Have you heard of Glycemic index? It is an index of how carbohydrates affect your blood glucose level. The index is based off of pure glucose rating as 100. If a product has a high glycemic index, a score closer to 100, then it has a larger effect on your blood glucose level. A low index food, a number closer to 0, has a small effect on your blood glucose level. Of course glucose has a high GI and so does bake potato and white bread. Foods that have a low GI are peanuts, most fruits, and vegetables.
Keep track of your blood glucose readings in a daily journal. Make special note of any high or low numbers, and try to track down what might be causing this. If you also track your meals, you may soon see a relationship between foods and glucose levels. This information can also be helpful to your doctor or nutritionist.
Hi! I’m Brooke, Brookshire’s Consumer Nutrition Specialist.
I’m here to help you with any questions involving food, from cooking to information about a particular food.
You can obtain more about recipes and food from Brookshire’s Celebrate Cooking and here on the Brookshire’s Blog. On the Brookshire’s website, we also have cooking videos to walk you through the steps of food preparation. If you have any questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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As a diabetic, you should never consume carbohydrates alone. In a meal or snack it is very important that you have fat and protein along with your carbohydrate. Here are some examples of snacks that include fat and protein with carbohydrates.
- Apples or banana with peanut butter
- Gingersnaps and 2% milk
- Crackers with 2% cheese
- Whole-wheat toast and egg
- Popcorn with nuts and raisins
- Hummus on celery sticks
- Yogurt with walnuts
Diabetes and heart disease sometimes coincide; therefore it is very important to watch your saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol along with your carbohydrates. I know you probably do not want to hear about another group of foods you have to watch but these are very simple ways to stay healthy. Here are some tips in helping with saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol:
- Instead of whole milk try 2%, skim or fat-free milk. Many people do not like skim milk so if you can only reduce the fat to 2% milk that is just fine.
- If cheese is on your list try to get natural 2% cheese versus full fat cheese.
- If you are a sour cream lover, then try to use fat-free plain yogurt. It is just as tasty.
- Instead of sautéing your vegetables in butter, you could try olive oil or canola oil.
- Always look for canned soups, soy sauce and other products that are labeled low sodium.
- Adding spices to meals can reduce the temptation of extra salting at the dinner table.
- When buying products that are labels fat-free or low fat make sure that you read the nutrition fact. Sometimes the fat will be replaced with more sugar, so it is important to check the label before you buy.
Beans are very high in fiber, and that may help control weight and help prevent or manage diabetes. Beans can also protect against colon cancer and heart disease. The National Institute of Medicine recommends 25 to 38 grams of fiber every day and most Americans get only 4 to 11 grams. One cup of beans provides about 15 grams. Go beans!!
When you have special dietary needs, you don’t want to be caught short at mealtimes; that’s when you’ll be tempted to veer off your eating plan! So be prepared by cooking extra food whenever you can. Whenever you’re fixing chicken breasts, make a few extra and keep in the fridge. You might even want to add a dash of Caesar dressing to the chicken as you put them in the plastic bag. The next night, all you need to do is warm them in the microwave, serve over greens and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for quick and easy Chicken Caesar salad!
One of the best things you can do to eat a diabetes-friendly diet is to pack your lunch—to school, to work or to eat at home. You can control the ingredients and the preparation, so you’ll know without a doubt how these foods fit into your plan. Eating at a restaurant is guesswork at best.
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