How To Eat With Diabetes
Managing diabetes is about creating a delicate balance between diet and exercise. A home glucose meter, for checking blood sugar levels, will monitor your progress. The first step in controlling blood sugar is to learn how to eat with diabetes. It is important to adjust your attitude about food. You are no longer eating for pleasure. Food is the medicine that will help you manage your diabetes.
Avoid eating white food. White foods are refined and will spike blood sugar quickly. The first thing on the list to avoid is sugar (granulated, brown, raw, and honey). Avoid sugar-coated cereal, candy, sugar soda or juices. Don’t eat white flour and products made from white flour (pasta, white bread, bagels, cake, pie, and cookies). White potatoes, white rice, and products made from these things should be eliminated from your diet.
Eat a balanced breakfast. A sample breakfast menu is a serving of old fashioned oatmeal (the kind you cook)—sweetened with Stevia—turkey bacon, and a serving of fresh fruit. Another example of a good breakfast is an egg, piece of whole grain toast or half a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, and a serving of fresh fruit. Herbal or Decaffeinated coffee (hot or iced).
Eat a high fiber lunch and dinner. The majority of your diet should be high fiber, low fat, and low protein. Have 2 to 3 ounces of protein, one serving of whole grain, and 2 to 3 servings of fresh vegetables for lunch and dinner. A simple lunch or dinner example is a small grilled or broiled chicken breast, salad with cucumber, cherry tomatoes and Salad Spritzer dressing, ½ cup of broccoli and ½ cup cauliflower sautéed in olive oil and minced onions, a slice of whole grain bread, and for dessert a small apple or serving of fruit.
Drink a minimum of eight (8 ounce) glasses of water each day. Completely eliminate caffeine from your diet. This must be done slowly, by reducing the caffeine intake over several weeks to avoid intense withdrawal side effects. Do not drink juice of any kind. It takes many oranges to make a small glass of juice. You wouldn’t normally eat several oranges (fruit contains a lot of natural sugar) at one time, but that is what you do when you drink juice. Drinking herbal tea (hot or iced) is a great way to add more water to your diet.
- Eat protein at every meal. Protein is low fat cheese, lean meat, fish, poultry, nuts, peanut butter, and eggs. Eat three meals (350 to 500 calories) and two small snacks each day.
- Read labels for sugar content. Never eat anything that has more than 4 grams of sugar per serving. The easiest way to eat healthy is to eat fresh food and avoid packaged, processed food.
- A standard measure for a serving of food is ½ cup unless otherwise stated on a package label. The ½ cup measure applies to thing like fresh fruit. One grapefruit is not a serving; ½ cup of grapefruit is a serving.
- Test your blood sugar regularly and eliminate the food from your diet that is proven to spike your blood sugar.
- Walk or exercise at least 30 minutes every day.
Some artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, can spike blood sugar more than regular refined sugar. Test your blood sugar for spikes after consuming artificial sweeteners.