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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Controlling Diabetes Through Diet: You Can Do It!

If you are pre-diabetic or living with diabetes, managing your condition may sometimes seem like an uphill battle, but there's no need to be discouraged.

Simple changes in your diet can make a difference in controlling the disease. Healthy eating can lower your overall blood sugar and help eliminate spikes.

Of course, changing the way you eat can be hard.

That's why it's recommended you make changes slowly and follow these guidelines:

What to Eat-

Eat non-starchy vegetables and fruits. At meals, fill half of your plate with such foods as lettuce, broccoli, celery, green beans, asparagus and artichokes, apples, pears and even berries (also a great source of healthy antioxidants.) These delicious foods pack tons of nutrients without the unwanted sugar found in starchy fruits and veggies like white potatoes and bananas.

Eat unprocessed grains such as brown rice and wholegrain breads. According to the Whole Grain Council, diets rich in whole grains can reduce Type 2 Diabetes risk by 21-30%.

Eat lean proteins such as fish, beans, egg whites and poultry. Protein works to curb hunger and increase muscle mass, a winning combination for those looking to control weight.

Eat healthy fats (also known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) including olive oil and canola oil, nuts and avocados.

What Not to Eat-

Limit sweets such as baked goods, candy and ice cream. These high-calorie foods have a high glycemic index, making it difficult to control your blood sugar level.

Eliminate unhealthy fats (also known as saturated fats, "trans fats" or partially hydrogenated fats) including animal-based products such as butter, red meat or fried foods.

Avoid alcohol.

When & How Much to Eat-

Eat throughout the day. Your daily food intake should include three small meals and one to two snacks. Eating smaller portions throughout the day keeps your metabolism active without your ever being too full. Practice portion control. In today's "supersized" world, a healthy portion size may be smaller than you think.

Here are some serving size guidelines:

Meat: One portion is about the size of a deck of cards.
Bread: One portion equals one slice.
Pasta: One portion is about the size of a single scoop of ice cream.

Following these simple dietary rules of thumb can help keep blood sugar in check. Combine a healthy diet with increased exercise, and you'll be well on your way to better controlling diabetes. Be sure and consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.

For delicious, diabetes-friendly recipes the whole family will enjoy, check out the selection of cookbooks. You'll find great prices on a wide range of products to help you manage your condition.