What I Would Eat if I had Diabetes?



What to Eat if You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Eating the right foods can help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Here’s exactly what to put on your plate.

By Abigail Libers

Medically Reviewed by Maureen Namkoong, RD

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High in protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a great pick for people with diabetes.
High in protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a great pick for people with diabetes.
Jeff Wasserman/Stocksy

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you’re probably wondering what to eat to keep your blood sugar levels in check. The good news is you don’t have to give up your favorite foods. A diabetes diet, like most healthy diets, is all about controlling portions and consuming a wide array of vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats.

Watch Your Carb Intake

When managing type 2 diabetes, it’s important to understand that not all foods are created equal: Some will affect your blood sugar levels more than others. Carbohydrates, in particular, break down into glucose quickly, which spikes your blood sugar levels. Foods that contain carbohydrates include grains, bread, pasta, milk, sweets, fruit, and starchy vegetables. “In general, carbohydrates should be limited to approximately 30 to 60 grams (g) per meal to prevent high blood glucose levels,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, a certified diabetes educator in Franklin, New Jersey. Once you’ve learned to manage your carb portions, try balancing your meals with lean protein and healthy fats, which digest slowly and keep your blood sugar steady after meals.

Use the Healthy Plate Method 

So what does a healthy diabetes diet look like? It’s simple, says Palinski-Wade. Just use the healthy plate method: Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables (like spinach, carrots, and other greens), a quarter of your plate with lean protein (such as grilled chicken, fish, lean beef, or pork), and a quarter of your plate with starchy foods (like whole grain bread, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta). Below is a sample meal plan to get you started.

Breakfast

Ideal Meal: ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese + 1 tbsp chopped walnuts + 1 cup fresh fruit salad

Why it’s diabetes-friendly: “Cottage cheese is a great option for people with diabetes because it’s lower in carbs than yogurt and provides 13 g of protein per half cup,” says Palinski-Wade. “If you’re a morning exerciser, you could add 1 slice of whole-grain toast topped with 1 tablespoon (tbsp) nut butter to this meal to meet your higher carbohydrate needs.”

In general, Palinski-Wade notes that it’s crucial for people with diabetes to eat breakfast. “Skipping breakfast can increase the chances of hypoglycemia and may lead to erratic blood glucose levels the rest of the day,” she says. Your morning meal should limit carbs to about 30 to 60 g to prevent spikes in blood glucose levels. Aim for at least 1 to 2 ounces (7 to 14 g) of lean protein to help balance your blood glucose levels and promote appetite regulation. The addition of a healthy fat source (about 5 to 10 g) may also help stabilize blood glucose and appetite, says Palinski-Wade. Want more breakfast inspiration? Check out these 10 diabetes-friendly breakfast ideas.

Snack

Ideal Snack: 1 oz of pistachios

Why it’s diabetes-friendly: “Research has found that replacing carbohydrate-rich snacks with plant-based fats can help promote weight maintenance and healthy glucose management,” says Palinski-Wade. Other plant-based snacks include raw vegetables dipped in 1/4 cup mashed avocado or 1 ounce (oz) of sunflower seeds. “If you do reach for a carb-based snack, be sure to limit it to 15 to 30 g of carbohydrates,” says Palinski-Wade. Good options include 3 cups of air popped popcorn or 1 medium apple.

Lunch

Ideal Meal: Sliced turkey breast on two slices of whole-grain bread topped with avocado + a side salad (2 cups leafy greens with 1 tbsp vinaigrette) + a medium apple

Why it’s diabetes-friendly: “Lunch should be a balanced meal containing 45 to 60 g of carbohydrates along with 3 to 4 oz (21 to 28 g) of protein and about 10 g of healthy, unsaturated fat,” says Palinski-Wade. This meal does just that. The whole-grain bread and apple offer a healthy dose of carbs, the turkey breast provides protein, and the avocado delivers healthy, unsaturated fats.

Snack

Ideal Snack: 6 whole-grain crackers + 1 tbsp nut butter

Why it’s diabetes-friendly:Nut butters are packed with protein. Go for almond butter, which research shows can help with weight management. Just be sure to keep portions in check (stick to 1 tbsp) since nut butters are high in fat. As a general rule of thumb, fats should only provide about 25 to 35 percent of your daily calorie intake. For more diabetes-friendly snack ideas, check out these tasty ideas.

Dinner

Ideal Meal:4-oz grilled salmon filet + a small sweet potato, baked + 1 cup steamed broccoli

Why it’s diabetes-friendly: Salmon is an excellent source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The sweet potato provides filling fiber and a type of carb that's less likely to spike your blood glucose levels than regular potatoes. Broccoli also provides fiber and is an excellent source of vitamin C. When planning dinner meals in general, aim for 45 to 60 g of carbohydrates, 3 to 4 oz of protein (21 to 28 g), and 10 to 15 g of unsaturated fat, says Palinski-Wade.






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Date: 12.12.2018, 10:46 / Views: 75551