Sometimes it can be overwhelming to try to think about restructuring your eating habits. Diets are scary and, if you are completely honest, really difficult! I mean, if there is a choice between a brownie and a carrot, most people will choose the brownie.
However, if you have diabetes than you are now being faced with a disease that can be very detrimental to your health if it gets out of control. It is no longer a preference, it is a demand to eat healthy. Although it can seem impossible to change all of your habits, it is possible to eat in a way that will help your diabetes.
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your diet isn’t going to go perfectly the first week you try it! Be easy on yourself, but be strict. You have to give yourself to break and create habits. Luckily, there are ways you can ease into a diabetes diet and there are ways to still satisfy those sugary cravings.
Get support from your family and friends and you will be sure to be successful in your new diabetes diet! Remember that if your body is functioning well and if you are healthy you will most likely be happier—so it will be worth it! Try these tips for a diabetes diet in order to get a jump start on learning to live with a new and improved (and healthy) lifestyle!
- High-fiber, slow-release carbs. Slow-release carbs are great for a diabetes diet. These types of carbs release the energy and nutrients slowly, throughout the day, instead of all at once. Some carbs can be dangerous because they enter your bloodstream too quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar levels. Eating food with high fiber and slow releasing carbs can not only eliminate this threat but can also benefit your body in the long run.
- Sweets in moderation. Many people think that sugar must be completely avoided because of diabetes. However, sugar can still be enjoyed if it is enjoyed in moderation. There are some more responsible ways to consume sweets as a diabetic person. For example, using natural foods to curb your cravings. Instead of eating a bowl of ice cream, try blending a frozen banana with some honey. There are other healthy substitutes for sugary treats, it just requires a little research and discipline. Also, eating a sugary snack with a bigger meal is a good way to ensure your blood sugar levels will not spike in a dangerous way. Enjoy sweets cautiously!
- Eat regularly. It is a pretty good idea for most people to eat many small portions throughout the day instead of indulging in a few big meals, but it is even more important for a person with diabetes. A great way to keep your blood sugar from dropping to a dangerous level is by eating regularly throughout the day. Keeping healthy snacks handy can help you to keep your levels even. Eating at consistent times will also help your body regulate itself.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol is not necessarily a terrible thing for a diabetic person to consume, but it is a very unnecessary risk. Alcohol contains a lot of calories but holds no nutritional value. Therefore, the over consumption of alcohol could result in dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels, especially if you have not consumed healthy, nutritious calories throughout the day. To be on the safe side, it is better to drink in moderation.
- Eat less fat. This seems obvious, however there is a right and wrong way to go about cutting fat out of your diet. Some fats are necessary for your body to function well. Be sure to do your research and figure out which fats you need so that you do not end up cutting necessary fats out of your diet. For example, instead of cooking with butter, cook with olive oil. This is an easy fat to get rid of and replace with a good fat. Too much fat can be dangerous, but eliminating all fats is also not good.
- Whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Although it seems that carbs should be completely cut out of your diet, be sure to leave whole grain carbs in. Whole grains help your cell membranes to function well and when your cells are happy, your body is happy. Whole grains are also very filling and can help your blood levels to be maintained throughout the day. Fruits and veggies have good natural sugars, vitamins, and minerals in them. You want to be sure that your blood is not being depleted of essential minerals—fruits and veggies are a good insurance policy. The sugar found in fruit can help satisfy sugar cravings, but be sure not to over indulge! Another cool thing about vegetables is that they are a diet control you can have right in your backyard (Read: 6 Steps for Growing the Best Vegetables You Have Ever Eaten)
- Avoid temptation. One of the best things to do when starting any diet is to avoid temptation. Go ahead and clear your house of any foods that could be dangerous or enticing. If you haven’t learned self-control yet, go ahead and just get rid of those foods with high fat and high sugar content. Another way to avoid temptation is by getting your friends involved in your new diet. Explain to them what is going on and the changes you are trying to make. Ask them to help keep you accountable when you are out at restaurants or even grocery shopping. Sometimes, all you need is a good friend to help you succeed in your diet!
- Proper portions. Portion control is a trick for any diet, but it is especially crucial for a diabetes diet. It is really important to get the right amount of nutrients, and the right variety of nutrients. Here is a tip: Divide your plate. Give half of your plate to veggies, a fourth of your plate to a lean meat, and the last fourth to a healthy, whole grain starch. If you can learn to think of your meals in this way, you will be sure to succeed in your portion control efforts!