Nutrition and physical activity are important parts of a healthy lifestyle when you have diabetes. Along with other benefits, following a healthy meal plan and being active can help you keep your blood glucose level, also called blood sugar, in your target range. To manage your blood glucose, you need to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine if you take any. What you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are all important in keeping your blood glucose level in the range.
The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, in the amounts your meal plan outlines. The food groups are:
Vegetables and nonstarchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes; the starchy foods include: potatoes, corn, and green peas.
Fruits: includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes;
Grains: at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains which include wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, and quinoa. Examples: bread, pasta, cereal, and tortillas
Protein: includes lean meat, chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, eggs, nuts, and peanuts, dried beans and certain peas, such as chickpeas and split peas, meat substitutes, such as tofu dairy—nonfat or low-fat milk or lactose-free milk if you have lactose intolerance.
Eat foods with heart-healthy fats which mainly come from these foods: oils that are liquid at room temperatures, such as canola and olive oil, nuts and seeds, heart-healthy fish such as salmon, tuna, etc.
Foods and drinks to limit: include fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat and trans fat foods high in salt, also called sodium sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks.
Your daily eating plan also may include small snacks between meals.
Portion sizes: You can use everyday objects or your hand to judge the size of a portion. Physical activity is an important part of managing your blood glucose level and staying healthy. Being active has many health benefits.
In a nutshell, imbibing the above foods and physical activity in your daily routine can help manage diabetes better.