Healthy Meals for Diabetics

If you have diabetes, managing your diet is one of the most important factors in maintaining your health. 

Affecting one out of every 11 people, diabetes causes higher than normal glucose levels in the bloodstream. Since the food we eat can raise the amount of sugar in our bodies, it is important to eat the right things. 

What Should I Eat More of?

Be sure that your diet mainly consists of whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables. 

Healthy meals for those with diabetes

Whole Grains

Avoid any white or enriched grain products. These types of grains can quickly elevate blood sugar levels. Whole grain products don’t have this affect and provide a good amount of fiber. 

Good whole grains include:

  • Oatmeal
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Whole Grain Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole Grain Cereal

Proteins

Many people believe protein is found exclusively in meat. This is simply not true! While lean meats can be fantastic sources of protein, beans and lentils offer quite a bit as nutritional value well.

Healthy protein sources include:

  • Beans (Black, Pinto, Kidney, Lima)
  • Lentils
  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Chicken
  • Fish

Fruits / Vegetables

As we’ve all been told since a young age, fruits and vegetables are an important part of any diet. They provide a significant amount of vitamins and minerals, so try to eat a few servings of each daily. While fruit does have sugar in it, the fiber helps release the sugar at a slow rate over time.

The best fruits and veggies include:

  • Dark Green Veggies (broccoli, spinach, cabbage, collard greens)
  • Orange Veggies (squash, carrots, sweet potatoes)
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries

Foods to Avoid

Foods high in sugar and salt should be rarely eaten if possible. 

Sugar

Most processed food, otherwise known as “junk food,” contains a high amount of sugar. Limiting sugar intake doesn’t only include your food choices, keep an eye on what you drink as well!

Sugary foods and drinks to avoid:

  • Cookies / Candy
  • Soda
  • Tea / Coffee (with added sugar)

Salt

Heart attacks and strokes are common conditions for diabetics. Consuming too much salt can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk for these issues.

Common overly-salted foods include:

  • Canned Goods
  • Chips
  • Packaged Meats

How to Plan a Diabetes-friendly Meal

Keep these factors in mind when preparing a meal or while dining out. Also be sure to take advantage of the American Diabetes Association’s meal planning guide and the CDC’s recipes for people with diabetes.

If you have any questions or concerns about nutrition and managing your diabetes, give Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound Bariatric Surgery a call at (469) 322-7174 today!


Sources: 

http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/index.html

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/grains-and-starchy-vegetables.html

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/food-tips/cutting-back-on-sodium.html