Their Fiber Slows Down Digestion
Blueberries are a 53 on the glycemic index, a tool that many people with diabetes use to predict how a particular food will impact their blood sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly a certain food will cause blood sugar to rise, ranking foods on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the foods that will cause a rapid blood sugar spike. Since blueberries have a score of 53, they are considered a low-GI food. If you have diabetes and eat blueberries, their glucose will be released into the bloodstream slowly during digestion, which is a good thing.
These berries are a blood-sugar-friendly food, in part, because of their fiber. A half-cup of blueberries has 2 grams of fiber. Fiber is perhaps one of the most important nutrients for people with diabetes or prediabetes because it’s a key player in controlling and regulating blood sugar. Eating fiber-rich foods slows digestion, because the body is unable to absorb and break down fiber. Fiber-rich foods don’t spike blood sugar in the same way quickly digested simple carbohydrates do.
Maintaining good blood sugar control is the ultimate goal of people with diabetes. And in those who don’t have diabetes, eating foods high in fiber and having consistently controlled and regulated blood sugar is an excellent way to prevent prediabetes or diabetes, research shows.
Examples Of What To Try
- sliced melon or grapefruit topped with unsweetened yogurt, or a handful of berries, or fresh dates, apricots or prunes for breakfast
- mix carrots, peas and green beans into your pasta bake
- add an extra handful of peas to rice, spinach to lamb or onions to chicken
- try mushrooms, cucumber, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and lettuce for lower carb vegetable options
- try avocados, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, peaches and watermelon for lower carb fruit options
Check out our recipes to help you eat a healthy diet for diabetes weve got lots of delicious main meals packed full of vegetables, and fruity breakfast options.
What Foods And Drinks Should I Limit If I Have Diabetes
Foods and drinks to limit include
- fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat and trans fat
- foods high in salt, also called sodium
- sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream
- beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks
Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Consider using a sugar substitute in your coffee or tea.
If you drink alcohol, drink moderatelyno more than one drink a day if youre a woman or two drinks a day if youre a man. If you use insulin or diabetes medicines that increase the amount of insulin your body makes, alcohol can make your blood glucose level drop too low. This is especially true if you havent eaten in a while. Its best to eat some food when you drink alcohol.
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Applebee’s Green Goddess Wedge Salad
Nutrition: 550 calories, 52 g fat , 1,230 mg sodium, 12 g carbs , 9 g protein
Applebee’s wedge salad is quite filling simply because you devour a hefty wedge of lettuce. Lettuce is a non-starch veggie, therefore, it has a low glycemic index. Glycemic index is a system that ranks foods on a scale from 1 to 100 based on the impact they have on your blood glucose levels. Foods that are low in glycemic index are the ones you want to have making up a significant portion of your diet. Other non-starchy veggies include produce like spinach, kale, squash, or fruit. Limit your intake of things like potatoes, meat, and dairy products. And of course, eliminate high glycemic index foods like white breads, white rice, and soda. Applebee’s offers a lot of meals that have a high glycemic index in its assortment of burgers and appetizers.
Physical Activity And Diabetes
Along with healthy eating, physical activity is important. Be as active as possible in as many different ways as possible. Aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, if not all days of the week. A regular half-hour of physical activity can help to:
- lower your blood glucose levels
- improve your mood and self-esteem
- improve the quality of your sleep
- increase muscle and bone strength.
If your goal is weight loss, aim to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. If 3060 minutes of physical activity seems like too much to start with, you can break this up into smaller blocks of 1015 minutes, spread out across the day.
Resistance activity is also highly recommended for all people and especially people with diabetes. An exercise physiologist can help you to create a safe resistance activity program. Aim to do resistance type activities at least twice per week.
This could include:
- body weight exercises like push-ups, squats or lunges at home
- using dumbbells and resistance bands to do resistance exercises at home
- doing tasks around the home that involve lifting, carrying or digging
- joining a gym and doing weights or other resistance exercises.
Also try to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down either at work, at home or both. Some small activities you can do to help reduce the amount of time you spend sitting throughout the day include:
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Plan Ahead For Healthy Meals
Planning healthier meals and snacks can go a long way to helping you reach your goals. Talk to your registered dietitian or health-care team about the amount of carbohydrates that are right for you and for help with meal planning. A weekly meal plan will help you shop for the right foods and encourage more cooking at home.
Foods To Eat With Type 2 Diabetes
You can follow many different eating patterns and diets to meet your health needs.
With type 2 diabetes, be sure to pick a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, which can help provide the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs.
You should also be sure to enjoy a variety of heart-healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These can help reduce your cholesterol levels to support heart health, according to a 2017 research review .
