Ask the Registered Dietitian Archives
Here is an archive nutrition and food-related questions and answers.
- Dreamfields pasta says it has 41 carbs per cup but only 5 grams are digestible because of a special process they use. Are these claims true?
- Can you give me some snack ideas?
- Can someone with diabetes eat white potatoes or should they be avoided?
- When shopping for snacks, do I need to pay attention to the sugar grams on the label?
- We were wondering - can you use coconut palm sugar in place of regular cane sugar?
- My husband has diabetes. Every morning, we have oatmeal with half of a banana and milk. Is oatmeal okay for him?
- I'm not a big bread eater but occasionally I like to have a sandwich…what is the best bread?
- I'm gluten intolerant; does that change my options for complex carbohydrates?
- I have type 2 diabetes. How many carbs can I have each day? What about at each meal?
- I have been reading that vinegar decreases insulin resistance. Is there any truth to this?
- I have read that artificial sweeteners can cause weight gain. Is this true?
- I'm a long haul trucker. Do you have any suggestions for eating with diabetes on the road?
- How many meals with red meat should my husband (who has type 2) eat within a month?
- Can you provide some information on high fructose corn syrup?
- Can you point me to some good sources of information specific to prediabetes and diet?
I love regular pasta but know I have to be careful how much I eat. I just found a pasta brand called Dreamfields. It says it has 41 carbs per cup but that only 5 grams are digestible because of a special process they use. Are you familiar with this product and are these claims true?
The American Diabetes Association does not have a specific recommendation when it comes to this product. Dreamfields uses a manufacturing process that is supposed to “protect” some of the carbohydrates in their pasta from being broken down and entering your blood stream. In theory, Dreamfields pasta should not raise blood glucose as much as traditional pasta.
However, this product has not been tested in people with diabetes. If you choose to use it, you should test it yourself, as individual responses can vary. If you count carbs, Dreamfields recommends that you start by counting 5 grams of carbohydrate for every 2 ounces of dry pasta (which is about 1 cup of cooked pasta). You should monitor your blood glucose levels after eating it and adjust carb counts (and insulin boluses if on insulin) as needed. Some individuals need to count a serving of Dreamfield’s pasta as 10-20 carbohydrate grams depending on their glycemic response. In other people, there may be no difference between Dreamfields and regular pasta.
Another issue to think about is cost. Usually, regular whole wheat pasta is a relatively low-cost food. Dreamfields Pasta will be more expensive because it is a specialty product. If you can afford it and you find that your body handles it better than regular pasta, it may be worth budgeting for.
If not, whole wheat pasta is still a good choice for people with diabetes. Portion control is very important with pasta because it is high in carbohydrates. Usually, 1/3 cup of cooked pasta has about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Always check the nutrition facts label on different pasta products for a more exact serving size and the total carbohydrate count. If a 1/3 cup portion seems small when you measure it out, add bulk to your dish by mixing in some cooked non-starchy vegetables (like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, or tomatoes) and lean meat (like chicken breast, lean ground beef, or soy-based crumbles).
*Note that most sauces will add carbohydrates, and sometimes fat, to your pasta dish.
I have a food sensitivity for all nuts except peanuts and all berries except strawberries. I am looking for some between-meal snacks that will be good for my prediabetes. Can you give some suggestions outside of my limitations?
Even with your food sensitivities, you still have plenty of snack options. Snacks can help curb hunger while adding a nutritious energy boost to your day. But that means choosing foods wisely. Snack time is a great opportunity to fit in another serving of whole grains, fruits, or vegetables! These foods are lower in fat and calories compared to most salty snacks and sweets. They will also fill you up and give you the energy you need.
Watch portion sizes to make sure you aren’t going overboard when snacking. Over-eating will lead to extra calories in your diet, which can contribute to weight gain. So, resist those trips to the vending machine – plan ahead and pack a healthy snack!
Below are just a few ideas to get you started. You can also check out our snacking page for even more options!
- 1 small quesadilla (made with freshly diced tomatoes, 1 ounce shredded cheese, and 1 small corn tortilla)
- 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon sugar-free strawberry jam or a tablespoon of hummus spread on top
- Light string cheese with a small piece of fruit (not berries) such as an apple, orange, or nectarine
- 6 ounces of non-fat vanilla yogurt topped with strawberries
- 1 small banana with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese with peach slices
- 5 Triscuits or another 100% whole wheat cracker with 5 cheese cubes
- Any veggie cut that you like cut into bite-size pieces with 2 tablespoons fat-free ranch or ¼ cup hummus
If you are looking for additional snack recipes or other recipes to help you eat healthier, visit Recipes for Healthy Living. Sign up for our newsletter today and you’ll get tasty recipes each month that make great snacks like our Mango and Black Bean Salsa Lettuce Wraps, Basil Spread and Water Crackers, and Roasted and Spice Chickpeas.
