Now that you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it’s time to make some changes. One of the major changes you will make has to do with your eating habits. While you are free to eat whatever you like, it’s important to remember that proper nutrition and employing a few basic strategies will allow you to control your diabetes symptoms and feel better in general. Here are some tips that will help.
Learn the Difference Between Simply and Complex Carbohydrates
Avoiding all carbohydrates is not the answer. Your body still needs some carbohydrates in order to function properly. What it doesn’t need is loads of simple carbohydrates. Your best bet is to include carbs sparingly and focus mainly on complex carbohydrates in your meal planning.
Simple carbohydrates include things like processed sugar and bleached flour. The carbohydrate content of some vegetables, like corn, also fall into this category. Consuming foods made using these products will increase your blood glucose levels and increase the odds of making your diabetes symptoms worse.
Complex carbohydrates do increase glucose levels but at a slower rate. This gives your body more of a chance to use the glucose and not have high levels linger in your bloodstream. Many foods with complex carbohydrates, including whole grains, also provide many of the nutrients your body needs. While you should refrain from building your meals around these foods, it’s fine to include small portions in your daily meal planning.
Think Dark Green
Many people with diabetes know that dark green vegetables paired with lean meats are excellent choices. Creating a kale salad and serving it with a skinless grilled chicken breast is a wonderful way to enjoy your food, take in the nutrients your body needs, and avoid too many carbs. If you feel the need for some bread with your meal, it’s fine to include a single slice of whole grain bread with a non-fat and low-carb spread for flavor.
If you don’t like kale, consider turnip greens or collards as substitutes in different recipes. There are plenty of options for soups, salads, and other side dishes that allow you to keep your carb intake lower while boosting the amount of vitamins and minerals you ingest.
Moderation is Your Friend
The days when people with diabetes had to avoid certain foods are over. It’s fine to include something sweet with your meals once in a great while. The key is moderation.
That means changing the way you think about portions. If you are at a wedding and want to have a piece of the bride’s cake, go for a sliver instead of a full slice. At a holiday dinner, you can have some apple pie. Make it a small sliver and use a non-diary whipped topping instead of ice cream. You still get simple carbs from the pie, but the whipped topping is virtually free of any carbohydrates. Assuming you’ve made the right choices during the main meal, allowing yourself a treat is not likely to cause much of a spike.
Along with these ideas, consider getting help with an expert to come up with specific meal plans. Measure portions and know how many carbohydrates you are taking in at each meal. In the long run, you’ll feel better, get the vitamins and minerals you need, and keep your diabetes under control for more years.