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March 2023: Tips for Managing Blood Sugar with Nutrition
More than 130 million adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes in the United States. What you eat can play a huge role in managing or preventing type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet can help keep your blood sugars in a healthy range and maintain a healthy weight. Each time you eat, aim to balance your plate with the following tips:
Roughly 1/4 of your plate should be filled with protein. You can consume a variety of protein, including both animaland plant-based sources. Fish and poultry are good choices, as well as Greek yogurt and cheese. Tofu, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds are a few plant-based options.
Carbohydrates or starches
Roughly 1/4 of your plate should include starchy vegetables and grains. A few whole grain options are oats, brown rice, quinoa, or 100% whole wheat bread and pasta. Fruit is also a carbohydrate. Whole fruits are better than fruit juice, as fruit contains fiber to help balance blood sugar. If you include fruit juice, canned fruit, or dried fruit, choose varieties with no added sugars.
The more color the better. Close to 1/2 of your plate should include salad greens, bell peppers, broccoli, radishes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or onions, to name a few. These foods are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They can fill you up, and generally contain fewer calories and carbohydrates.
Dietary fat helps your body absorb beneficial fat-soluble nutrients from your food, so it’s important to include heart-healthy fats in your meals and snacks throughout the day. Aim for heart-healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, fatty fish, and extra virgin olive oil. Fat adds great flavor to meals and helps you feel full for a longer amount of time.
Many people are at risk for diabetes and don’t even know it. Visit with your primary care provider regularly for important screenings and to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. While getting a diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes can feel scary and overwhelming, it is important to know that these conditions can be managed. You can still live a full, healthy, and happy life.
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