HEALTHY EATING FOR DIABETES
ADVICE FOR LOWERING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Diabetes diets are the same as everybody elses diet apart from the fact that the body handles sugars differently.
A healthy diet and lifestyle can help to lower your blood sugar levels.
Diabetes is a condition where there is too much sugar in your blood. The sugar in your blood comes from certain foods that you eat. Insulin is needed to move sugar from your blood into your cells. Diabetes develops when insulin is not working properly either because there is not enough or it is not listened to (insulin resistance).
It is easier for the body to cope if the sugar is in a form that is more slowly absorbed.
For more details of this look at glycaemic index.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
* achieve your ideal body weight * do not smoke
* increase your physical activity * learn to relax * eat a healthier diet
HOW TO EAT A HEALTHIER DIET
CUT DOWN ON SUGAR AND SUGARY FOODS
Fizzy drinks with sugar should be avoided e.g. cola. (Diet and low calorie drinks are generally fine as they have sweeteners.)
The small amounts of sugar in savoury foods such as tinned soup, baked beans and sauces will not affect your blood sugar level.
• EAT REGULAR MEALS
Try to have breakfast, a midday and evening meal.
This will help to control your blood sugar levels.
• EAT MORE STARCHY FOODS
Starchy foods are an important energy source and should
be eaten at each meal. These will take time to digest to the sugars which your body will better able to handle.
Examples of Starchy Foods:
bread potatoes pasta chapatti yam
rice noodles cornmeal sweet potato breakfast cereals
• EAT MORE HIGH FIBRE FOODS
Fibre prevents constipation and can help reduce your blood sugar level. It also helps to fill you up if you are trying to lose weight
You can eat more fibre by:
* choosing wholemeal, granary or high fibre white bread
* trying wholemeal flour, pasta and brown rice
* eating fruit and vegetables
* trying pulses such as peas, beans or lentils
* choosing a high fibre breakfast cereal such as Weetabix, Branflakes or porridge oats
• EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Try to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. They are a good’ source of vitamins A, C and E, which have a protective effect in the body. The low levels of sugar in fruit will not affect your blood sugar level. Choose tinned fruit in natural juice rather than syrup.
(Excessive orange juice/grape juice may have an affect)
. EAT LESS FATTY FOOD
This will help to control your weight. Cut down on fried and fatty foods, eg butter, margarine, ghee, cheese, fatty meats, pies, pastries, crisps, samosas, parathas and dumplings.
* Grilling, steaming, poaching, baking, dry roasting and microwaving are all methods of cooking which help to
reduce the fat in your diet.
* Try using lean meat and remove the fat from meat and the skin from poultry before cooking.
* Try using skimmed or semi skimmed milk, low fat cheeses and low fat yoghurts.
• TRY TO CUT DOWN ON SALT
Too much salt is not good for your blood pressure. Try not to add it to your food at the table and cut down on the amount used in cooking.
• DRINK ALCOHOL IN MODERATION
Don’t choose special “diabetic” beers and don’t drink on an empty stomach. Try to have something to eat with your drink or very soon after.
A sensible amount of alcohol for a man is 3-4 units, 3-4 times
a week; for a woman it is 2-3 units, 3-4 times a week.
• TRY TO KEEP TO A HEALTHY WEIGHT
If you are overweight, this will affect your diabetes and may aggravate other health
Losing weight makes it easier to control diabetes.
Cutting down on fatty foods, sugary foods and alcohol can help with weight loss.
Try to keep as active as possible.
• AVOID SPECIAL DIABETIC FOODS
These are often expensive and can
be high in calories.
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