Can someone with diabetes eat white potatoes or should they be avoided? I’m finding a lot of conflicting information.
All potatoes (white, red, sweet, etc.) contain about the same amount of carbohydrate and will raise blood glucose. You can still eat potatoes, but you need to be mindful of portion sizes and count them in your meal plan.
Though they contain carbohydrates, potatoes also provide you with many other important nutrients like potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. (Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin A!) They have no sodium, fat, or cholesterol. To get the maximum amount of fiber from potatoes, make sure you leave the skin on.
Keeping track of your carbohydrate intake and setting a maximum amount to eat can help keep your blood glucose levels in your target range. The following portion sizes and carb counts may be helpful when potatoes are on the menu.
There are about 15 grams of carbohydrate in:
- ¼ of a large baked potato
- ½ cup of mashed potatoes
- ½ cup of boiled potatoes
If you use the Plate Method to plan meals, you can fill about ¼ of a 9-inch plate with them, and enjoy them as a side dish along with some non-starchy vegetables and a source of lean protein.
Many of us like to flavor our potatoes with extra ingredients. When choosing what to add, choose wisely and don’t go overboard! Some toppings can add a lot of extra calories and saturated fat. Here are some healthier topping ideas:
- 1 teaspoon of trans-free margarine instead of butter
- 2 tablespoons of low-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives or other herbs and spices that you like (cinnamon or nutmeg may be good with sweet potatoes)
- 1 ounce low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup steamed broccoli florets
- ¼ cup of salsa or freshly diced tomatoes
- 1 strip of low-sodium turkey bacon, chopped into small pieces
I'm always shopping for snacks for my 4-year-old preschooler with diabetes. I was told the sugar grams listed on the nutrition label don't matter. Is that true? (His carb limit at snack time is 15 grams.)
The two most important things to look at on nutrition labels are the serving size and the total grams of carbohydrate. Sugar is just one type of carbohydrate, and though it’s listed out separately on the label, there are other types of carbohydrate can raise blood glucose. The total carbohydrate listed includes everything you need to account for when planning snacks for your four year old - sugar, starch, fiber, and sugar alcohols. So, always use the total carbohydrate listed when counting carbohydrates for your preschooler.
There are a lot of snack options out there. While the amount of carbohydrates in the snack is your first priority, it’s also important to choose nutritious snacks for your child as often as possible. Snacks should be an opportunity to get your child more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.Try to limit snacks that are high in added sugar like cookies and candy.
Some foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, do not have labels, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a barrier for you. You can become familiar with portion sizes and carbohydrate counts for these foods by checking out our Carbohydrate Counting page and using the MyFoodAdvisor online tool.
Below is a list of healthy snack ideas that have around 15 grams of carbohydrate:
- 5 Triscuit crackers (or another whole wheat cracker) + 1 piece of string cheese
- 1 bag pre-sliced apples (found in the produce section near other pre-cut produce) + 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 40 gold-fish crackers
- ½ cup grapes
- ½ banana
- ¾ cup Cherrios
- 3/4 cup of fresh blueberries
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup fruit cocktail
- Ants on a log made with 2 celery stalks, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon of raisins
- ½ of a whole wheat English muffin + 1 tablespoon hummus spread on top
- 2 rice cakes + 2 tablespoons light cream cheese
- 4 fluid ounces of milk + 3 graham cracker squares (1 cracker = 2 1/2 –inch square)
All of these snacks have roughly 15 grams. However, you should continue to check nutrition labels while at the grocery store since carbohydrate amounts can vary based on the product.
We were wondering - can you use coconut palm sugar in place of regular cane sugar?
Coconut palm sugar is a sugar substitute that seems to be gaining popularity. It is made from sap that is extracted from the coconut tree. The taste of pure coconut palm sugar is similar to brown sugar. For cooking purposes, it can usually be used as a substitute for sugar in most baked goods.
Manufacturers of coconut palm sugar boast its lower glycemic index compared to regular sugar. Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how a food raises blood glucose (or blood sugar) compared to a reference food (usually glucose or white bread). In the United States, we do not do official GI testing. So, GI numbers for the same food can differ depending on your source.
GI can also vary from person to person. It will change depending on how a food is cooked, and what the food is eaten with. In the case of coconut palm sugar, it is likely to be mixed or prepared with other ingredients that contain carbohydrates if used in baking.
