If you have been diagnosed with diabetes you may wonder what diabetic diet food is, in other words what you can and can’t eat.
Of course everyone’s metabolism is different, so there are no hard and fast rules. Much of deciding which diabetic diet food is right for you is a matter of trial and error. You need to test your blood sugar after eating certain foods and if it’s high, leave those foods out of your diet or cut down on them.
Follow these 5 tips to lay the foundations of your diet.
1. Be careful of snacking. Many snack foods are high in carbohydrates so are not suitable diabetic diet food. Try to avoid crisps, salted nuts, biscuits, cakes and sweets. Great snacks are strips of raw vegetables such as celery, carrots, green or red pepper and cucumber. Unsalted nuts and fresh or dried fruits are also fine. If you must eat chocolate, have a couple of squares of dark chocolate high in coco solids or if you can buy it, unsweetened dark chocolate.
2. Eat whole grain or wholemeal bread and pasta as well as brown or basmati rice. Wholemeal carbohydrates are so much better for you than the over-processed white varieties. There are lots of different breads available containing seeds and whole grains and they have really great flavour! Potatoes are also good carbohydrates as long as they’re not smothered in oil for roasting or butter if they’re boiled. Try dry roasting potato wedges with a sprig of rosemary or a spoonful of cumin seeds. They’ll taste so good that you won’t miss the fat and if the oven is hot enough, they’ll still be crispy.
3. Watch your alcohol intake. Beer is full of sugar so unless you can get the pilsner variety with all the sugar brewed out, avoid it if possible. Cocktails are also bad news, unless you know exactly what’s gone into them but many contain sugar syrup so also best avoided. Spirits with a calorie free mixer such as tonic or cola are ok occasionally and a glass of red wine comes highly recommended as it contains anti-oxidants which are good for your heart.
4. Make sure that you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Veggies don’t have to be boring and they are the best diabetic diet food. Try mixing chopped courgette, aubergine, red pepper and red onion with a couple of bashed garlic cloves and a sprinkling of olive oil and seasoning. Roast in a medium oven for 20 minutes. Steaming green vegetables keeps more of the goodness in than boiling. You can cook fruit or leave it raw as dessert but use artificial sweeteners rather than sugar, if you’re cooking it.
5. Drink lots of water. This is good for you whether you’re diabetic or not. It’s quite easy to drink a glass of water every hour so if you sit at a computer, have a reminder pop up or leave glasses of water ready to drink scattered around the house. Drinking water keeps you hydrated and keeps the kidneys functioning as they should.
Follow these tips on the right diabetic diet food and you’ll control your weight and your diabetes.