nonstarchy veggies, as recommended by the NIDDK. And if youre craving mashed white potatoes, try mashed cauliflower, Massey suggests.
Best veggie options, according to the ADA:
- Greens, like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard
- Cruciferous veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower
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What Should You Eat If You Have Diabetes
In truth, a diet aimed at reducing the risks of diabetes is really nothing more than a nutritionally-balanced meal plan aimed at supporting maintaining blood sugar levels within range and supporting a healthy weight.
For those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, the main focus of a diabetes-focused diet is being attentive to your weight. That said, a diabetic diet is simply an eating approach that works to keep you healthy, and so is not reserved only for people with diabetes. Your whole family can enjoy the same meals and snacks, regardless of whether others have diabetes or not.
YesThere are a few food decisions that will matter more if you do have diabetes. We provide you with some general guidelines to help you understand how much and how often to eat in order to maintain steady blood sugar levels. And, these recommendations hold true for anyone who has diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as prediabetes and gestational diabetes.
Diet really does matter, a lot!
In fact, if you were recently diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, by decreasing your weight by about 10%, you may even reverse your diabetes, putting it into remission.
Which Type Of Fats Are Recommended
Fats have little direct effect on blood sugar but, as part of a meal, they are useful in slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates. Fats also have effects on health that are not related to blood sugar. For example:
- Animal meat fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, dairy, and specifically fermented dairy such as yogurt, appears to decrease this risk.
- Plant-based fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocado are associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk.
- Fat also contributes to feelings of satiety and can play a role in managing overeating and carbohydrate cravings. A portion of healthy fats is much more satisfying and healthy than jam on white toast.
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Prevent Low Blood Glucose
Because physical activity lowers your blood glucose, you should protect yourself against low blood glucose levels, also called hypoglycemia. You are most likely to have hypoglycemia if you take insulin or certain other diabetes medicines, such as a sulfonylurea. Hypoglycemia also can occur after a long intense workout or if you have skipped a meal before being active. Hypoglycemia can happen during or up to 24 hours after physical activity.
Planning is key to preventing hypoglycemia. For instance, if you take insulin, your health care provider might suggest you take less insulin or eat a small snack with carbohydrates before, during, or after physical activity, especially intense activity.4
You may need to check your blood glucose level before, during, and right after you are physically active.
What Can I Do If My Levels Are Too Low
If they become too low then consume some kind of fast-acting carbohydrate food such as soda crackers, glucose tablets, fruit juice, or hard candy. Or try foods that contain complex carbs from whole-grain bread and cereals since those will raise blood sugar levels slowly over a period of hours.
Eating a meal within 30 minutes or so could also work to raise your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, you should eat a healthy and well-balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products since this will help maintain a consistent blood sugar level throughout the day.
If you havent eaten for a while then drink fruit juice or non-diet soda to stay hydrated. However, avoid drinking too much water because it can lead to confusion and problems with how your kidneys process waste.
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