Diabetes is a condition that occurs when you have chronic high blood sugar levels. Although your nutritional needs are almost the same as others, you must pay much more attention to some of the foods that you consume. The wrong diet will increase the sugar in your body, worsening the condition. To help keep the condition in check, here are some simple yet important dietary tips for diabetes patients.
1. Eat healthy fats
This is one of the most important dietary tips for diabetes patients. Healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, canola oil, and fish oil are ideal for those with high blood glucose levels. These foods contain monounsaturated fats and can help alleviate blood sugar. However, do not consume large portions to keep your calories in check.
You can add nuts, seeds, and avocados to salads and entrees. Use olive or canola oil in cooking and try to ensure you purchase only salad dressings, sauces, and marinades containing these oils.
2. Choose healthier carbohydrates
Carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels. Hence, it is important to know which foods contain them and which ones you can add to your diet. You must also be aware of the portion sizes to avoid sudden blood sugar spikes. Some healthy sources of carbohydrates for diabetics are:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Pulses, such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils
- Whole grains, such as buckwheat, brown rice, and whole oats
- Unsweetened yogurt and milk
3. Include fiber-rich foods in your diet
When it comes to dietary tips for diabetes patients, this one is a must-follow. Fiber moderates your body’s digestion process and this helps prevent a sudden increase in blood sugar levels. High fiber foods include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Beans, peas, and other legumes
These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Hence, they promote your overall health and help keep blood glucose levels in check. Although fruits are sweet, certain options contain natural sugars that are not linked to diabetes. The best fruits for diabetics are apples, apricots, berries, citrus fruits, and pears. Avoid fruit juices as they contain large amounts of sugar and can raise blood sugar levels quickly.
4. Eat heart-healthy fish
If you follow a non-vegetarian diet, you must eat fish at least two times a week. Some heart-healthy options to add to your diet are:
These fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that help alleviate the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. However, you must avoid fried fish and those containing more mercury.
5. Choose high-protein foods
Protein provides energy to the body and has little effect on blood sugar. It not only keeps blood glucose levels stable but also reduces sugar cravings. Some protein-rich foods include:
- Legumes, beans, and peas
- Dairy and tofu
- Eggs and poultry
- Lean meats
These are some important dietary tips for diabetes patients. Additionally, you must avoid or eat less of packaged and fast foods, sugary cereals, white bread, rice, refined pasta, processed and red meat, and products with added sugar. These simple dietary changes can go a long way in managing diabetes effectively.