Finding out that you have diabetes is a life-changing event, no matter which type it is.
Your diagnosis means that you’ll have to pay extra attention to what you eat for the rest of your life. Needless to say, dietary changes affect people in different ways.
Some are quick to adjust, but some could have trouble with this change. Here are a few tips that could help you get used to your diabetic diet.
Plan Around Your Favorite Foods
One of the most common misconceptions about diabetes is that you have to completely eliminate sweets and other foods you probably enjoy. That’s not exactly true. You can still eat your favorite foods, but you need to be smart about it. Days, when you could eat as many sweets as you want, are gone. With diabetes, you can still eat what you want, but you have to manage the amount you eat and how often you eat.
Find Healthy Alternatives to your Favorite Foods
Having a sweet tooth and being diabetic is hard. Processed sugars are one of the things that will spike your blood sugar levels through the roof thanks to their high GI, or Glycemic Index. Although chocolate is difficult to replace, you can find great alternatives to processed sweets by exploring various fruits.
Fruits have plenty of glucose and fructose, but the amount you ingest by eating whole fruits is manageable for your body. If you think there’s no fruit in the world that can replace your favorite sweet, you better look again. There are so many awesome fruits out there, just waiting for you to try them out!
You Don’t Have to Give Up Pasta
Pasta and other starchy foods have high a GI index and are generally not recommended for diabetics. However, you don’t have to give up pasta if you enjoy eating it. All you really need to do is use a whole wheat alternative. Whole wheat pasta should still be consumed in moderation, but it is much healthier for you than white, processed pasta. When you eat whole wheat, you’re ingesting a bunch of nutrients that are stripped from the regular pasta as it is processed.
On top of that, you’re eating more fiber, vitamins, and other goodies that work to neutralize that glycemic spike caused by starchy foods. Speaking of vitamins, eat plenty of greens as well. Veggies are a must if you’re looking for a healthy diet.
Explore the World of Fish
If there’s one thing you should definitely give up it’s processed meats. They are bad for a perfectly healthy person, but downright dangerous for a diabetic. Fortunately for everyone, there are so many alternatives you can enjoy instead. Meats such as beef and pork are fine but in moderation.
On the other hand, eating fish, especially fish rich in Omega-3 oil, will have a positive effect on your diabetes as well as your overall health. Fish can be prepared in many different ways, leaving you with an assortment of tasty meals to diversify your diet. The only thing to watch out for is the lead content in certain fish such as tuna.
We live in a world that is surrounded by all kinds of tasty, but completely unhealthy snacks. Since processed foods should be avoided, that leaves you with a limited selection of healthy snacks.
However, you still have options! You can try different nuts and seeds. That being said, it’s no secret that popcorn is the real deal. Full of fiber, popcorn is still the go-to snack that you can enjoy as a diabetic. There is just one catch, though — try to eliminate microwave popcorn and make your own instead. Get a hot air popcorn maker if you want to enjoy the healthiest version of this snack.
The hardest dietary change for most people is eliminating soda. This is probably the one thing you won’t be able to replace that easily. One potential fix is to try carbonated water instead. Not only will you get rid of an unhealthy dietary habit, but you’ll also stay hydrated and that’s very important for your overall health.
If you decide to explore the world of carbonated water, beware of the hidden sugars. Many flavored water drinks have plenty of sugar that you don’t need as a diabetic.
Shifting your diet towards a diabetic-friendly one is a process that takes time. Don’t rush into it as that is a great way to fail. Instead, take your time and introduce the necessary changes one step at a time. Establishing a new diet means changing your lifestyle to a certain degree. That’s not something you want to rush.