It is okay for people with diabetes to use coconut palm sugar as a sweetener, but they should not treat it any differently than regular sugar. It provides just as many calories and carbohydrates: about 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon. So, you still need to account for it when planning meals.
Also, note that some coconut palm sugar on the market may be mixed with cane sugar and other ingredients. It is important to check nutrition labels and read the ingredient list on these products.
My husband has diabetes. Every morning, we have oatmeal with half of a banana and milk. Is oatmeal okay for him?
Oatmeal is a good, whole grain breakfast choice. We recommend that everyone choose whole grain foods as much as possible over refined grains like white bread, white rice, etc. Whole grains have more vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So, oatmeal is a good choice, but it does have some carbohydrates.
It's important for people with diabetes to watch their carbohydrate intake. Having too much at once will disrupt blood glucose levels. The breakfast you described consists of several high-carbohydrate foods. So, your husband will need to consider his carbohydrate range at breakfast time and think about what portion sizes of those foods will fit with his meal plan. The following carb counts may be helpful:
- 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal has about 15 grams of carbohydrate (if it is cooked with water, not milk)
- 1/2 of a large banana had about 15 grams of carbohydrate
- 1 cup of milk has about 12 grams of carbohydrate
This breakfast above has about 42 grams of carbohydrate. So, if he can have 30-45 grams of carbohydrate at breakfast, these serving sizes would work with his plan. If his limit is more or less, he'll want to adjust the portion sizes.
I'm not a big bread eater but occasionally I like to have a sandwich…what is the best bread?
Navigating the bread aisle at the grocery store can be tricky – there are so many options! We suggest choosing one that is a good source of whole grains. A lot of the time, bread is made with refined grains or a refined flour. “Refined” means that part of the grain has been removed, so you miss out on a lot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Whole grains include the entire grain kernel and provide all of the nutrients that grains have to offer. Look for bread that is labeled "100% whole grain" or "100% whole wheat." This means that the bread is only made with whole wheat flour. Products that say “contains whole grain” may only contain a small amount of whole wheat flour.
You can also see if your bread is a good source of whole grains is by looking at the ingredient list. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. That means the first ingredient on the list makes up the largest proportion of the food. The best breads will list whole wheat flour as the first ingredient and the only flour in the product. Don’t be fooled by terms like wheat flour, enriched wheat flour, multi grain, stone-ground flour, unbleached wheat flour or other similar terms. These are not whole grain flours.
Some whole wheat breads are made mostly with whole wheat flour but still have a small amount of refined flours in them. If one or two refined flours are included in the ingredient list but are farther down on the list, the bread is still a good source of whole grains.
Remember that bread is a starchy food, so it’s important to count it in your meal plan – even if you choose a whole grain option. The serving size and amount of carbohydrates can vary a lot from product to product so be sure to check nutrition labels.
My doctor wants me to eat small meals every 4 hours, with a protein and complex carbohydrates. I'm also gluten intolerant; does that change my options for complex carbohydrates?
There is a growing group of people out there who have a gluten intolerance. When you are gluten-intolerant, you experience uncomfortable symptoms when you eat foods that contain the protein gluten. To avoid these symptoms, it's necessary to follow a gluten-free diet.
Gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley and any foods made with these grains. As you can imagine, eliminating gluten from your diet can be challenging. There are many foods and food additives that contain gluten or are cross-contaminated with gluten during processing. Many of these foods are things you would never think of like lunch meats, broth, salad dressing, etc.
Complex carbs are often referred to as starchy foods. Though you need to avoid gluten, you still have a lot of options. The following is a list of starchy foods that are also gluten-free:
- Beans (kidney, black, soy, navy, pinto, etc.)
- Corn (look for pure corn tortillas)
- Gluten-free baked products (made from corn, rice, soy, nut, teff and/or potatoflour)
- Potatoes (sweet potatoes are best)
- Rice (brown or wild rice is best)
- Black-eyed peas
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
You can also choose to buy gluten-free crackers or bread. Just be aware that most gluten-free products usually differ in taste and texture than their wheat-based counterparts. They may also differ in the amount of carbohydrate grams per serving, which can make a difference when you are carbohydrate counting and meal planning. For example, gluten-free bread can have twice as many carbohydrate grams as whole wheat bread. So, always check labels when you choose to buy these products.
I have type 2 diabetes, and wanted to know how many carbs I can have each day, broken down to number of carbs per meal.
This is a very common question among people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, we recommend following a meal plan that will help you meet your diabetes goals. First, you’ll need to work with your healthcare provider to set these goals, which might include losing weight, improving your A1C, lowering your blood pressure and/or lowering cholesterol levels.
