If you have been diagnosed or maybe you know someone who has diabetes, how do you know what is good to eat and what isn't? Candace Dancho, a registered dietician with Banner Gateway, came on Smart Family to help us understand what a diabetic should be eating.
When it comes to a diabetic, what are the foods they should avoid? Candace says, "First change your vocabulary, to try and stay away from using the word 'avoid,' and really educate people that all foods can be included in your diet and focus on the importance of portion size."
She says current guidelines from the American Diabetic Association don’t state to avoid any food items, including carbohydrates and sweets, but rather to be consistent with the amount and timing of your intake. For diabetics, they should limit concentrated sweets like dessert or soda. Also pay attention to the added sugars as with coffee and tea or jelly on an English muffin as an example.
For a person with diabetes, they are twice at risk for heart disease, so any high fat foods such as high fat dairy, poultry with skin and some red meats would need to be limited, again not avoided but limited.
When it comes to a perfect food selection for a diabetic, Candace says, "Educate yourself, about 'good' carbohydrate foods that also contain fiber and encourage them to eat more of this type of food." She adds that some foods that diabetics should include in their diet are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils and a moderate amount of nuts and seeds.
Candace also points out a few tips for diabetics; one is to eat regular meals every 4 to 5 hours. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Change the high fat food options for low fat options such as 1% or skim milk, other low fat or fat free dairy products, remove skin from poultry and choose a lower fat cut of red meat and trim any excess fat.
Candace gave us some specific examples of some foods:
Celery and Natural Peanut Butter – Makes a good snack food that is vey low in carbohydrates and high in monounsaturated fats which are heart healthy.
Quinoa (keen-wa) – whole grain alternative that is high in protein and can be served hot or cold. Makes a good side dish.
Almonds – ¼ cup makes a good snack that is low in carbohydrates and contains Omega3 fats which are heart healthy.
Kashi Cereal – Cereal that contains carbohydrates, but has a high level of fiber that makes it desirable.
Mixed berry dish – this is a yummy ½ cup treat is not too high in sugar or carbohydrates.
Dancho says that every person is different, so pay attention to your own body and how your body responds to different foods.
If you would like more diabetic recipes and tips on cooking healthy, check out Bannerhealth.com/gateway .
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