There are various types of diabetes and there are no two individuals with same diabetes. And for everyone with diabetes, there’s no one-size-fits-all way of eating. But we’ve come up with ideas for helping you make healthier food choices. These general health tips for diabetic patients can help any person dealing with blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. They can also help you overcome your weight and lower the risk of complications of diabetes, such as heart problems and strokes, as well as other health conditions including certain cancers.
Here are a few healthy tips for diabetic patients suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes. If you have a particular type of diabetes, such as gestational, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes or MODY, you can find some of these tips important. It’s important to see your dietitian for specific advice, whatever type of diabetes you may have.
5 Health Tips for Diabetic Patients
Eat Healthy Carbs- All carbs impact blood glucose levels so knowing what foods contain carbohydrates is important. Choose the healthier foods which contain carbs and be aware of the significance of your portion. Here are a few carbohydrate sources:
- Pulses of whole grains such as brown rice, buckwheat and whole-oat
- vegetables such as chickpeas, beans and lentils
- Dairy products such as unsweetened yoghurt and milk
At the same time, reducing foods that are low in fibre, such as white bread, white rice and processed cereals, is also essential. If you’re unsure you can check food labels when you’re looking for high-fibre foods.
Consume Less Salt- Consuming lots of salt can increase the risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increases your risk of heart and stroke diseases. And when you have diabetes, you’re at greater risk for all these conditions. Try to restrict yourself to a maximum salt content of 6 g (one teaspoonful) a day. Loads of pre-packaged foods also contain salt so be sure to check the food labels and select those with less salt. Cooking from the ground up will help you keep an eye as to how much salt you eat. To add that extra flavour, you can also get creative and swap salt for different types of herbs and spices.
Reduce Eating Red and Processed Meat- If you cut on carbs, you might start having larger portions of meat to fill you up. But doing this with red and processed meat, such as ham, bacon, sausages, beef and lamb, isn’t a good idea. All of these have ties to heart conditions and cancers. Try to swap red and processed meat for these:
- Pulses like beans and lentils
- poultry like chicken and unsalted turkey nuts
Beans, peas and lentils are also quite high in fibre and do not excessively affect your blood glucose levels making them a great switch for processed and red meat and making you feel full. Most of us know fish is good for us but it’s even better for oily fish like salmon and mackerel. These are rich in an oil called omega-3 that helps protect your heart. Try eating two portions of oily fish a week and aim to it.
Include Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet- We know you’re good at eating fruit, and veg. Eating more at mealtimes and having them as snacks if you’re hungry is always a good thing to aim for. This can assist you to get the vitamins, minerals and fibre that your body tries to keep you healthy every day.
Maybe you’re wondering about the fruit, and should you avoid it because it’s sugary? The answer is no. Whole fruit is very good for everyone and it’s no different when you have diabetes. Fruits do contain sugar, but the sugar is natural. This is different from added sugar (also known as free sugars) in items such as chocolate, biscuits and cakes.
Products such as fruit juices are also considered added sugar, so instead go for whole fruit. This may be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned (in juice rather than syrup). And it is best to eat it in one go instead of a bigger portion throughout the day.
Opt for Healthier Fat- In our diet, we all need fat, because it gives us energy. But different types of fat have different implications for our health. Healthier fats are found in foods such as unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish, olive oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil. Some saturated fats can boost your blood cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease. These are found primarily in animal products and prepared foods such as:
- red and processed meat
- biscuits, cakes, pies and pastries.
Still, cutting on the use of oils, in general, is a good idea, so try grilling, steaming or baking food instead.
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