Diabetes and healthy food choices

Home-cooked is best

Home-cooked is best

Spaghetti Bolognaise

It can be difficult to know what healthy foods are these days, with lots of mixed messages out in the media, and from family and friends. Having diabetes further complicates things, as not only do you have to think about healthy choices, but also how much of each food you are eating, so that your blood sugars don’t go through the roof!

Top tips for healthy eating with diabetes

  1. A home cooked meal is healthier than buying takeaways. Home cooking will contain less fat, sugar and salt, and you can control what is in your meal.
  2. Limit the amount of starchy foods (carbohydrates) at each meal to quarter of a plate. These are foods such as bread, pasta, rice, corn, potato and kumara.
  3. Fill at least half your plate with colourful vegetables or salad at lunch and dinner (fresh, frozen or canned vegetables). Vegetables won’t affect your blood sugars or your weight, and filling up on these means you’ll eat less meat and starchy foods.
  4. Fruit is a great snack, but limit to one handful at a time!

What to choose when supermarket shopping

Many people are overwhelmed by choice at the supermarket. It’s hard to know what the healthy choices are, especially when you are also dealing with diabetes and have to think about your blood sugar levels too.

One helpful tip is to shop around the outside of the supermarket. This is usually where the whole foods are — unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables, butchery and dairy products. The shelves in the middle of the supermarket are where all the processed snack foods are. These are high in sugar, fat and salt.

If you do choose to buy processed foods, learning how to read the nutrition information panels on the back of the packet will help you to choose the healthier option. Use the per 100g column to compare between two similar products.

When choosing breakfast cereals, look for less than 15g of sugar per 100g of cereal or less than 25g sugar per 100g of cereal if it has dried fruit in it.

Crackers can also be deceiving. Look for crackers with less than 2g saturated fat per 100g of crackers, and less than 5g total fat per 100g of crackers.

A few simple changes can make a big difference. Choosing wheatmeal bread over white bread is a healthier choice, as it contains more fibre. Look for more than 4g of fibre per 100g.

Higher fibre foods digest a lot more slowly, and raise your blood sugars less. The best bread is the multigrain kind, one with lots of grains and seeds in them.

Choosing lite (light blue) or trim (green) milk is a healthier choice, as they have less than half the amount of fat of whole (dark blue) milk, and tastes similar.

Yoghurts come in a huge variety. For diabetes, a lite or diet variety of yoghurt is lower in sugar and fat and is a better choice to help control your blood sugar levels.

Cheese can be included in a healthy diet, the lowest fat cheese is Edam cheese.

Sometimes we are lead to believe that foods are good for us although they are actually full of fat or sugar.

Muesli bars, biscuits or crackers can be loaded with hidden sugars or fat.

Some crackers can have the same amount of fat as cream. A healthier choice is rice or corn thins, grainy crackers or rice crackers. Eat these with a healthy topping such as avocado, tomato or hummus. Look for crackers with more than 6g per 100g of fibre and less than 2g per 100g of saturated fat.

With these helpful tips, a supermarket trip can be less daunting and you can feel confident you are making the healthier choice. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. Keep things simple, and make use of your local butcher, farmers markets or fruit and vegetable trucks.

Make sure to plan ahead, and write a list of foods you need, and never go to the supermarket on an empty stomach.

Control your diabetes, don’t let it control you.

It can be difficult to know what healthy foods are these days, with lots of mixed messages out in the media, and from family and friends. Having diabetes further complicates things, as not only do you have to think about healthy choices, but also how much of each food you are eating, so that your blood sugars don’t go through the roof!

Top tips for healthy eating with diabetes

  1. A home cooked meal is healthier than buying takeaways. Home cooking will contain less fat, sugar and salt, and you can control what is in your meal.
  2. Limit the amount of starchy foods (carbohydrates) at each meal to quarter of a plate. These are foods such as bread, pasta, rice, corn, potato and kumara.
  3. Fill at least half your plate with colourful vegetables or salad at lunch and dinner (fresh, frozen or canned vegetables). Vegetables won’t affect your blood sugars or your weight, and filling up on these means you’ll eat less meat and starchy foods.
  4. Fruit is a great snack, but limit to one handful at a time!

What to choose when supermarket shopping

Many people are overwhelmed by choice at the supermarket. It’s hard to know what the healthy choices are, especially when you are also dealing with diabetes and have to think about your blood sugar levels too.

One helpful tip is to shop around the outside of the supermarket. This is usually where the whole foods are — unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables, butchery and dairy products. The shelves in the middle of the supermarket are where all the processed snack foods are. These are high in sugar, fat and salt.

If you do choose to buy processed foods, learning how to read the nutrition information panels on the back of the packet will help you to choose the healthier option. Use the per 100g column to compare between two similar products.

When choosing breakfast cereals, look for less than 15g of sugar per 100g of cereal or less than 25g sugar per 100g of cereal if it has dried fruit in it.

Crackers can also be deceiving. Look for crackers with less than 2g saturated fat per 100g of crackers, and less than 5g total fat per 100g of crackers.

A few simple changes can make a big difference. Choosing wheatmeal bread over white bread is a healthier choice, as it contains more fibre. Look for more than 4g of fibre per 100g.

Higher fibre foods digest a lot more slowly, and raise your blood sugars less. The best bread is the multigrain kind, one with lots of grains and seeds in them.

Choosing lite (light blue) or trim (green) milk is a healthier choice, as they have less than half the amount of fat of whole (dark blue) milk, and tastes similar.

Yoghurts come in a huge variety. For diabetes, a lite or diet variety of yoghurt is lower in sugar and fat and is a better choice to help control your blood sugar levels.

Cheese can be included in a healthy diet, the lowest fat cheese is Edam cheese.

Sometimes we are lead to believe that foods are good for us although they are actually full of fat or sugar.

Muesli bars, biscuits or crackers can be loaded with hidden sugars or fat.

Some crackers can have the same amount of fat as cream. A healthier choice is rice or corn thins, grainy crackers or rice crackers. Eat these with a healthy topping such as avocado, tomato or hummus. Look for crackers with more than 6g per 100g of fibre and less than 2g per 100g of saturated fat.

With these helpful tips, a supermarket trip can be less daunting and you can feel confident you are making the healthier choice. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. Keep things simple, and make use of your local butcher, farmers markets or fruit and vegetable trucks.

Make sure to plan ahead, and write a list of foods you need, and never go to the supermarket on an empty stomach.

Control your diabetes, don’t let it control you.

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suzan - 7 months ago
Diabetes is a very serious medical condition, but it can be kept in check with the right medication and a healthy diet plan. Being diabetic means you should be very mindful when it comes to watching what you eat. You need to monitor your blood sugar levels, and keep to a strict diabetic-friendly diet that is filled with healthy carbohydrates and is low in fat and calories if weight loss is required in order to stay as healthy as possible.
Although diabetics have to be very selective when it comes to their diet, it does not mean that dessert and sweets have to be given up completely as there are many healthy ones that are also diabetes-friendly.....A great way to get started is with the http://www.cavediet.net/

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