Similarly, eating plenty of foods high in fiber can enhance blood sugar management and help keep you feeling fuller for longer to help prevent eating when youre not hungry.
Your diet should also be sustainable and easy to follow. Diet plans that are overly restrictive or dont fit your lifestyle can be much harder to stick with in the long run.
Here are some examples of nutritious foods that your diet should include:
- whole grains
Here are some of the foods you should limit with type 2 diabetes:
- high fat meat
- full-fat dairy
- sugar-sweetened beverages
- processed foods
- trans fats
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The Right Calories And Portions
The food portions in a type 2 diabetes meal plan are geared toward meeting your energy needs but not consuming excess calories, which get stored as fat, leading to undesirable weight gain.
For people with diabetes, the exact number of calories to consume each day is based on the amount and timing of food that assures you can keep your blood sugar levels stable and your weight within a healthy range. That number can change, depending on your age, activity level, frame size, current versus preferred weight, and other factors.
When the goal is a healthy weight and blood sugar control, a good starting point for a woman is 1,400 to 1,600 calories a day, with main meals containing up to 30 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates and snacks containing 10 to 20 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates, Zanini advises. For men and more physically active women who are already at a healthy weight, you may start with a 2,000 to 2,200 calorie meal plan, in which you may increase your carbs proportionately.
Shifting most of your calorie intake to earlier in the day can also be helpful. Recent research suggests that by and a modest lunch, so you get most of your calories in by 3 p.m., you will find it easier to lose weight and achieve better blood sugar control.
How To Find Your Daily Calorie Need
We all have different calorie needs. Your daily calorie need depends on your size, fitness level, daily activity, gender, etc.
When you are creating a healthy diabetes meal plan, your first step should therefore always be to calculate your calorie equilibrium, or how many calories you need each day to maintain your current weight.
You can learn exactly how to find your calorie equilibrium with 5 easy steps in this post: How to Find Your Daily Calorie Need.
Once you know your calorie equilibrium, you can adjust your daily calories up or down to meet your goals. If your goal is to lose weight, I recommend that you eat up to 500 calories less than your equilibrium each day . This should lead to a steady and healthy weight loss.
If you want to build more muscle mass , start by eating 300-500 calories more than your equilibrium each day and see what happens. If you find that you are putting on a little too much fat, decrease your calories slightly.
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A Cautionary Word About Salt
Some people are sensitive to salt, which causes higher blood pressure when too much sodium is consumed. Since we have no way of testing who is salt-sensitive and who isnt, the best precaution is to limit salt and avoid sodium-containing foods if you may be at risk for high blood pressure.
Simply put, the excess salt in most peoples diets comes from processed foods, so check the package for sodium content. By adopting a diabetes diet that contains mostly whole foods, this issue will no longer present a problem. Also, foods that are flash frozen are as good as fresh.
Canned vegetables usually have added salt as a preservative. Your best bet when buying is to check the food labels for sodium content. Youll want to stay well below the upper recommended limit of 2,300 mg/day, and you can certainly look for low-sodium varieties of canned, and processed, prepackaged food products.
Engage In Physical Activity
Another common sense suggestion, but one that can make a major difference! According to the American Diabetes Association , exercise is a fundamental part of diabetes treatment, and were big believers that its a fun and fulfilling part of our routine.
Not to mention the many, many, many other health benefits of exercise.
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What Is Medical Nutrition Therapy
Medical nutrition therapy is a service provided by an RD to create personal eating plans based on your needs and likes. For people with diabetes, medical nutrition therapy has been shown to improve diabetes management. Medicare pays for medical nutrition therapy for people with diabetes If you have insurance other than Medicare, ask if it covers medical nutrition therapy for diabetes.
Whole30 Chicken And Avocado Salad
The blogger behind North South Blonde, Michelle Nemis, created her Blackened Chicken & Avocado Salad, to change salad’s reputation as sad diet food. “Salads tend to get boring quickly, especially when you are trying to stay on a healthy regime,” she explains to Brit + Co. “I wanted to make something that had big and bold flavors.”
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What About The Glycemic Index
High glycemic index foods spike your blood sugar rapidly, while low GI foods have the least effect on blood sugar. While the GI has long been promoted as a tool to help manage blood sugar, there are some notable drawbacks.
- The true health benefits of using the GI remain unclear.
- Having to refer to GI tables makes eating unnecessarily complicated.
- The GI is not a measure of a foods healthfulness.
