Diabetes can be an awful diagnosis and a shocking one. It sometimes comes when least expected, after years of unhealthy eating and not enough exercise. We are talking about Type 11 diabetes, which is very different to Type 1. Type 2 Diabetes usually affects people of a certain age, from middle age and above, whereas Type 1 is general genetic.
To avoid Type 2 diabetes you need to get to a healthy weight and maintain it. You need to eat lots of fibre, lean protein, cut out carbs and sugar.
Here are some diabetic diet tips that will help you
1.Choose high fiber and slow release carb foods
Carbs have a high impact on your blood sugar levels and as a diabetic you do not want your blood sugar levels to dip or spike. You need to be clever about the carbs you eat. Refined carbohydrates are a no no, which means no white bread, rice, pasta or any junk foods, doughnuts, cakes, cookies or biscuits. Also, no sweets at all and no prepackaged food or take away.
2.Try high fiber foods instead
- Brown or wild rice
- Cauliflower rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole wheat bread, low GI bread, rye
- Oatmeal or muesli
- Bran flakes
- Leafy greens
3.Diabetes and the glycemic index
High glycemic index foods spike the blood sugar quickly, so low glycemic foods are the way to go. They have the least effect on blood sugar. A lot has been written about low and high GI and there is some controversy. Basically, if you eat foods that do not have sugar or carbs, the food should be health. Follow these patterns.
- Eat healthy fats. These are found in good olive oil, fish oil, flax seeds, raw nuts and avocado
- Eat whole milk dairy products, yoghurt and milk. Not low fat
- Fruits and vegetables, fresh and colorful. No fruit juices that are sweetened
- Fish and shellfish, lean meat, chicken and turkey
- Eggs, beans, cheese, milk and unsweetened yoghurt
Stay away from fried foods, package foods, partially hydrogenated foods, baked goods, sweets, chips and puddings. No sugary cereals and no refined breads or pastas. Processed meats and red meat fed with antibiotics are not good.
4.Be sweet smart
You do not need to eliminate sugar completely but you need to be wise about the sugar you do consume. The key is to moderate your sugar cravings, sugar intake and reduce your sugar, giving your taste buds time to adjust. You can replace the junk food sweetness with other foods that are suite. Almond butter can satisfy a sweet craving. Savor each bite of a cake if you do have it, and try and have just a taste. Remember, you can buy sweets that are specially made for diabetics so read the labels carefully. Bananas are a good food. Dip them into melted dark chocolate and your sweet craving should be satisfied. Ricotta cheese, yoghurt and nuts make a lovely sweet too.
We can get fat from drinking. We underestimate the number of carbs and calories in an alcoholic drink. Cocktails mixed with soda can be loaded with calories and sugar. Did you know tonic water is filled with sugar? I learned that when writing this. Rather drink alcohol that does not need a mix and really, drink moderately. Try and drink with dinner only and monitor your blood glucose as alcohol interferes with diabetes medication and insulin.
5.Quit fizzy drinks
That is all we have to say about that. It’s easy.
6.Check food labels
Everyone should do this. Always check to see what is in your food. Opt for low sugar products and use fresh instead of canned. You can even use frozen instead of canned. Be aware of how much sugar is in cereal and rather go for bran or oats.
In a nutshell, focus on lean protein, high fiber, no processed foods, less carbs, fruit and vegetable, low fat dairy and good vegetable based fats like avocado, olive oil or nuts. Manage your calorie intake and ask your doctor or dietician to draw up a plan for you. Stay hydrated and drink a lot of water, limit or cut out alcohol, avoid all junk food and drink good tea. Remember, all processed foods and sugar are bad for you and this is true whether you are diabetic or not.
You want to avoid diabetes at all costs. You can do this by maintaining a healthy weight and eating well and consistently. If you suspect you have diabetes – constant fatigue, irritability, constant thirst – see your doctor. It is important to get it diagnosed and then to be treated. Diabetes can kill. You want to get on top of it and manage it well.