- A change in the way your favorite foods are prepared. Can you bake it instead of deep-frying it?
- A change in the other foods you usually eat along with your favorites. Maybe have a sweet potato instead of mashed potatoes?
- Smaller servings of your favorite foods. A little bit goes a long way.
- Not using your favorite foods as a reward when you stick to your meal plan. Do reward yourself, but with something other than food.
February 17, 2017
Special Diets for Diabetes – Not – Part 1
Have you heard that eating too much sugar causes diabetes? Or maybe someone told you that you have to give up all your favorite foods when you’re on a diabetes diet? Well, those things aren’t true. In fact, there are plenty of myths about dieting and food. Use this guide to separate fact from fiction.
#1. Eating Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes. MYTH. The truth is that diabetes begins when something disrupts your body's ability to turn the food you eat into energy.
#2. There Are Too Many Rules in a Diabetes Diet. MYTH. If you have diabetes, you need to plan your meals, but the general idea is simple. You’ll want to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Choose foods that work along with your activities and any medications you take.
Will you need to make adjustments to what you eat? Probably. But your new way of eating may not require as many changes as you think.
#3. Carbohydrates Are Bad for Diabetes. MYTH. Carbs are the foundation of a healthy diet whether you have diabetes or not. But learn the limit of carbohydrates that your body can handle and learn to eat to your meter.
They do affect your blood sugar levels, which is why you’ll need to keep up with how many you eat each day. Some carbs have vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So, choose from these, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Starchy, sugary carbs are not a great choice because they have less to offer. They’re more like a flash in the pan than fuel your body can rely on.
#4. Protein Is Better Than Carbohydrates for Diabetes. MYTH. Because carbs affect blood sugar levels so quickly, you may be tempted to eat less of them and substitute more protein. But take care to choose your protein carefully. If it comes with too much saturated fat, that’s risky for your heart’s health. Keep an eye on your portion size too. Talk to your dietitian or doctor about how much protein is right for you. Read my blog here about protein and please read this blog by David Mendosa as he discusses protein.
#5. You Can Adjust Your Diabetes Drugs to ‘Cover’ Whatever You Eat. MYTH. If you use insulin for your diabetes, you may learn how to adjust the amount and type you take to match the amount of food you eat. But this doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want and then just use additional drugs to stabilize your blood sugar level.
If you use other types of diabetes drugs, don't try to adjust your dose to match varying levels of carbohydrates in your meals unless your doctor tells you to. Most diabetes medications work best when you take them as directed. When in doubt, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
#6. You'll Need to Give Up Your Favorite Foods. MYTH. There’s no reason to stop eating what you love. Instead, try:
A dietitian can help you find ways to include your favorites in your diabetes meal plan.