Poor diet, among other things, causes diabetes. So it makes sense why a good, properly managed diet is one of the effective ways to control the condition. It has been believed that people with diabetes should have special meals. This is not entirely true. The key in controlling diabetes is to have a healthy, balanced diet, which every individual, with or without diabetes, should follow. It is all about moderation. It is all about watching what you eat. Here are some tips on how to prepare healthy and balanced meals for a person with diabetes.
- Include foods rich in carbohydrates. While carbohydrates have a role in high blood sugar levels, they are needed in keeping a balanced, healthy diet. So don’t eliminate carbs altogether; just try to balance the carbs intake. Particularly, prepare foods with complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, whole grain bread, and sweet potatoes. These foods are slower to digest and can help control sugar levels. Avoid foods with simple carbohydrates like candies and sodas.
- Cut back on red meat. Red meat is a source of saturated fats, which are not good for diabetics. Instead of red meat, use meat substitutes for the meals such as tofu. You can also use fish, seafood, and lean meat.
- Use healthy oil. Healthy oil is made of unsaturated fats and can help lower blood cholesterol. Examples of healthy oils are olive oil and canola oil. You can use healthy oil when frying, sautéing, and mixing vegetable salads.
- Adjust the recipe. You don’t necessarily have to religiously follow a recipe. If you think some of the ingredients are not beneficial for a diabetic, make a substitution. For example, instead of using heavy cream for soup, use cornstarch. If the recipe is calling for too much sugar, make sure to reduce the sugar amount. Although at times the adjustments will alter the flavor of the food or cost you more, the food will in the end become healthier.
- Have lots of vegetables. Plant foods have high nutritional value, which can benefit a diabetic. Vegetables can be prepared in a lot of different ways. You can sauté them, add them to soups and casseroles, or mixed them into a salad.
- Serve fruits. Just like vegetables, fruits are rich in nutrients. What’s nice is that fruits can satisfy sweet cravings without pumping up blood sugar. Make sure to always have a stock of fruits. You can serve fruits as a dessert, as a smoothie, or as a topping for healthy sweet treats.
- Prepare sweet treats. Sweet treats don’t have to be completely eliminated from the diet, but they should be consumed in moderation. Serve them once in a while and in small portions. Best to have are foods with low sugar content.
It is always important to consult a dietitian or nutritionist when preparing diabetic meals. This is to make sure that the meals won’t in any way aggravate the condition. Aside from a healthy, balanced diet, exercise is also effective in managing diabetes.