Putting together a healthy diet when you have diabetes can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
At LoneStar Bariatrics, Dr. Chad Carlton and our team offer surgical and nonsurgical solutions for weight loss and diabetes management. No matter where you are in your treatment plan, our dietitian Allison Rezentes, MS, RD/LD, can help demystify the role your diet plays in your blood sugar so you can keep your diabetes under control. She has these five tips to help get you started.
Your body gets energy from food during the digestive process by converting carbohydrates into sugar. As this sugar enters your bloodstream, your glucose levels rise, which tells your pancreas it needs to make insulin. This process helps your cells absorb the sugar and keeps your blood glucose levels within a healthy range.
You have diabetes when your body doesn’t make enough (or any) insulin, or it doesn’t use it correctly. This leaves your blood sugar levels too high. But, you can help keep your levels under control by learning to calculate how many carbohydrates you consume at each meal.
American Diabetes Association has a simple method for eating that focuses on consuming more vegetables. Vegetables are healthy carbohydrate and fiber-rich foods, so they help moderate digestion and keep blood sugar controlled.
When using this approach, you should divide your plate into three sections and:
You can also include good fats, like avocados or nuts, in small amounts and a serving of fruit or dairy. And don’t forget to hydrate with water, unsweetened tea, or coffee.
When you have diabetes, you should make every calorie count by choosing the most nutritious foods possible. These should include plenty of fiber-rich foods, healthy carbohydrates, “good” fats, and fatty fish.
Examples of these food choices include:
Remember, even when eating “healthy” foods, it’s all about moderation. Allison Rezentes can offer personalized recommendations and portion guidelines on a case-by-case basis.
Just like there are great foods to eat, there are also some you should avoid. Not only can the wrong foods cause problems with your blood sugar, but having diabetes also accelerates the clogging and hardening of arteries. That means that living with diabetes also increases your chances of heart disease and stroke.
To protect your heart and arteries, we recommend avoiding:
You should also try to consume less than 2,300 milligrams each day or less, depending on your blood pressure.
The most important step when planning for diabetes-friendly meals is to embrace your new healthy lifestyle. Having a positive attitude makes it easier and more likely that you’ll stick to your healthy eating plan — and that’s the best way to keep your blood sugar under control and prevents other diabetes complications. Plus, it offers additional health benefits, like helping you lose extra weight and reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers.
If you have diabetes, we can help get your blood sugar under control. Contact us to schedule an appointment by calling one of our offices in North Dallas or booking a consultation online today.