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First Steps & Diabetes

Let's Do This!

By improving your eating habits you’re not only supporting your overall good health, but can help avoid some of the problems associated with diabetes.

Here are six steps you can take:

1. Eat and Drink Less Sugar

Sugary foods and drinks are high in calories (and often fat) and usually have a low nutritional value.

Try reaching for fewer sugary drinks and foods and look for items sweetened without sugar. Instead, look out for beverages and foods made with a low calorie sweetener such as Splenda (it might be listed as “sucralose” in the ingredients label).

2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Even if these aren’t your favourites, they do provide fibre and important nutrients. Try adding finely chopped vegetables to spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, soups and casseroles. Dip fruit slices in low-fat yoghurt, or make nutritious smoothies by blending berries or melon.

3. Choose Healthier Fats

Believe it or not, some fats help keep you healthy. Look for monosaturated fats in olives, olive oil, nuts and nut butters, or polyunsaturated fats in corn oil, soya bean oil, and soft margarine in a tub.

Fats from many fish are healthier than fatty meats and poultry skin. Avoid saturated fats like meat drippings, lard and butter and trans fats usually found in processed foods with hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil.

4. Think About Portions

We can afford to think smaller when it comes to portions. For example, a healthy serving of meat, fish, or poultry is 90 grams (around the size of a deck of cards). A healthy serving of cheese is 30 grams. Try and avoid eating if you are not hungry, it’s a good idea to avoid ordering dessert if you’re already full.

5. Get Moving

Studies have actually proven that you can lose as much weight by adding small amounts of movement throughout the course of your day as you can with a traditional exercise program. So try walking to work or striding up that extra flight of steps.

6. Instead Of 'Low-Carb' Think 'Healthy Carb'

You body needs carbohydrates (carbs for short); in fact it is recommended that people with diabetes get 45-65% of their daily calories in the form of healthy carbohydrates.

The question is, what are healthy carbs?

Like the ones listed below, healthy carbs give you vitamins, minerals and even fibre along with your calories.

  • Grains like oats, quinoa, and whole grain breads – whole wheat, rye
  • Fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, blueberries, strawberries
  • Vegetables like sweet potatoes and beans – black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Dairy like lowfat milk and plain or Greek yoghurts