With Diabetes, There are 10 Ways to Eat Healthy
You can still make healthy eating choices, though. We’ve come up with some tips you can use to do that.
The different types of diabetes aren’t the same for everyone, and no two people with diabetes are the same. In other words, there isn’t going to be one “diabetes diet” that works for everyone with diabetes.
Tips like these can help you keep your blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in check, but they are general. There are other things they can do for you, like help you keep your weight in check and lower your risk of diabetes complications like heart problems and strokes and other health problems, like some types of cancer.
People who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes have helped us come up with these tips. A different type of diabetes, like gestational or cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, might make some of these tips useful to you.
It’s important, no matter what kind of diabetes you have, to talk to your dietitian for specific advice about what to eat.
Self-isolation is a problem for you or someone you know. Find out how to eat healthy while staying at home. Our interactive Learning Zone has even more advice on how to eat healthy with diabetes, including simple and real food hacks you can make.
It’s important for you to eat well.
To keep your blood sugar levels stable if you have type 1 diabetes, you need to keep track of how many carbs you eat each day. Make a guess about how many carbs your meal has and how much insulin you need to take.
If you have type 2 diabetes and you’re overweight, it’s important to find a way to lose weight because it helps with diabetes management. If you have high blood sugar, this can help to lower it. It can also help to cut down on the risk of other problems.
There are a lot of different ways to do this, like the low-carb, Mediterranean, or very low-calorie ones. People who lose a lot of weight can lower their blood sugar levels, and we now know that this can even help some people with type 2 diabetes go into remission.
Even if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you might need to lose or gain weight. It’s important to make healthy food choices while you’re doing this.
Think about portion sizes if you are Type 1 or Type 2. It doesn’t matter what kind of food you eat. It makes it easier to figure out how many calories you need to eat when you’re carb counting or trying to keep your weight in check.
People have different portion sizes, so what works for one person might not work for you.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your feelings about food and diabetes, we have a lot of information that can help you get back on your feet.
Choose carbs that are good for you
All carbs have an effect on blood sugar levels, so it’s important to know which foods have carbohydrates. Choose the carb-rich foods that are healthier and be aware of how much you eat.
You can get a lot of carbohydrate from healthy foods like these ones:
- at least some whole grains, such as brown rice, buckwheat, and whole oats
- legumes like chickpeas, beans, and lentils
- dairy, such as unsweetened yoghurt and milk.
There are also foods that are low in fiber, like white bread, white rice, and cereals that have been made into powder. You can look at food labels if you’re not sure what foods are high in fiber.
Don’t eat as much salt
People who eat a lot of salt are more likely to have high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. So, if you have diabetes, you’re already more likely to get all of these other things.
Try not to eat more than 6g (one teaspoonful) of salt a day. Many pre-packaged foods already have salt in them, so be sure to check the food labels and choose those that have less of it.
Keep an eye on how much salt you’re putting in your food by cooking from scratch. You can also be creative and use different herbs and spices instead of salt to make your food taste better.
Eat less red meat and meat that has been cooked
If you’re cutting back on carbs, you might start to eat more meat to fill you up. ham, bacon, sausages, beef, and lamb are all red and processed meats that aren’t good to eat. It’s possible that all of these have something to do with heart problems and cancer.
You can try these instead of red and processed meat:
- pulses, such as beans and lentils, are also important.
- poultry like chicken and turkey
- nuts that haven’t been sprayed
It’s also good for you because beans, peas, and lentils have a lot of fiber and don’t raise your blood sugar levels too much. This makes them a good replacement for processed and red meat and keep you feeling full.
Salmon and mackerel are two types of fish that are good for us. They have a lot of oil in them, which makes them even better. Rich in omega-3 oil, which helps your heart. Eat two servings of oily fish a week, and try to do it every week.
healthy eating with more fruit and vegetables
You should eat a lot of fruit and vegetables because they are good for your health. Always try to eat more at meal times and have them as snacks if you’re hungry. This can help you get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs every day to keep you healthy, so you can stay healthy.
Because fruit is high in sugar, you might wonder if you should avoid it. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you have diabetes or not. Whole fruit is good for everyone.
Fruits do have sugar in them, but it’s natural sugar. This is not the same as the sugar that is added to things like chocolate, biscuits, and cakes. This is called “non-free sugar.”
Whole fruit is better than fruit juices because they have less added sugar. The food can be fresh, frozen, dried, or canned (in juice, not in syrup). And it’s better to spread it out through the day rather than eat it all at once.
Choose fats that are healthy
All of us need fat in our food because it gives us the energy we need to do things. It’s true that different types of fat have different effects on our health, but that’s not all.
They are found in things like unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish like salmon, olive oil, and sunflower oil. Some saturated fats can raise the amount of cholesterol in your blood, which can make you more likely to have heart problems.
These are mostly found in animal products and food that has been made, like:
- red and cooked meat
- cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries.
A good rule of thumb is that you should use less oil in general, so try to grill, steam or bake food instead.
Cut back on added sugar
The first time you try to cut out sugar, it can be hard, but small practical changes can help. The first step is to cut back on drinks that have a lot of sugar in them like sugary energy drinks and fruit juices and drink water, milk, or tea and coffee without sugar.
Sweeteners that don’t have any calories can help you cut back. They’re also known as “artificial sweeteners.” If you cut out these extra sugars, you can keep your blood sugar levels in check and keep your weight in check, too.
It’s still important for your diabetes management if your treatment means you get hypos, and you use sugary drinks to treat them. You should not cut this out of your diabetes management. However, if you are having a lot of hypos, it is very important to talk to your diabetes team about this.
Be smart with your snacks
It’s better not to snack on things like crisps and chocolate than on yoghurt and nuts and seeds that aren’t salted. But keep an eye on how much you eat. It will help you keep track of your weight.
Use alcohol in a safe way
So if you drink alcohol and you want to lose weight, think about cutting back. Alcohol has a lot of calories. Try not to do more than 14 units a week.
Because you don’t want to drink too much at once, spread it out. You should also go several days a week without alcohol.
If you take insulin or other diabetes medicines, it’s also not a good idea to drink on an empty stomach, because it can make you sick. This is because alcohol can make hypos more likely to happen, which makes this even more true.
In number nine, don’t waste your time with so-called diabetic food.
Food can no longer be called “diabetic food” because it’s now against the law to say that. This is because there isn’t any proof that these foods are better for you than eating healthily.
They can also have the same amount of fat and calories as other products, and they can still have an effect on your blood sugar level.
These foods can also make you go to the bathroom.
Eat foods that have minerals and vitamins in them to get your daily dose of them
There is no proof that taking mineral and vitamin supplements can help you control your diabetes. Because you don’t need to take supplements unless your doctor tells you to, like folic acid for pregnancy, you don’t need to take them.
Getting the nutrients you need from a variety of foods is better than getting them from just one food. This is because some supplements can have an effect on your medications or make some diabetes problems, like kidney disease, even worse, so you need to be careful.
You don’t want to stop moving
Being more active and eating better go hand in hand. It can help you control your diabetes and also cut down on your chances of having a heart attack.
So your muscles use more glucose and your body can use insulin better if you eat a lot of sugar, too.
Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, but you don’t have to do it every day. This is anything that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster, and makes you feel warmer.
You should still be able to talk and only be a little tired. Also, you don’t have to do all 150 minutes in one sitting.
Break it down into small chunks of 10 minutes a week or 30 minutes a week. Do it five times a week.