Good nutrition is key to your diabetes management. A healthy diet helps you control your glucose levels. We’ll find a meal plan that best suits you and your condition, one that includes:
- A variety of healthy foods.
- Moderate portions.
- Regular meals throughout the day, and snacks when determined to be appropriate.
A diabetes medical nutrition diet (MNT) is also a healthy eating plan for just about anyone. It focuses on rich nutrients, good fats, and low calories. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. What could be better?
Why is an MNT so good for you? A meal plan, selected by you and your dietitian, helps you maintain a healthy glucose (sugar) level in your blood. When you eat excessive calories and bad fats, your glucose rises in an unhealthy way. Managing what you eat helps keep your glucose in check and avoid complications associated with high blood sugar.
MNT is also a safe, effective way to lose weight. Many people with diabetes find that weight loss helps them manage their glucose. Losing weight also improves your health in many other noticeable ways.
Create a meal plan that’s right for you.
What are good foods for you? Work with your dietitian to select foods that are best for your diabetes management. Some of the delicious, nutritious options available to you are:
- Good fats. Eaten sparingly, good fats can lower cholesterol, though they tend to be higher in calories. Try avocados, walnuts, salmon, pumpkin and sesame seeds, olives and olive oil, navy beans, along with many other options. Good fats include: monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.
- Fish. Many recommend eating fish twice a week. Generally, fish is lower in overall fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Broil, bake, or poach. Avoid fried. Try tuna, salmon, mackerel, and other fish high in Omega-3 fatty acid.
- Fiber. Among it’s many health benefits is fiber’s ability to help control blood sugar levels. You’ll want to try these high fiber foods: whole-grain pasta; garbanzo, black, and white beans; brown rice; apples; guava; strawberries; broccoli; peas; and brussels sprouts.
- Healthy carbs. Carbs, or carbohydrates, are actually broken into three types: fiber, starches, and sugars. Carbohydrates raise your blood glucose. Eating healthy carbs in accordance to your meal plan helps you keep your blood sugar within a healthy range. Try: whole-grain breads, sweet potatoes, quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal, kale, and bananas.
What foods should you steer away from? Work toward your health goals; avoid foods that contain:
- High sugar, like sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, sweet tea, etc.), candy, and desserts.
- High salt, like chips, cured meats, sauces and dressings, and packaged food.
- High cholesterol, like butter, bacon, ice cream, lobster, and fried foods.
- Trans fats, like deep-fried foods, non dairy creamer, cake mixes, and margarine.
- Saturated fats, like cheese, butter, fatty beef, chicken with skin, and whole milk.
Our dietitians can help you create a nutritional plan that considers your health as well as your likes, dislikes, and lifestyle.