Diabetic Diet Tips
One of the most important things that those with both type one and type two diabetes can do to manage their disease, apart from taking their medications as prescribed, is to adhere to a healthy diet. It can seem daunting at first, because for many individuals, a change to a diabetic-friendly diet means a complete shift in the way that they eat. However, even with the best medication regimen, adhered to faithfully, diet is a vital component. While it can seem very complicated and difficult to adhere to a diet that is healthy for you as a diabetic, there are some tips and tricks that diabetics and researchers have found that can make it easier. Consider adding the following tactics to your habits to make your blood sugar easier to manage, and remember that many diabetic supply companies also carry a number of books that can help you to understand your body’s needs.
While the Glycemic Index diet is controversial, there are some principles put forth in it that are very applicable. For example, choosing starchy foods that have higher fiber content can be helpful to those who are used to a higher volume of refined-starch foods. Instead of white potatoes, substituting cauliflower or sweet potatoes or even squash can be a satisfying way to get the satisfying mouth feel without the blood sugar-spiking starch. Because of the higher fiber content in these alternative foods, the carbohydrates in the vegetables don’t enter the bloodstream as quickly, making it easier for the medication to manage the inevitable glucose. Another trick from the glycemic index diet is to eat grains in the least-processed state possible—and the best way to get acclimated to this new habit is to gradually introduce things like whole wheat process and brown rice. While making pasta or rice, mix the white and the whole wheat products half and half, and then gradually tilt the balance towards the whole grain product over several meals. Eventually you won’t even notice the difference.
Another tip that is important for diabetics is to understand that sweets aren’t impossible—but they do require some planning. For example, it’s recommended that if you plan to have a dessert, minimize or eliminate starches from the meal that proceeds it. Have an additional serving of a green, leafy vegetable to fill in the gap from the starches you would have normally eaten. It is also helpful to include some healthy fat in your dessert; not necessarily opting for something fried, but for a dessert with dairy fat such as ricotta cheese, or peanut butter, which will slow down the body’s breakdown of the carbohydrates within.
Finally, you can easily cultivate a DIY mindset when it comes to managing your intake of carbohydrates; most companies that offer sweetened beverages also offer unsweetened varieties—which you can then add sweetener to in accordance to your taste. You may find that you add a great deal less sugar than the manufacturer would, which is good all around. Another thing that helps many diabetics is to keep a food diary. Not just a diabetic log book, which is available at diabetic supply companies everywhere, but a diary of the foods you eat, can help you get a better idea of what it is that you might really be craving at a given time. In addition to log books, many diabetic supply companies also offer diaries that you can use to track what you’re eating with notes as to how you feel. By managing your diet more carefully, with a few tricks, you’ll find your diabetes much easier to manage in general, and won’t find yourself experiencing as many of the highs and lows that can be so dangerous.