Many people believe that diabetics require a special diabetes diet and that they must avoid certain foods altogether, or replace them with specially formulated “Diabetic” or “Dietetic” items purchased from health food stores. This is not the case and diabetics can eat exactly the same food as everybody else.
One question that often arises is that of just what sort of foods diabetics should be looking for when it comes to creating a balanced diet. Well, here are 7 suggestions for a good diabetes diet:
1. Include a good range of both fruit and vegetables and try to avoid sticking to your two or three favorites. The color test is a good one to apply here. Try to ensure that the range of fruit and vegetables that you are eating spans the colors of the rainbow. So, include a wide range such as oranges, bananas, apples, carrots, red cabbage and beans. Also, include vegetables that are low in starch, or starch-free, such as spinach and broccoli.
2. Eat whole grain rather than processed food and choose things like brown rather than white rice and whole wheat spaghetti.
3. Include fish in your diabetes diet at least twice a week. Fish is an excellent source of protein and also contains a number of essential oils. For preference, boil, steam, bake or grill fish but try to avoid frying fish and, especially, frying fish in batter.
4. Choose lean cuts of meat and roast, grill, bake, braise or stew meat rather than fry it. A good tip when buying meat is to choose cuts that include the word “loin” such as pork loin or sirloin. When cooking poultry and wildfowl you should remove the skin before serving and should avoid particularly fatty meats such as duck.
5. Select non-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk and non-fat cheese and yoghurt. Although these products are a very healthy option many people find that they simply lack any real taste and, for many, this is a difficult option. If this is the case then meet the problem half way by choosing low-fat rather than non-fat products and compensate for this by using them sparingly in your diabetes diet.
6. Avoid high calorie sweetened drinks, particularly those that are carbonated, and try to drink more water and natural fruit juices. Also be careful not to consume too much tea or coffee and add only as much sugar as in necessary for taste. You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to cut out sugar entirely from things like tea and coffee if you try and you’ll end up enjoying both just as much as you did previously.
7. Cut back on desserts and, while it’s fine to eat cake and ice-cream from time to time try to include such items in your diet just once or twice a week rather than every day. In addition, ease yourself away from full cream ice-cream and cakes to lower fat alternatives.