Maintaining Proper Nutrition with Diabetes
For many patients, a diagnosis of diabetes means that certain lifestyle changes must occur, especially where eating habits are concerned. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when shopping for food and planning out your daily meals:
Eat Several Small Meals
Because blood sugar levels drop the longer a person goes without eating, diabetics should arrange their schedules to include periodic meals and snacks. Eating at the same time each day can help you avoid accidentally skipping meals and enable you to more easily keep your blood glucose levels within the target range.
Limit Refined Sugars
Simple carbohydrates such as candy, soda, and white bread products cause blood sugar levels to spike, making it difficult to determine the amount of medication you need. Complex carbohydrates are generally a better choice, as they are absorbed more slowly by the body and cause you to feel full for longer. Therefore, seek opportunities to use whole-grain bread and pasta, vegetables, legumes, and fruit as the carbohydrate component of any given meal, snack, or dessert.
Choose Healthy Fats
It is important for people with diabetes to monitor their fat intake to maintain a healthy weight and prevent cardiovascular disease. However, there are different types of fats, some of which can be beneficial in regulating blood sugar. Unsaturated fats, found in vegetable oil, nuts, seeds, fish, and avocado, provide essential nutrients that promote physical and mental health. Conversely, saturated and trans fats, which are common in animal products and processed foods, can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of developing blood clots. Aim to replace dangerous saturated and trans fats with healthier fats when cooking or snacking.
The physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital can help you manage your diabetes for a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle. Call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line any time at (408) 559-2011 for more nutrition tips!