As you create your diabetic diet meal plan, you may be struggling to find healthy foods to replace the ones discussed in the previous slide. Fortunately, there are dozens of healthy, diabetic-friendly alternatives you can incorporate into your diet that won’t significantly change the way you eat.
Most food scientists and doctors agree that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins can carry many benefits for folks living with diabetes.
Are you a pasta lover? Your diabetes meal plan doesn’t have to put an end to your favorite meal. You can swap whole grain pasta for processed white pasta for a healthy, diabetic-friendly recipe. Whole grains are lower on the glycemic index (GI), which means they do not have a high impact on blood sugar.
Other whole grains include things like brown rice, whole grain bread, whole grain cereal, quinoa, buckwheat and rye.
Whole grains are high-fiber foods, and fiber-rich foods are not easily digested. Your body breaks fiber down slowly, which prevents sudden sugar spikes.
Green leafy vegetables are also low on the GI scale, which means you can eat plenty of them without seeing a huge impact on your blood sugar. They also contain antioxidants, which could prove especially beneficial to those living with diabetes.
Your diabetic food plan can incorporate the following types of vegetables:
- Bok choy
Green leafy vegetables also have a high concentration of antioxidant properties like vitamin C and polyphenols. Replacing bad foods with more vegetables can help you lose weight. Weight loss, even just a few pounds, can help you better regulate your blood sugars.
People with diabetes may have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Your diabetic diet plan should contain foods that can help lower your risk of this condition, like foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Foods that contain fatty acids include:
- Firm tofu
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Omega-3 fatty acids can also help you control your weight and blood sugars. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends men consume 1.6 grams of omega-3 daily and women consume 1.1 grams.
Vegan diets are low in omega-3, and you may not get enough daily if you do not like fish or seeds. If you are having trouble getting enough into your diet, you can take fish oil pills as a supplement.