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How to Eat Healthy With Diabetes

November 5th, 2012 Healthy Living

If you have diabetes, you should know that what you eat and drink affects your blood sugar levels, which makes it important to keep track of what you ingest. A diabetes diet isn't really restrictive - so don't worry about not being able to enjoy some of your favorite foods. Rather, this type of medical nutrition therapy focuses on eating a variety of healthy foods in moderate amounts while sticking to regular mealtimes. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind when you're planning your meals, according to WebMD and the Mayo Clinic.

Carbohydrates This food component has the greatest effect on your blood sugar and changes it the fastest. The simple carbohydrates of sugar and the complex carbohydrates of starch both break down to glucose in your blood. When you're eating these foods, it's important to choose the healthiest options, like whole-grains, vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy products.

Fiber Dietary fiber is made up of parts of plants that your body can't digest and absorb. Getting enough can decrease your risk of heart disease, as well as help you control your blood sugar levels. Be sure to pick foods that are high in fiber - like vegetables, legumes and nuts - and add them to your diet.

Fish Instead of fatty meats, eat plenty of fish, at least twice a week. Varieties like cod, tuna and halibut have less fat and cholesterol than most meats and poultry. Look for kinds with plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon or herring. Avoid fried fish and those with a lot of mercury, like tilefish or swordfish.

Good fats Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol, but eat them sparingly because they have a lot of calories. This includes foods like avocados, nuts and olive oil.

As long as you get a variety of these four components, you should be able to take charge of your blood sugar levels and keep them under control.