November 14th is world diabetes day, a day dedicated to diabetes education all over the world.
Diabetes is on the rise, yet most cases are preventable and some can even be reversed. Taking steps to prevent and control diabetes doesn’t mean living in deprivation; it means eating a tasty, balanced diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood. You don’t have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland food. With these tips, you can still take pleasure from your meals without feeling hungry or deprived.
Whether you’re trying to prevent or control diabetes, the most important thing you can do is to lose a little weight. Losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
It’s not too late to make a positive change, even if you’ve already developed diabetes. The bottom line is that you have more control over your health than you think.
Not all body fat is created equal. Your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen as opposed to your hips and thighs, as a lot of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. You are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if you are: A woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more and a man with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more.
While exercise is important, what you eat has the biggest impact on weight loss and controlling diabetes. But a diabetic diet doesn’t have to be complicated. Your nutritional needs are virtually the same everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. You just need to pay attention to some of your food choices—most notably the carbohydrates you eat.
Healthy fats from raw nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, whole milk dairy, or avocados
Fruits and vegetables—ideally fresh, the more colorful the better; whole fruit rather than juices
High-fiber cereals and breads made from whole grains or legumes
Fish and shellfish, organic, free-range chicken or turkey
High-quality protein such as eggs, beans, milk, cheese, and unsweetened yogurt
Trans fats from partially hydrogenated or deep-fried foods
Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, desserts
White bread, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice
Processed meat and red meat from animals fed with antibiotics, growth hormones.
Low-fat products that have replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yogurt