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10 Tips For Staying Healthy

There are neither magic bullets nor forbidden foods in a diabetic diet--it's about making educated choices, practicing portion control and moderation and choosing nutritious foods the whole family can enjoy. Every day, include a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and high-fiber whole grains and beans.


Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for your body and brain. They also contribute most to your blood sugar and glucose levels. They're found in breads, grains, beans, fruits and vegetables and dairy products, as well as in table sugar, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and other sweets. Adults should aim for 50 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal, and 10 to 30 grams per snack.


Sugar and sweets can be part of a diabetic diet, but should be combined with other foods to lessen their impact on blood sugar. If you choose to have dessert, plan ahead, substituting it for other carbohydrates in the meal (like pasta, rice, or bread). When preparing desserts, reduce the sugar, when possible, to about 1/3 to 1/2 of the original amount, or use sugar substitutes.


High-fiber foods help stabilize blood sugar and lower cholestrol. Aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. High-fiber foods include oats and barley, whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.


For protein, select lean meats, seafood, low-fat dairy, 1 egg per day, or legumes (which includes beans, soy products, and peanut butter). Aim for 15 to 20% of your daily calories to be from protein (or 75 to 100 grams daily on a 2000 calorie per day diet). Any extra protein will be used as calories or stored as fat.


Fats are a necessary part of any diet. With diabetes, excess weight and risk of heart disease are concerns, so managing fat intake is especially important. Avoid saturated fats, like those found in full-fat dairy, red meat, and chicken skin -- and also trans fats, found in commercially fried and processed foods. All fats, even the healthy ones, are high in calories, so use them sparingly.


Water and other low-calorie beverages are the best ways to quench your thirst without adding excess calories and carbohydrates.


If you drink alcohol, limit drinks to 1 per day for women and 2 per day for men, and always consume it with food.


Weight loss and daily exercise lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol -- which in turn may lower amount of medication you need.


Managing your diabetes is crucial. Work closely with your health care team, and if they have a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), sign up for classes. Schedule a session with a Registered Dietician to work out an eating plan and to stay current on the latest research. And involve your family -- research shows that family support is one of the strongest predictors of successful management of diabetes.


Resource: thefoodnetwork.com


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