Diabetes is on the rise, yet most cases of diabetes are preventable with healthy lifestyle changes. Some can even be reversed. And it’s not as hard as you may think. You can improve your health in a big way by making small changes in the way you eat, adding in a little more exercise, and losing even a modest amount of weight.
Taking steps to prevent and control diabetes doesn’t mean living in deprivation. While eating right is important, you can still enjoy your favorite foods and take pleasure from your meals. You don’t have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland “health food” and carbohydrate counting. But you’ll probably need to learn some better eating habits. The following tips are designed to help you make healthy changes in your life without feeling hungry or deprived.
In This Article:
Taking control of diabetes
Diabetes and diet
Choose high-fiber, slow-release carbs
Be smart about sweets
Choose fats wisely
Eat regularly and keep a food diary
Taking control of diabetes
Learn more diabetes, including how it develops and who is at risk.
Read Article by Harvard Health Publications
Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes? Or has your doctor warned you that you’re at risk? It can be scary to hear that your health’s on the line, especially if you feel helpless to do anything about it.
Here’s a scenario that may sound familiar: your doctor’s telling you how important it is to lose weight and transform your eating habits, but you’re already discouraged. After all, you’ve tried dieting in the past without success. And counting calories, measuring portion sizes, and following complicated food charts sounds like way too much work.
Small changes equal big results
Whether you’re trying to prevent or control diabetes, there is some good news. You can make a big difference with healthy lifestyle changes. The most important thing you can do for your health is to lose weight—and you don’t have to lose all your extra pounds to reap the benefits. Experts say that losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar considerably, as well as lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It’s not too late to make a positive change, even if you’ve already developed diabetes. The bottom line is that you have more control over your health than you think.
What you need to know about diabetes and diet
Eating right is vital if you’re trying to prevent or control diabetes. While exercise is also important, what you eat has the biggest impact when it comes to weight loss. But what does eating right for diabetes mean? Your may be surprised to hear that your nutritional needs are virtually the same everyone else: no special foods or complicated diets are necessary.
A diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients, low in fat, and moderate in calories. It is a healthy diet for anyone! The only difference is that you need to pay more attention to some of your food choices—most notably the carbohydrates you eat.
Diabetes and diet tip 1: Choose high-fiber, slow-release carbs
Carbohydrates have a big impact on your blood sugar levels—more so than fats and proteins—but you don’t have to avoid them. You just need to be smart about what types of carbs you eat.
In general, it’s best to limit highly refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as soda, candy, and snack foods. Focus instead on high-fiber complex carbohydrates—also known as slow-release carbs. Slow-release carbs help keep blood sugar levels even because they are digested more slowly, thus preventing your body from producing too much insulin. They also provide lasting energy and help you stay full longer.