10 Eating Habits That May Help to Prevent Diabetes Slideshow
February 9, 2012
Small changes in your diet that can make a big difference
Watch How Much You Put on Your Plate
When you are hungry, it is easy to get carried away and pile food onto your plate. Unfortunately, plate sizes are getting bigger and bigger these days, which means if you fill up your plate you may be loading up on too many calories. Trick yourself by filling up a dessert-size plate instead of a dinner plate for your main meal.
Go for Complex Carbs
Complex carbohydrates have been shown to steady your blood sugar, as they take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates like white bread and potatoes. Try swapping in sweet potato fries for your regular french fries for an easy way to incorporate more complex carbs into your diet. Other good choices include whole grains and beans.
Load Up on Fiber
Fiber can help reduce your risk of diabetes by improving blood sugar control. A diet rich in fiber also helps with weight loss and overall health. Reap these benefits by enjoying plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
Swap Out Juice for the Real Thing
Tseng recommends, "Have a piece of fruit instead of juice." Though juice is made from fruit, most of the fiber is left behind in the juicing process. While the vitamins and minerals remain, juice is mostly just simple sugar. Swap out your morning glass of orange juice for the real thing to help get the most out of the fruit.
Limit Soda Consumption
Soda is nothing but empty calories and it is easy to rack up your day's worth of calories by sipping on it throughout the day. Save your calories for nutrient-rich foods. Tseng suggests, "Try having seltzer with a splash of lime if you are craving a fizzy drink." If you have to have a soda fix, try to stick with diet or limit the real stuff to special occasions.
Choose Healthy Fats
Use olive oil or canola oil for cooking instead of butter or margarine and avoid trans fats. Also try to incorporate foods that contain healthy fats into your daily diet like avocado, nuts, and fish. These healthy fats can improve your overall health.
Put Down the Salt Shaker
Though high salt intake is most often linked to heart problems, limiting your salt intake can help prevent diabetes as well. Eating a low-salt diet is a smart move for overall health. Try to limit how much salt you add to foods while cooking and stop the habit of adding salt to your foods at the dinner table. Watch your consumption of processed and canned foods, and if you do buy them, opt for the low-sodium varieties.
Limit Red Meat and Avoid Processed Meats
Red meat is loaded with saturated fats, while processed meats like deli ham and bologna contain a lot of added sodium and chemicals. Better options are lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish.
Choose Non-Fat Dairy
Consuming dairy is an important part of a good diet because it's loaded with both protein and calcium, but full-fat dairy like whole milk, cheese, and ice cream is loaded with fat and calories. Enjoy the benefits of dairy and leave the unhealthy fats and extra calories aside by choosing skim or 1-percent milk, low-fat or fat-free cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.
Make Cookies, Cakes, and Candies a Treat Not a Habit
It is easy to indulge in sweets, but try to keep indulging to a minimum. Snacking regularly on refined sugars and high-fat treats like doughnuts, cookies, cakes, and chocolate can pack on excess calories and therefore extra pounds. Don't deny yourself these items, save them for an occasional treat instead.