- Research suggests that by simply following the guidelines of the Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diets, youll not only lower your glycemic load but also improve the quality of your diet.
|Choosing carbs that are packed with fiber|
|Brown or wild rice, riced cauliflower|
|White potatoes||Sweet potatoes, yams, cauliflower mash|
|Peas or leafy greens|
What Foods Should I Eat If I Have Diabetes
Eating the right foods for diabetes means eating a variety of healthy foods from all the food groups:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains, such as whole wheat, brown rice, barley, quinoa, and oats
- Proteins, such as lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, lentils, and tofu
- Nonfat or low-fat dairy, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
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How Your Body Makes Glucose
It mainly comes from foods rich in carbohydrates, like bread, potatoes, and fruit. As you eat, food travels down your esophagus to your stomach. There, acids and enzymes break it down into tiny pieces. During that process, glucose is released.
It goes into your intestines where it’s absorbed. From there, it passes into your bloodstream. Once in the blood, insulin helps glucose get to your cells.
Jason’s Deli California Club With Fruit Cup
Nutrition : 300 calories, 19 g fat , 650 mg sodium, 19 g carbs , 15 g protein
Nutrition : 60 calories, 0 g fat , 0 g sodium, 14 g carbs , 0 g protein.
If you decide to ditch the salad bar at your next visit to Jason’s Deli, consider ordering the half size of the California Club and pair it with a fruit cup. This way you’re only consuming 33 carbs while getting a variety of nutrients. Although, both men and women with diabetes actually could afford to tack on a few more carbs with this dish. Carb choices are important for people diabetes to keep track of.
One carb choice equals 15 grams of carbs. Women with diabetes should have up to 3-4 carb choices for lunch and dinner, or 45-60 grams of carbs per meal. For men, 4-5 carb choices are recommended for both lunch and dinner, or 60-75 grams of carbs. So both parties actually have a bit of wiggle room in this meal. Add a side of steamed veggies for an additional 60 calories, 11 grams carbs, and 5 grams sugar!
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What Do My Results Mean
You should have your results in a few days. A normal C-peptide range is 0.5 to 2.0 nanograms per milliliter.
These levels can be high when your body makes more insulin than usual. Levels are low when your body makes less than it normally should.
A high level can mean that you:
- Have insulin resistance — meaning your body doesn’t use it as well as it should if you have type 2 diabetes, your insulin levels may be high.
- Have a tumor, called an insulinoma
Worse Bet: Chips Salsa Burrito
The Count: 1,760 calories, 183 g carbs.
Before one bite of burrito, you can get 98 grams of carbs and 810 calories in a basket of chips and salsa. If you’re trying to slim down and eat less sodium, like many people with diabetes, the burrito adds 950 calories. You also get way more than a whole day’s worth of sodium.
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What Constitutes A Good Diet For Diabetics
Dr. Horowitz applauds the diets featured in this ranking for their inclusion of complex carbohydrates , lean proteins, healthy fats and dietary fiber, as well as their restriction of sweetened drinks and simple carbohydrates.
When it comes to keeping blood sugar levels within a healthy rangea key to successful diabetes managementDr. Horowitz recommends higher fiber foods because theyre slower to digest and take longer to affect glucose levels while also improving satiety.
The key to keeping glucose levels from rising is balance, she says. Having more of the meal composed of complex carbsand also eating a consistent amount of carbohydrates from meal to meal and avoiding meals that have too much at any one time including lean protein in the meal will help with satiety and prevent overeating.
Cheesecake Factory’s Seared Tuna Tataki Salad
Nutrition: 440 calories, N/A g fat , 1,390 mg sodium, 24 g carbs , N/A g protein
Look at this beautiful salad! Cheesecake Factory also has a SkinnyLicious menu that’s worth a gander. But for a dish off of the regular menu, it’s relatively low in carbs. Especially for a place that’s renowned for carb-heavy cheesecake. The sodium content is a bit high, but it’s not everyday you get to eat out so moderation is key. If you’re looking to whip up a killer salad at home, check out 30 Salad Recipes for Weight Loss.
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A Delicious Diabetic Diet Plan For Seniors
What is a diabetic diet? According to the American Diabetes Association , there isnt one answer. Many diet plans focused on senior nutrition can be beneficial for diabetics, as long as they include plenty of non-starchy vegetables and limit added sugars and refined carbs. Whole, unprocessed foods are always a healthy choice, but seniors with diabetes have plenty of options for delicious, nutritious meals and snacks.
Diabetes is a metabolism disorder that affects the way the body processes blood sugar, or glucose. In people with diabetes, the pancreas either doesnt produce enough insulin, or their cells dont respond appropriately to the insulin produced. This causes too much glucose to be released into the blood, which can be balanced with insulin doses and closely monitored carbs.
Learn expert snack suggestions, diabetic-friendly foods to choose at mealtimes, advice on managing carbs, and resources about nutrition for elderly adults.