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Friday, January 19, 2018

5 Tips for Healthy Eating with Diabetes

When you have been diagnosed with diabetes and have to face changing your lifestyle and eating habits to manage your disease, it seems like you unwittingly signed up to climb Mount Everest. Suddenly you are thrust into having to know a lot about something you probably never thought you would need to know. And you are expected to be an expert instantly.

The first thing to feel better about is that healthy eating is relevant to everyone. If we want to enjoy life, have the energy to do the things we want to, and get to our bucket list, than eating healthy is a cornerstone to achieving our desired quality of life. In a recent article in Diabeticlivingonline.com, Angela Ginn, R.D., CDE, education coordinator at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, stated that the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines and the American Diabetes Association's nutrition guidelines dovetail nicely. In a nutshell, healthy eating has basic tenets that are good for everyone, especially when you are living with a chronic disease like diabetes.

Before getting down to specific foods to eat and menus to create we need to get a handle on the framework for healthy eating. Here are 5 Tips for Healthy Eating with Diabetes:

  1. Right-size your plate. How big are your plates? Research shows that the bigger the plate the more food you are going to end up putting on it. If your plates are bigger than 10 inches it is time to right size your plates. Ready for an innovative solution? Check out these cool right-sized dishes.


  2. Get a handle on portion sizes. Because we live in a super-sized world our portions are way out of whack. We really don’t know what a serving size is for any given food. We so often rely on our eyes for portions but our eyes can only measure relatively, not to any specific size or amount. Being familiar with standard servings sizes and using attractive measuring/serving spoons to make it easy to serve up right-sized meals is key and very possible.
  3. Balance the food on your plate. Our bodies are engines that need the right fuels to perform well. In our busy lives we often “grab-and-go” not really taking the time to think about whether what we are eating has all the right ingredients for a balanced meal to provide us with the perfect fuel to run well. Meals need to be balanced not only in providing the variety of foods necessary but also in the correct proportions. Believe it or not, there is a clever tool out there to help you with portions as well as proportions for a balanced meal.
  4. Have a meal plan. We all know that it is tough to think about a well-balanced meal when we are in a rush or at the end of the day when we are tired. Preparing menus and having foods already on hand for the meals you want to eat during each day makes all the difference when we want to eat healthy, eat well and eat right. Our Get Started Guide has a menu plan included to make it easy to plan ahead and eat healthy long term.


  5. Eat more at home. There is no doubt about it, eating at home gives you more control on what you eat and how those foods are prepared. You can manage what goes into your foods from salt, sugar and fat that can have negative effects on your health. Look at how many times a week you eat out and make a commitment to switch out some of those meals each week towards more meals made at home. You can make it easy and save money over time to add to the enjoyment of your bucket list. To get started, try out these easy recipes.

If you are looking for more information about healthy lifestyle and healthy eating tips for people living with diabetes check out our “diabetes” section on the blog.


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