If you have diabetes, it’s important for you to follow your doctor’s orders. Many people have diabetes or even pre-diabetes that can be controlled through changes in diet and exercise.
We’ll focus on three simple steps you can take to improve your diet. (Be sure to consult with your physician for the specific diet and exercise plan that’s right for you.)
1. Stick to Regular Meal Times
Why is this important? To keep your blood sugar levels as consistent as possible. What you eat and when you eat can also affect how your diabetes medicines work. It helps to plan your meals and snacks for each day so you don’t lose track of what and when you ate.
2. Eat More Nutrients and Less Fat
The less fat in your diet, the better—especially when you have diabetes. Over time, diabetes can affect the heart and cardiovascular system, so it makes sense to try and prevent further illness by choosing:
- Healthier carbohydrates – Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, low-fat dairy
- Fiber-rich foods – Whole grains, nuts, legumes (beans, lentils, etc.), vegetables, fruits
- Heart-healthy fish – Salmon, mackerel & other fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, tuna, cod, halibut
- “Good” fats – Avocados, olive and canola oil, almonds, walnuts, olives—items with less saturated or trans fats
3. Consume Less Sodium in Your Diet
Why less sodium—isn’t diabetes more about sugar? Maintaining a healthy body when you have diabetes means adapting your entire diet—sugar, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and salt. Salt added to your meals or sodium existing in the prepared foods you buy can put you at risk for high blood pressure.
High blood pressure then puts you at risk for other illnesses, such as kidney disease and heart disease. Two things you’re already at risk for if you have diabetes.
That’s why it makes sense to reduce your salt intake. Mrs. Dash can help. It is sodium free and adds lots of flavor to your dishes. It now comes in 14 varieties which makes it (if we may say so) better and more exciting than salt.
For more information on how to prevent or control diabetes, consult reliable sources such as the Mayo Clinic’s Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan, which was used as a source for this article.
Always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise plan.