Once your goals are set, work with your provider to set up a meal plan that takes your preferences into account and can help you achieve those goals. Discuss how many carbohydrates to include at each meal and whether or not to include snacks. Your provider may suggest using the diabetes plate method to start or they may have you try carbohydrate counting. A registered dietitian (RD) or certified diabetes educator (CDE) can be especially helpful when you are first learning to plan meals.
It sounds like you haven’t set up an individualized meal plan yet, so we suggest including about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate per meal to start. If you follow that recommendation, you would be eating a total of about 135-180 grams of carbohydrate per day. Remember, some people may need more and some people may need less than the recommendation above, so talk to your healthcare team about setting a plan soon!
I have been reading that vinegar decreases insulin resistance. Is there any truth to this?
A few smaller studies have explored the effect of vinegar on blood glucose levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Some of the studies have shown positive results, however, there is not enough research at this time to recommend a regular dose of vinegar for the purpose of controlling blood glucose levels. More larger, robust studies are needed before making a recommendation like this.
Right now, the best way to control blood glucose levels is by eating well, being physically active and taking any medications and/or insulin as prescribed by your doctor. Space the carbohydrates you eat throughout the day and pay attention to portion sizes. If you are overweight, losing about 10-15 pounds can make it easier to manage your blood glucose.
I have read that artificial sweeteners, such as found in diet soda, can actually affect metabolism and can cause weight gain even though they add no calories. Is this true?
A few research studies have found that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages may gain more weight than those who don’t. However, there are many reasons that these trends could have been observed. It could be that those who drink diet soda tend to have poor eating habits. Remember that there are many other lifestyle choices, such as the foods you choose to eat and your physical activity level that also affect your weight.
There is also research being done on the metabolic effects of artificial sweeteners and how our sweet taste receptors interpret them. Some people suspect that using artificial sweeteners can increase your preference for sweets and may increase your appetite. However, this is a new area of research and there is still no clear evidence that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain.
What we do know is that artificial sweeteners have little-to-no calories and they do not contain carbohydrates. Research has shown that they have the potential to reduce overall calorie intake when used in place of regular sugar. Switching from regular soda (about 140 calories in a 12-ounce portion) to diet soda (zero calories in a 12-ounce portion), can save you a significant amount of calories - especially if you drink more than one soda per day. Of course, if you compensate by eating additional food, then you won’t see a calorie deficit.
We recommend avoiding sugary beverages like soda and choosing zero-calorie beverages as much as possible. There are many options for you besides diet soda and artificially sweetened drinks including:
- Water (tap, sparkling, or mineral)
- Unsweetened tea (black, green, herbal, iced, or hot)
- Coffee (regular or decaf)
- Water flavored with a spritz of citrus juice
I'm a long haul trucker. Eating on the road can be a nightmare. While shopping for food, I'm checking labels for sodium, sugar, and carbohydrates. Do you have any suggestions for eating with diabetes on the road?
Eating on the road can be tough – especially when you are trying to follow a diabetes-friendly diet. But fast food is not the only option. Try packing some of your own homemade meals or snacks. You have a lot of options, especially if you have a cooler or a small refrigerator in the cabin of your truck. Here are some healthy foods to try packing:
- Hummus and pre-cut vegetables like carrots, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, or cherry tomatoes
- Fresh fruit like berries, grapes, precut melon or precut apples
- Sandwiches made with 100% whole wheat bread, lettuce, tomato, and lean meats like low-sodium turkey breast or grilled chicken breast
- Wraps – wrap a combo of meat and non-starchy vegetables and add some mustard or cheese in a whole wheat tortilla
- Single servings of light yogurt
- Low-fat milk
- Low-fat cheese sticks or string cheese
- Hard-boiled eggs
Even if you don’t have a refrigerator, there are plenty of healthy foods that you can keep on hand:
- Unsalted nuts or nut mixes (dry roasted almonds, raw cashews, walnuts). These could also have some dried fruit in them, but remember that 2 tablespoons of dried fruit adds about 15 grams of carbohydrate to your snack.
- 100% whole wheat bread and peanut butter so you can make half of a sandwich for a snack.
- Granola bars.
- Whole fruit such as oranges, apples, bananas, nectarines, pears, or peaches.
- Small containers of Clementine pieces or fruit cocktail.
- Tuna snack packs.
- Instant oatmeal packets or quick-oats. When you stop at a truck stop, use the hot water spicket on a coffee machine to heat your oats. Stir in some nuts, fruit, or sugar substitute to add flavor if you want.
