1. Focus on Healthy Carbs
While carbohydrates may be the primary source of energy for humans, you still need to be careful with the type of foods (or carbs) you eat. Some carbs are healthier than others, hence recommended for anyone with diabetes. It would be best to avoid any processed carbs and instead go for healthier sources such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains (buckwheat, brown rice, whole oats, etc.), pulses (lentils, beans, chickpeas), and dairy products (milk and unsweetened yoghurt).
It would also be advisable to stick to foods with high dietary fibre content and avoid processed foods. White rice, white bread, and processed cereals are low on dietary fibre and should be avoided.
2. Limit Your Salt Intake
Lots of table salt is harmful to your overall health, especially heart health. Adding too much salt to your meals will only worsen the condition while increasing the risk of heart-related diseases, including stroke and high blood pressure. Experts recommend limiting your salt intake to one teaspoonful (6g) per day. The best way to check or monitor your salt intake would be to prepare and cook your meals. Factory processed, and pre-packaged foods may contain high amounts of salts, hence should be avoided where possible. You could also avoid consuming salt by turning to seasonings such as spices and herbs. As a side point, if you are diabetic and you take insulin doing some research into the best insulin pumps would be beneficial.
3. Cut Down on Red and Processed Meats
Most people compensate for carbohydrates with larger portions of proteins. While this might be ok, you still do not want to overdo red or processed meats. When consumed in huge amounts, processed and red meats, such as sausages, bacon, ham, lamb, and beef can lead to cancers and heart problems. You can swap most of these proteins with healthier sources, e.g., fish, eggs, beans, lentils, turkey, chicken, and unsalted nuts.
Lentils, peas, and beans do not have a significant impact on your glucose levels and have a higher fibre count. These thus make excellent alternatives to red and processed meats. You might also want to go for oily fish if you prefer seafood. Oily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients essential for healthy cells and the heart. Two portions of oily fish are enough per week.
4. Have More Fruits and Veggies
Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for your health. Doctors and health experts recommend having more of these than anything else. This is because fruits and veggies contain essential nutrients and vitamins for better health and a stronger immune system.
The best thing about fresh fruits is that they are rich in natural sugars, which will not aggravate your condition. While the fruits might be sweet, the natural sugars are processed right away; hence no need to worry about your situation getting worse. Unlike processed or added sugars (free sugars) found in cakes, biscuits, and chocolates, natural sugars aren’t harmful to body cells.
Fresh fruit juice would also be a nice refreshment even for those with diabetes. Freshly pressed fruit juice isn’t however the same as product fruit juices with added sugars. Only fresh whole fruit juice is recommended in this case. Drinking lots of fresh whole fruit juice can help improve your overall health and the body’s immunity as well.
5. Go For Healthier Fats
Fats are essential for our overall well-being and help keep us energised throughout the day. It would thus be advisable to add healthy fats to your diet plan for this very purpose. You however should avoid saturated fats and stick to healthy fats instead. Some of the best sources of healthy fats include oily fish, avocado, seeds, unsalted nuts, sunflower oil, and rapeseed oil. Avoiding saturated fats will go a long way in staying healthy and preventing heart-related conditions.