The key to a healthy life, with or without diabetes mellitus is eating the right kind of food. Whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes or are trying to lower the risk of the disease, you can still enjoy your meals and eat your favorite food. This is because the nutritional requirements of a person with diabetes are the same as that for anyone else. You don’t really need to make life difficult by trying to follow some complicated diet. All you need to do is check your eating habits and ensure that they are healthy. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, make sure that you eat in moderation, have regular mealtimes, and eat a variety of whole grains, vegetables and fruits each day.
Diabetes and Your Diet
Most cases of diabetes are preventable if some lifestyle changes are made. There are even cases where diabetes has been reversed with such healthy changes. The reality is that you can influence your health status to a much larger extent than you might have imagined. Managing diabetes is all about eating healthy, managing your weight and ensuring regular exercise.
Here are the three aspects of healthy eating that you should keep in mind:
- What to eat – Eat more plant foods (fruits and vegetables) and include health fats rather than unhealthy ones in your diet. Stay away from refined carbohydrates and sugar-based drinks.
- How much to eat – Keep a check on your portion sizes. Even healthy meals can have unhealthy effects if you eat so much that you start gaining weight.
- When to eat – Regular meal times are very important in diabetes. You need to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Therefore, set aside meal and snack times that you can easily stick to each day.
Diabetes Diet Tips
- Cutting down on sugar does not mean you cannot have your favorite dessert for the rest of your life. All you need to do is to cut back on carbs in a meal that you want to end with a dessert. If you stay away from flour-based products, rice, potatoes, cereal, corn, etc, you can have that slice of cake.
- Choose simple carbs over complex carbs. Fruits and most vegetables contain simple carbs. Some refined foods also include simple carbs but they have little or no nutritional value. These include candy, some types of snack foods, sodas, etc. Avoid starchy vegetables, whole grains (whole grain brown rice, quinoa, millet, rolled or cut oats) and legumes.
- Saturated and trans fats can be very damaging to your health. Animal products, including whole milk dairy products, red meat and eggs are sources of unhealthy fats. Oil derived from plants and fats contained in fish are healthy fats and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Start with small, manageable changes to your eating habits and slowly you will be able to control diabetes mellitus.