It’s a pity that many who are diagnosed with diabetes have fallen prey to special diets and so-called “diabetic products” that promise to keep blood sugar levels even. The truth is that the diabetic diet is as simple as creating your own meal plan from normal, everyday foods. Treating and controlling your condition starts with knowing which foods you should eat more of and which you should avoid. You might not even have to cut out your favorite sweets as long as you eat them in moderate amounts and combine your diabetic diet with exercise.
What foods should be in your diabetic diet?
If you’ve suffered from diabetes long enough, you probably know that carbohydrates have a big effect on your sugar levels. However, not all carbs are bad for you. Complex carbohydrates that are rich in fiber can prevent your body from creating excessive insulin. They are also known as slow-releasing carbohydrates because it takes your body longer to process them and they release lasting energy while also keeping your tummy full.
Some of the best foods include brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, whole barley, bran muffins, sweet potatoes and winter squash.
Although vegetables are generally healthy, some do contain starch that could tamper with your sugar levels. It is advisable to go for green, leafy veggies instead of carb-loaded ones like white potatoes. Make sure you select your fruits carefully too. Apples, mangoes, berries and pears are considered to be great low-carb options for a diabetic diet.
Watching your sources and portions of carbohydrates is crucial but monitoring your fats and protein is just as important. Balance your meals with healthy amounts of protein from fish, chicken and beans. Keep your fats unsaturated by including foods such as avocados, nuts and olive oil in your meal plan.
Can you eat dessert in a diabetic diet?
You can still enjoy dessert as a diabetic. It’s all about the serving portions, how and when you eat your sweets. The best way to indulge in your favorite treat without raising sugar levels is to eat moderate amounts with healthy meals instead of separately. Another great tip is to choose desserts that contain good fats like those with nuts, peanut butter and yoghurt. It is believed that healthy fats slow down digestion and can therefore prevent sugary desserts from spiking your blood sugar.
What are the worst foods for a diabetic diet?
Stay as far away as you can from refined carbohydrates. Processed carbs can be found in “white foods” which include white bread, white rice, white pasta, sugar-loaded cereals and pastries. Try to eat meat, fish and beans in their most natural state because packaged foods tend to contain preservatives or sweet sauces and marinades.
Avoid saturated and trans fats from dairy, snacks, fast food and processed foodstuffs. Processed desserts like cake, chips, candy bars, doughnuts and sweet pastry will not only cause unpredictable blood sugar levels, but can grow your waistline as well.