Meal Planning with Diabetes
Healthy meal planning is one of the best ways to support steady blood sugar when you have diabetes. A diabetes-friendly diet is thought to be the best eating plan for anyone, with or without diabetes. Committing to meal planning and an eating schedule will ease the mental burden of choosing healthy meal options on the fly.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to help guide your diabetic meal planning.
Do Reduce Carb Intake: Less-healthy carbohydrates, that is. Removing options with added fats, sugars and sodium will help you maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Don’t Overindulge in Saturated and Trans Fats: Limit your intake of saturated fats by avoiding coconut and palm kernel oils as well as high-fat dairy products like butter, and animal proteins like beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon. Avoid trans fats by steering clear of processed snacks, baked goods, shortening and margarines.
Do Eat Fish: Fish are a high-protein heart-healthy option. Choose fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines for a boost in omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to prevent heart disease.
Do Eat on a Schedule: Committing to a regular eating schedule will help your body maintain steady blood sugar levels and avoid the rollercoaster of blood sugar fluctuations.
Don’t Forget to Measure Portion Size: Stay mindful of recommended portion sizes by measuring portion sizes. At restaurants, aim to eat half of your entrée and to wrap the remaining half to enjoy at home or at work the next day.
Do Measure Cholesterol & Sodium: Stick to 200 milligrams of cholesterol every day. Measure your intake of high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks and other organ meats. Aim to consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Consult your doctor for recommended limits for cholesterol and sodium intake.
Adopting a diabetes-friendly meal plan will not only help you maintain steady blood sugar level, it will also help you make strides in other areas of your health. By minimizing processed foods and committing to healthy, fresh meals, you’ll support your entire body. An investment in a healthy meal plan is an investment in your health and in your future.