Diabetes Management – Healthy Eating

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,535
    Janice Hidalgo, Project Manager of the Diabetes Self Management Educational Program at IPRO, discusses how to self manage your diabetes by eating healthy.

    Janice Hidalgo: Hello! I am Janice Hidalgo, Project Manager of the Diabetes Self Management Educational Program at IPRO, we're talking about how to self mange your diabetes by eating healthy.

    If you've just learned that you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, you probably have a lot of questions about what you can or you can't eat. So you wonder if you can't ever eat favorite foods again, what happens when you're eating at a restaurant or at a friend's house. Do you have to change your whole diet just because you have diabetes?

    The answers to these questions is, No. There is nothing that you can't eat, but every thing you eat has an effect on your blood sugar. Learning to eat regular meals, controlling the amount you eat, and making healthy food choices can help you mange your diabetes better and prevent further health complications. Developing a sensible plan for eating is an important first step in diabetes control.

    Jane Giordano, RD: With diabetes you really have to watch the portions and not only the portions but particularly the portions of Carbohydrates because Carbohydrates as you know are the foods that affect your blood sugar, so watching those carbs is really important.

    Janice Hidalgo: A healthy meal will include Complex Carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. Complex Carbohydrates include wholegrain bread, clean meat such as chicken, without the skin or fish are excellent sources of protein. Lots of nuts and healthy oils like Olive, Peanut or Canola are rich and healthy fats. Portion Control can help you control your blood sugar; a good first step is to follow a type of meal planning known as the Plate Method, this method includes a healthy balance of foods and controlled portion.

    In this method, half of your plate is filled with non starchy vegetables such as greens, green beans, broccoli or cabbage. 25% should contain meat or another protein, like eggs, low fat cheeses or beans and the other 25% should contain starches, such as potato or wholegrain bread.

    On the side, include an 8 ounce glass of low fat milk or a small piece of fruit, other things you can do include counting Carbohydrates. Counting Carbs is one way to control blood sugar, by limiting the amount of Carbohydrates in your diet, to about 45 to 60 grams a meal; you can prevent your blood sugar some going too high after that meal.

    Reading food labels, learning to read food labels is an important step in planning healthy meals and limiting the amount of unhealthy fats and sodium in your diet. For example, by knowing the difference between serving size and total servings, you can't count the number of total Carbohydrates in your meal.

    Developing a practical meal plan. Your dietitian can help you what kind of meal plan that fits you and your lifestyle. Presenting high or low blood sugar, some foods can raise your blood sugar faster than others, learning which foods you can take to raise your blood sugar when it's low, is just as important as knowing which foods can cause your blood sugar to go too high. If you don't know how to do these yourself, ask a diabetes educator or a dietitian to help you get started.

    If you like to learn more about diabetes, check out our other video in these series, including how incorporate physical activity into your care regiment.