I have read countless diet books and diabetic recipe/diet books and have come to a conclusion that I think really works. I combined all the good things from the diets (but not from every diet) and put together my own diet, so to speak. I call it my healthy diet for diabetes!
1. Reduce the snacks and change the type of snacks you eat
This was certainly my biggest mistake, even though I didn’t really notice it. When I started university, I had little or no routine, which meant it was difficult to fill my day and I would regularly head to the kitchen for a snack, no matter how healthy it was. For some people, this is one of the hardest things to do, but developing a good routine is essential to good diabetes care. Snacks to eat include unsalted nuts, dried unsweetened fruit, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables (I love fresh red peppers and cucumbers), dark chocolate (richer and tastier, and you usually only need 2 pieces).
2. Reduce white flour and consume whole-grain carbohydrates
This is the most important part of your diet and the one that can contribute the most to weight loss. Some diets actually focus only on this and are very successful. Whole grains (especially whole grains made from stone-ground flour) are so good for you and have so much more flavour than making the switch is much easier than you think. Most people are really surprised by the choices in the supermarket. Remember that the best bread for you is the one that is freshest and has the least preservatives or additives. Brown or basmati rice is also great and has a nice nutty texture. Whole wheat pasta is great, and for potatoes, I would definitely recommend the smaller new potatoes.
3. Stop drinking cocktails, drink wine instead
Cocktails are full of sugar, dyes and preservatives. As a college student, I’ve had a lot of practice going out and not drinking cocktails. So my favourite drink is Malibu and Diet Coke when I need to drink something, and that will last me all night. I can then top it off with Diet Coke (which has almost no sugar) and it looks like I’m drinking Malibu, who knows. When you go out to eat at a restaurant, red wine is much better than anything else you can order (except water, of course!), and it’s been proven that the antioxidants in red wine are good for a healthy heart. The recommended amount is one glass per day with a meal in the evening.
4. Cook more fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. There are so many different ways to prepare vegetables, but I find that raw is best, followed closely by steamed. Both methods of preparation preserve the natural goodness of the vegetables. I will follow up this post with another post on diabetes recipes.
5. Drink more water
I know you’ve heard this many times before, but the benefits of drinking more water are endless. A few tips on how to incorporate more water into your day are first, put water bottles in all the places you spend time around the house or at work. So put one in your desk, on your desk, a glass in the kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc. Try to drink all of these glasses and you will be well on your way to drinking 8 glasses a day. The trick is to add a glass every few days or so. If you try to drink that much water at once, you won’t feel as much like drinking 8 glasses, believe me! Give it a try, it’s amazing how good you will feel.