Getting diagnosed with diabetes often requires drastic lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to eating habits. What a person with diabetes chooses to eat, as well as when and how much, can all affect their blood glucose levels. If you have someone with diabetes in your life, you’ll play a critical role in supporting them when it comes to healthy eating habits, so it’s important that you’re aware of the best dietary practices.
Encourage Healthy Eating
If you have a person with diabetes in your household, you should be doing whatever you can to encourage them to stick to healthy eating habits. Try keeping unhealthy foods out of the house to reduce temptation, and when you can, avoid buying foods with added sugars, high-fat meats, saturated fats, and salty foods. Diet changes are always easier when they’re done with someone else, so consider adopting some of their new eating habits as a way of showing solidarity and support.
Keeping up with dietary restrictions can be hard, especially for people with diabetes. Sometimes, it’s difficult to know what ingredients are in certain foods, so be sure to check the nutrition facts label. When you shop for a person with diabetes, these are the general food categories that are good for their health and the ones that should be avoided as much as possible.
What to shop for:
- Non-starch vegetables (green beans, broccoli, spinach)
- Lean protein (fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, nuts, eggs)
- Healthy fats (olive oil, canola oil)
- Fruits (oranges, apples, bananas)
What to avoid:
- Foods with added sugars (candy, desserts, sodas, juices)
- High-fat meats (beef, ribs, bacon, sausage, deli meats)
- Saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, ice cream)
- High-salt foods (chips, fries, pickles, canned goods)
Portion control is crucial when it comes to managing diabetes. Serving smaller portions will reduce caloric intake and can lead to weight loss and more stable glucose levels. And, losing weight can help people with diabetes become less resistant to the insulin they take, which will improve their condition in the long-term.
New healthy eating habits can be difficult for a person with diabetes to adjust to, but you can help make the changes a little bit easier by showing your support. If you have any questions about how healthy eating relates to diabetes, you can read more about our nutrition and diabetic education services here.