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Future Health

Healthy Eating Habits for Diabetes Patients

September 16, 2013 

Unhealthy eating is one of the nine risk factors for developing Diabetes and Heart Disease.
The American Diabetes Association recommends three basic steps for getting on the road to healthy eating to lowering your risk of developing diabetes or to control your disease if you already have symptoms. In addition to staying active, quitting smoking, and losing weight, these steps can make it easier for you to make healthy choices when you eat at home or out.
First, never go to the grocery store without a list, and try not to purchase items that look good or smell good as you pass them. As tempting as these items might be in the moment, when you get home they will not help you eat healthy.

Instead, follow these guidelines: buy lean mean, low fat dairy products, whole grain breads and cereals. Always avoid soda, foods high in sugar, chips and processed snack foods. Although diabetic snack foods are available, they tend to be expensive and usually only offer what you could do yourself if you follow these guidelines.
Second, make sure you always have ingredients on hand at home for healthy meals and snacks. That is another reason for a grocery list, and for planning your meals in advance. Make sure you have fresh fruits and vegetables if possible, and that vegetables are part of your meal planning. Fresh is always best, but frozen or canned will do and definitely are better then skipping this part of your meal.

And third, check package ingredients for sugar and salt content and avoid any items that are high in these substances. When eating out, choose grilled over fried foods, and avoid sauces or ask that they be served on the side so you can have just a taste. Choose fruit, salad or vegetable sides over French fries or other less healthy items. And finally, skip dessert to save money and lots of sugary calories.

Check our healthy recipes page for ideas on smart choices for your grocery list and meals.

The other risk factors for Diabetes and Heart Disease are overweight, high blood glucose, history of diabetes during pregnancy, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, smoking, and demographic details such as age, race, gender and family history. Watch for more information on these risk factors in future blogs.