6 Healthy Eating Habits for People With Diabetes

Eating a healthy diet is hard for everyone, but making proper food choices is even more important for those living with diabetes. Here are six tips that will help you on your way to adopting the right eating habits.

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1. Variety Is the Spice of Life

Goal: Eat a variety of foods within and among the basic food groups while you stay within your calorie needs.

Which means: Make your calories count! Choose foods packed with vitamins and minerals. Don’t use up your calories on foods with added fats and sugars.

2. Take Control of Your Calories

Goal: Control the number of calories you eat in order to reach or remain at a healthy body weight. 
Which means: Aim always for a healthy body weight. To achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, eat only the calories you will burn every day. If your weight is creeping up, shave off calories by choosing healthier foods — and burn more calories with physical activity.

3. Fortify Yourself

Goal: Increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products you eat each day. 
Which means: These foods provide essential vitamins and minerals to keep your body functioning properly. Choose more of these healthy low-fat foods to get the vitamins and minerals you need.

4. Be Picky About Your Fats

Goal: Choose fats wisely for good health. 
Which means: Keep the amount of saturated fat and trans fat you eat low. Choose healthier fats and oils — those with mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These include nuts, olive oil and canola oil.

5. Be Careful About Carbs

Goal: Choose carbohydrates wisely for good health. 
Which means: Get about half the calories you eat every day from healthy carbohydrates. This means whole grains, legumes, dried beans, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods. Eat fewer processed foods and fewer foods made with added sugars and fats.

6. Hold the Salt

Goal: Choose and prepare foods with little salt. 
Which means: Limit your sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams a day by eating fewer processed and prepared foods and not seasoning with salt when you cook and eat. Note: Did you know that just 1 teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 milligrams of sodium? 

Adapted from Real-Life Guide to Diabetes, by Hope S. Warshaw, MMSc., RD, CDE, and Joy Pape, R.N., BSN,  CDE. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association.

Article courtesy of Parade.com