Healthy food choices for diabetics
diet for diabetesNutrition and diet play a major part in preventing, managing or even slowing the rate of complications associated with diabetes, says an expert.
Known as medical nutrition therapy (MNT), a diabetes diet involves eating a variety of foods high in nutritional value in moderation, while sticking to regular meal times.
It is a diet nutritiously rich, non-calorific and low in saturated fats, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
Bram Brons, an independent general practitioner and a member of the medical team at HealthExpress, an online health clinic, has explored the significance of healthy eating for people suffering with diabetes.
- Eat three meals a day: Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner will help to control blood sugar levels. Studies have also showed that eating three proper meals prevents from feeling snacking, and help in weight cantrol. (Read: Sample diet plan for diabetics)
- Include carbohydrates in diet: Include healthy carbohydrates (starchy) foods such as pasta, cereals, bread, potatoes, yam, chapatis, and rice to aid control of blood glucose levels. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse recommends at least one serving of starch at every meal. Some healthier choices are the high-fibre variety which include whole grain versions of bread, porridge oats, yam, sweet potato, new potatoes, crackers, natural all Bran muesli cereals and tortillas. These foods will also help the digestive system and prevent constipation problems from arising.
- Eat foods rich in fibre: A diet that includes five portions of fruit and vegetables is recommended in order to supplement body with the necessary vitamins, minerals and fibre. Other foods like beans, peas, lentils, wheat bran, and nuts can also control blood fats. Not only can a diet high in fibre help to control blood sugar levels, it can also decrease the risk of heart disease.
- Eat at least two portions of oily fish a week: Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and pilchards are rich in omega 3, which helps to protect the heart by lowering the triglycerides (blood fats).
- Reduce sugar intake: Opting for sugar free alternatives can reduce your sugar consumption significantly.
- Cut your salt intake: You should aim for less than 2,300 mg of salt a day. Too much salt can raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke. Processed ready meals usually contain high levels of salt and are, therefore, best avoided. (Read: Expert diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes)