Following the Right Diet to Manage Diabetes

Diabetes doing glucose level test. Vegetables in background

If you have diabetes, eating right should not be considered optional. Whether you are living type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your diet will be a big factor in your risk for serious health complications and long-term blood sugar management. Your doctor may play a role in designing your specific diet, but there are a few basic guidelines that will get you on track with the best diet for your unique needs.

Stock up on Healthy Staples

An empty fridge could lead to temptation with sodium-packed premade meals or fatty fast food choices. You should always keep your house stocked with healthy, versatile foods that will let you get meals on the table quickly. Like your dinner plate, your fridge should be primarily stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables—particularly those that are low in starch such as leafy greens and fiber-packed apples. Your pantry should have whole grain choices rather than simple starches, and you may want to keep a freezer full of pre-portioned fish, skinless chicken, and lean beef. With these choices always on hand, you will have no trouble following a good diet at home.

Get Good at Reading Labels

When you do turn to prepackaged foods, make sure that you never eat anything without reading the label. Look at more than just the calories, as you will want to steer clear of foods that are high in sodium, sugar, and fat, as well as those that are low in fiber. Soon the FDA may mandate food labels to indicate the amount of added sugars in a product, but until then you may have to do some detective work and read the list of ingredients to see where hidden sugars may be hiding.

Bring Your Own Dishes to Special Events

One place it may be particularly difficult to eat right is at parties and special events where you are not in charge of the meal planning. If the host is willing to accept a helping hand, offer to bring along a dish or two that is within your healthy dietary guidelines but can be shared and enjoyed by everyone.

At MountainView Hospital, we empower our patients to take diabetes care into their own hands with a regular schedule of diabetes classes offered for free in Las Vegas. You can learn more about these classes or get more information about diabetes-friendly dieting by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 233-5474.

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