You will need to follow specific dietary guidelines in order to manage diabetes successfully. Maintaining a healthy weight is another important aspect of managing your diabetes. Learn about basic strategies such as carb counting, weight management and other useful tools.
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Carbohydrate counting is a meal-planning strategy to help manage your blood sugar when you have diabetes. You learn how much carbohydrate is in the foods you eat. Then you can adjust food and portions to meet your carbohydrate goal. This helps prevent high blood sugar after you eat and drink.
The healthiest carbohydrate choices are breads, cereals, and pastas made with whole grains; brown rice; low-fat dairy products; vegetables; legumes such as peas, lentils, and beans; and fruits.
Foods made from refined flour, including bread, pasta, doughnuts, cookies, and desserts, also contain carbohydrates (carbs). And carbs are in foods and drinks that have sugar, such as candy or soda.
Coping with your feelings about eating to manage diabetes
Our emotions influence what we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat. So negative feelings can interfere with how well you can follow your diet for diabetes. If you can let go of those feelings, you’ll be more likely to follow a healthy diet. These tips can help you manage your feelings.
If your feelings keep getting in the way of taking care of yourself, talk with a health professional about counseling.
Counting carbs when you use insulin
Carbohydrate (carb) counting is an important skill to learn when you use insulin. It allows you to adjust the amount of insulin you use so you can eat what you want and still keep your blood sugar at your target level. Here are some tips for counting carbs.
Healthy choices when eating out
When your goal is healthy eating, dining out can be a challenge. Here are some ways to make healthy choices.
Planning healthy meals
If you have diabetes, planning meals and snacks with a good balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat can help you manage your blood sugar.
Planning your meals ahead of time can help make it easier to eat healthy foods and snacks.
Work with a dietitian or diabetes educator to find a plan that works for you.
- Plan your meals a week at a time.
- Use cookbooks or online recipes to plan several main meals for the week.
- Plan some quick meals for busy nights. You can double some recipes and freeze half of the meal for a night when you're busy.
- Make a list of the meals you've planned for the week. Post it in your kitchen.
- Make a shopping list of foods that you need to make your meals.
- Include breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. List plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- If you're running low on or missing anything you need for your meals, put it on your list.
- Take your list with you when you shop.
- Save some of your menus and grocery lists to use again.
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important aspect of managing your diabetes. For many people, consulting with a dietitian or joining a program or group focused on weight loss provides valuable information and support.
Search for healthy recipes to help maintain your weight offered by the American Diabetes Association.
Parkview Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery offers services and support that may be helpful for you.