If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes watching what you eat is key to help control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats.
According to The Mayo Clinic, when you eat extra calories and fat, your body creates an undesirable rise in blood glucose. If blood glucose isn't kept in check, it can lead to serious problems, such as a high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) that, if persistent, may lead to long-term complications, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage.
The good news is that you can keep your blood glucose levels in a safe range through healthy food choices. The American Diabetes Association recommends these items, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Citrus fruit
- Sweet potatoes
- Fish high in Omega-3 fattty acids
- Whole grains
- Milk & yogurt
The ADA offers a simple method of meal planning, focused on eating more vegetables. Follow these steps when preparing your plate:
- Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots and tomatoes.
- Fill a quarter of your plate with a protein, such as tuna, lean pork or chicken.
- Fill the last quarter with a whole-grain item, such as brown rice, or a starchy vegetable, such as green peas.
- Include "good" fats such as nuts or avocados in small amounts.
- Add a serving of fruit or dairy and a drink of water or unsweetened tea or coffee.
They’ve even put together a sampling of great Ideas for each meal. Enjoy!