Once you get a diabetes diagnosis, one of the best ways you can get your condition under control and start to get your health back on track is by changing your lifestyle. Eating a diabetes-friendly diet is one of the key ways to rebalance your health.
Planning a diet that’s diabetes-friendly can be a challenge at first, especially if your meals weren’t previously in line with healthy eating tips for diabetics. By following these guidelines from diabetes specialist Thomas Nguyen, MD from Nguyen Medical Group in Boynton Beach, Florida, you can learn to plan meals and snacks friendly to diabetes without getting overwhelmed.
What meals and snacks are diabetes-friendly?
The main aim of a diabetes-friendly diet is to stabilize your blood sugar numbers. This helps you feel better and reduces your risk of developing complications from diabetes.
Healthy diabetes diets focus on eating foods and portion sizes that are healthy. Most people with diabetes should eat three nutritious, balanced meals at around the same time every day, with snacks as needed to keep blood sugar levels at the right place.
A healthy diabetes diet is filled with vegetables, fruits, lean protein, high-fiber food, whole grain carbohydrates, and healthy fats in the right quantities. Foods to avoid include processed foods and foods high in saturated and trans fats, sodium, and cholesterol.
Planning your diabetes-friendly diet
You can make your post-diabetes diagnosis diet delicious and healthy with careful meal planning. These strategies can help you stick to and enjoy what you eat.
Plan meals and snacks in advance
It’s hardest to stick to a diabetes-friendly eating plan when you’re hungry. Hunger makes it easy to grab convenient food, rather than the healthiest option.
By planning out your meals in advance, you can be prepared with diabetes-friendly foods you enjoy at any time. It can also be a fun activity to go shopping, cook, and eat.
Follow the plate method
Following the plate method, created by the American Diabetes Association, helps you eat a healthy diet with a simple formula. When you fill your plate:
- Put non-starchy vegetables on ½ of your plate
- Put lean protein on ¼ of your plate
- Put whole grains on ¼ of your plate
To complete your meal, put small amounts of healthy fats sparingly on your plate. You can also enjoy tea, coffee, water, and a fruit or serving of dairy with this method.
Learn to read labels
Reading food labels on products help you learn which foods fit into a healthy diabetes diet and can be incorporated into your meals and snacks. Pay particular attention to the carbohydrates, fats, cholesterol, and sodium levels on the label.
Get advice on foods and meals
Reading general guidelines for diabetics is a good start, but every person with diabetes is an individual with different needs. Our team at Nguyen Medical Group is experienced in helping you choose the best foods and creating a customized plan.
We can recommend foods, recipes, and meal plans based on what foods you enjoy and which will most benefit your blood sugar. In addition, we can teach you how to count carbohydrates and calories to help you create your own meals that keep your blood sugar steady.
We also work in consultation with and refer to nutritionists experienced in working with people with diabetes.
Contact us for more personalized health information about managing your diabetes.