Diabetes is one of the worst health conditions to have in this era of amazing food. And most diabetics I know take really good care of themselves when they are first diagnosed. They will eat right, take their medicine on time and they will exercise daily.
But as time moves on, these things seem too much of a hassle to continue and it doesn’t take long for these people to revert to their old and unhealthy habits.
The problem with this is also the fact that we associate being diabetic with being on extreme diet control for the rest of our lives. It doesn’t have to be this way and you can still eat whatever you want but the key here is moderation.
The basic principle of leading a healthy life after being diagnosed with diabetes is watching what you eat. So here are some that will help you lead a healthy life from now on:
Watch the Carbs You Consume
Carbs are unavoidable because all the meals you have been taking all your life have had some source of carbohydrates. They are present in bread, rice, milk, and everything sweet we can think of. And to completely let go of carbs from your life you will have to cut off all of this food for good.
But there is also the fact that carbohydrates are an essential food group and it is unhealthy on many levels to not consume any kind of sugar. So in this case, it is best that you simply watch how many carbs you consume per day.
Try to eliminate any hidden sources of sugars from your diet like the rich dressings in your salad. Let go of sugary sodas completely since they are equivalent to poison for diabetic people. Make these small changes and you will notice a large difference in your blood sugar levels.
Eat 5-6 Meals a Day
Eating three square meals a day is also not recommended for diabetics. This is because the gap between breakfast, lunch, and dinner is far too large. And in case you do not know, staying hungry for long periods of time is one of the greatest ways your blood sugar levels shoot up.
Instead, it is best if you eat your square meals and include healthy snacks in between. Try to avoid processed foods when snacking, because they will worsen your condition further. Try to include nut, fruits like peaches and berries and vegetables like carrot sticks and celery.
Try Portion Control
You do not have to give up too many of your favorite foods if you could just practice portion control. Try to limit the number of helpings of food you take. A good way to do this is by looking up how many calories one plate of your food is. Then just reduce the portion size till it fits your recommended intake.
Another way you can reduce portion size is by using a small plate. A small plate makes small servings look really big, so just visualizing a hefty plate of food will be enough to trick your brain into eating a limited amount of food.
Eat Good Fats
When I was younger and believed that all fats were evil, the term ‘good fats’ used to really tick me off. When I grew up, I realized that they are actually a great thing! Good fats can actually reduce your cholesterol levels and greatly reduce the chance of heart disease in diabetic people.
And the best part is that you can find that some of your favorite foods are excellent sources of these good fats (also known as omega-3 fats). This includes fish, olive oil, and many kinds of nuts like walnuts and almonds.
Crank Up the Level of Fiber in Your Foods
It is so important to reduce your food cravings when you have been diagnosed with diabetes. But the problem is that we have been eating all kinds of snacks to make our cravings go away without even realizing the evil effects they have on our bodies.
And I have realized, that taking a lot of fiber in your diet does wonders to reduce your appetite. Not only do you almost completely let go of mid-day and midnight snacking, you also automatically find yourself reaching for lesser and lesser helpings of food.
You can find fiber in a lot of different vegetables and many fruits as well. Alternatively, you can add fiber to your diet by using bran foods like bran bread and brown rice as well. You may also consume fiber husks with water every morning for the same effect.
Know Your Protein Sources
Protein is another food group that we cannot completely let go of without facing dire consequences. And even though red meat is an excellent source of protein, many cuts of red meat are absolutely terrible for your health.
Sure, there is no problem with eating red meat every once in a while but for the most part, they should be eliminated. Try eating more lean buts of red meat, chicken, fish, and vegetarian sources of proteins like beans and pulses.
Don’t be fooled by Fancy Diabetic Food
I know a lot of people who buy ‘diabetic’ versions of their favorite foods so they can satisfy their cravings without guilt. But does any of this food really taste good? Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. Almost all packaged food that is labeled as ‘diabetic’ tastes awful and it is loaded with preservatives to boot.
So you are basically falling into the evil clutches of the corporate world while thinking it’s good for you! You can easily tweak the food you have at home to be healthier for you so you really don’t need this stuff.
You Don’t Have to Completely Let go of Dessert
I will let you in on a little secret: You only need a small helping of dessert to satisfy your craving. Of course, if you have a large ice cream sundae, you will finish all of it!
But if you take one scoop of ice cream or a small bite of cake, that will be more than enough to satisfy you as well. So you don’t have to cut dessert out of your life, you can just lessen the portions!
About the author
Noor Najam is a 22-year old student who loves to explore food delights and ever-growing new tastes of different regions. She likes to stay fit and make healthier food choices. She thinks she should have studied a culinary related bachelor’s degree instead of her current bachelors in Social Sciences. She regularly posts on https://pateeri.com/.