People with diabetes should pay more attention to their diet than others. That’s because the food and drinks you consume directly affect your blood glucose levels.
So, to prevent this from happening and lead a normal life with diabetes, you should watch what you eat and drink. Even though there’s no specific diet for diabetics, you should make certain dietary changes and stay true to them as much as you can.
Also, the quality of the food you eat as well as the portion size is equally important and affects your blood sugar control.
Here are some general good and bad choices for people with diabetes.
Avoid processed and fast food and focus on whole and nutritionally valuable foods. Although the average American diet consists mostly of sweetened, salty, high-fat and high-preservative foods, they have little nutrition for each calorie.
Also, trans-fats increase the bad cholesterol while reducing the good cholesterol, harming the cardiovascular system.
Another wrong choice for people with diabetes is the high fructose corn syrup. It’s cheaper than cane sugar, but also sweeter. However, it’s directly absorbed into the blood as it doesn’t require digestion, resulting in greater need for insulin.
Moreover, the sodium intake is another dietary factor people with diabetes should consider.
Even though you don’t have to cut it completely from your diet, you should still reduce it. Excess salt and sodium increase the risk of hypertension in people with diabetes, which is the leading cause of heart disease.
For example, you should avoid high-sodium foods like canned vegetables, canned soups, salad dressings, and cold cuts.
Instead of processed, chemically preserved foods, choose whole foods rich in nutrients.
The type and quantity of carbohydrates matters for people with diabetes. That’s because once digested, they turn to a source of glucose. But, there are two types of carbs, simple and complex.
The simple ones contain only 1-2 sugar molecules, so they are easier to digest and spike your blood glucose levels. They include fruit drinks, honey, maple syrup, molasses, jams, corn syrup, candy, jellies, fruit drinks, and table sugar.
On the other hand, complex carbs digest more slowly, causing less impact on blood sugar levels. For example, foods high in fiber which slow digestion and keep you full for longer. They include green veggies, whole grains, lentils, beans, peas.
It’s best to consume the same carb quantity per meal from day to day. So, if you had 40 grams of complex carbohydrates this morning, you should have the same quantity tomorrow morning.
Still, you will learn how each type and quantity of carbs affect your blood sugar levels over time.
As you can see, you don’t need to follow a specific diet to control your blood sugar. Instead, follow these tips and avoid or limit the foods which spike your blood sugar, and eat anything else in moderate amount.