Did you know that food has three main nutrients?
They are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. While everyone needs a balance of these three things to stay healthy, eating right is extra important for people with diabetes. While this may seem hard, your diabetes educator can help you learn how to:
Tips For Eating Healthy
- Count carbohydrates
“Carbs” are found in all kinds of foods, including bread, pasta, fruits, dairy products, and sugary foods such as desserts. “Complex” carbohydrates, such as whole-grain bread, provide more nutrition than others. Sweets such as cake aren’t as good for you as whole grains and vegetables, and often are high in fat and calories. That’s why it’s better to save them for a treat.
- Read food labels
Looking at food labels can give you a clue to just how healthy (or unhealthy) a food is. Your diabetes educator can help you know what to look for but in general look for foods with three or more grams of fiber per serving and avoid saturated and trans fats.
- Measure each serving
It’s very easy to eat more food than you need or are even hungry for, without realizing it. A diabetes educator can show you how to measure your food. That way you know how much you should eat and don’t overdo it. For example, a serving of protein (such as chicken or fish) should be the size of a deck of cards.
- Develop an eating plan
Once you understand which foods are healthier and how much you should eat, a diabetes educator can help you find a meal plan that works for you. You can talk about how to plan a week of eating overall. Or you can talk about how to plan each meal.
- Prevent high or low blood sugar
Blood sugar that is either too high or too low can cause real problems and make you feel sick. When it’s too high, that means your diabetes is out of control and you may have blurry vision, headaches, or feel tired. When it’s too low, you can feel shaky, sweaty, weak, and light-headed, or have a fast heartbeat.
- Set goals for healthy eating
Changing your eating habits can seem overwhelming. But by working with a diabetes educator you can make a plan that works for you and fits into your lifestyle. It starts with simple goals and a realistic plan to tackle them.