As we’ve mentioned before, a healthy diet is a big part of helping you live well, but it is especially critical for those who are living with diabetes. Not only will good nutrition help manage the disease, it will also help you stay at a desirable weight, control your blood pressure, and prevent heart disease and stroke.
As always, your health care provider or a registered dietitian can offer advice on planning and preparing healthy meals.
Some healthy cooking tips to lower caloric intake, fats and sugars include:
• Use nonstick cooking spray instead of oil, shortening or butter.
• If you do use oil, use olive, corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, vegetable or flaxseed oil.
• Season food with herbs and spices (like pepper, cinnamon and oregano), vinegar, lemon juice or salsa instead of salt, butter or sugary sauces.
• Use low- or no-sugar jams instead of butter or margarine on breads.
• Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to get at least 2 servings a week of omega-3 rich foods, like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, rainbow trout and albacore tuna. Walnuts, flaxseed and soy products are other omega-3 rich foods that can be added to a healthy diet.
• Eat whole-grain, high-fiber cereals or oatmeal with skim or 1% milk.
• Buy whole-grain breads and cereals instead of ones made with processed, refined grains like white flour.
• Use low-fat or fat-free dairy products like milk, yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream in place of full-fat versions.
• Limit your serving sizes of fruit juice and choose those that have no added sugar.
• Trim excess fat off meats and eat chicken or turkey without the skin.
• Always buy lean cuts of meat and choose a healthy cooking method, like broiling, roasting, stir-frying or grilling.
Health care professionals can direct you to helpful resources that provide more information about meal planning, offer healthy recipes and cooking tips, suggest exercise programs, give you tips to manage your weight and more.
Tifani Kinard is the Hospital Administrator and Chief Nursing Officer of Floyd-Polk Medical Center.