When you have diabetes, you know the choices you make each day will affect how you feel. They also play a significant role in whether you come down with common complications, like eye damage and heart disease. But figuring out the right lifestyle changes to make can be confusing.
Follow these dietary do’s and don’ts. Eating right is a key part of promoting healthy blood sugar levels. But adjusting your habits doesn’t have to be hard. Use these simple tips to stay on track.
Do: Eat plenty of vegetables and legumes (beans, peanuts, peas). Eat lean protein, such as fish, poultry or tofu. Eat healthful fats, which are found in coldwater fish, raw nuts and seeds, and extra-virgin olive oil. Eat modest amounts of fruit (1-2 servings per day).
Don’t: Eat too many processed foods. Eat a lot of red meat (limit to 1 serving per week). Eat carbohydrate-dense, starchy foods, such as pasta, cereals and other grain-based foods. Use sugar or artificial sweeteners to enhance the flavor of food or consume products containing these ingredients.
Watch your portions. Quantity is just as important as quality. Overeating often leads to weight gain, and excess pounds are a known factor in insulin resistance. Here are some general rules about serving sizes to help you choose a healthy amount of food at every meal.
Protein Fish, chicken or meat: 3-4 ounces, about the size of a standard deck of playing cards Egg whites: 4-6 (or about 1/2 cup liquid egg whites from a carton) Cheese: 1 ounce, about the size of a domino
Cooked pasta, rice and beans 1/2 cup, or the size of half a baseball
Vegetables Raw: 1 cup, or the size of a baseball Cooked: 1/2 cup