Fast food tends to be high in unhealthy fats and sodium and low in nutrients. But sometimes, there is no choice but to stop. Here are some tips to help you choose healthier menu items:
- Choose the smaller, simpler sandwiches. There’s no need to supersize your meal. Stick to grilled chicken sandwiches or regular hamburgers instead of the double bacon cheeseburger.
- Think about how your choices will work with your meal plan. Buns and tortilla wraps will have at least 30 grams of carbohydrate. On sandwiches and wraps, ask for extra non-starchy vegetables like tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, or lettuce.
- When you can, choose a lean meat like turkey, chicken breast, or fish that has not been fried. Avoid deep fried meats and sides like chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, crispy chicken sandwiches, onion rings, or fries.
- Order healthier side items like fresh fruit, side salads, vegetables, or soups.
- Choose salads without fatty meats like bacon or fried chicken. Remember, a little dressing goes a long way, and often dressing packets have more than one serving in them.
- Look for vegetarian options. While grilled chicken is better than fried chicken, any meat from a fast food restaurant will usually add several hundred milligrams of sodium to your meal. If you choose to eat one meal at a fast food restaurant, make sure the rest of your day is filled with fresh, healthy foods.
- Use sauces sparingly. Ketchup, honey mustard, and other sauces are fine to use, but don’t go overboard. If you use too much, they could end up adding several hundred calories to your meal. Yellow mustard is a better low-calorie option and a little bit goes a long way.
- Choose restaurants that have menu items that are clearly marked as healthier choices. For example, Taco Bell has their “Fresco” menu items and Dunkin Donuts has their “DDSMART menu”.
- Look for restaurants that offer fresh ingredients and give you several vegetable options. Subway is a good example.
- Avoid ordering regular soda or specialty coffee drinks. Stick to water, diet drinks, or unsweetened tea. Order regular or decaf coffee and ask for low-fat milk and artificial sweetener to add to it instead of getting an extra large latte.
- In the mornings, stick to egg-white sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, fruit, and/or oatmeal. Many fast food chains offer these healthier options now. Half of a whole wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheese is also an option that you may be able to work into your meal plan if the options above are not available.
Although the items above are healthier options, it is important not to go overboard on the carbs with diabetes. These foods still need to be worked into a diabetes meal plan. If counting carbohydrates, it might be helpful to ask to see the nutrition information for the menu. Most establishments should have this for you on-hand.
My husband has had type 2 diabetes for around 20 years. It is under control with medication. He has been checked and his heart is okay, but he is definitely overweight. How many meals with red meat should he eat within a month?
Often, carbohydrates get all the attention when it comes to managing diabetes. But it is also important to make good protein choices. High protein foods like meat and meat substitutes can vary in the amount of fat they contain.
The best meat choices are those that are lower in saturated fat such as vegetarian sources, fish, lean meats, and poultry without the skin. The following is a more detailed list of the best choices in this food group:
- Vegetarian protein, which includes beans, tofu, veggie burgers, and other soy products
- Eggs, egg whites and egg substitutes
- Fish and shellfish (fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, rainbow trout, albacore tuna, and sardines contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids)
- Poultry such as chicken, turkey, or Cornish hen without the skin (white breast meat is lower in fat than the darker meat in the thigh and leg pieces)
- Lean cuts of beef including round, sirloin, and flank steak; tenderloin; rib, chuck, or rump roast; T-bone, porterhouse, or cubed steak.
- Ground beef or turkey that is at least 93% lean. (Opt for more than 93% lean if it is available.)
- Lean types of pork including ham, Canadian bacon, pork loin, and center loin chops.
We do not have a specific recommendation when it comes to red meat, but we do suggest choosing one of the leaner cuts mentioned above. It’s also helpful to vary your choices. Having lean red meat for dinner once in a while is fine, but try to focus on including some fish and vegetarian sources of protein. Try cooking vegetarian meals a few days each week.
If you’re husband needs to lose weight, our Weight Loss section may be helpful. If you are interested in learning more about heart-healthy eating with diabetes, check out our article from Recipes for Healthy Living: Diabetes and Heart Health – What’s the Connection?
Can you provide some information on high fructose corn syrup?
High fructose corn syrup is made by chemically changing corn starch. It is considered a form of sugar. It is different from actual fructose – which is the natural sugar found in fruit. High fructose corn syrup does not occur naturally in foods.
Table sugar is naturally made up of two smaller sugars; it is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. High fructose corn syrup is sweeter than table sugar, and is also made up of glucose and fructose, but the proportions are different. (It's not half and half like naturally occurring sugar).
It is very inexpensive to make high fructose corn syrup so it is added to many processed foods and sugary drinks instead of actual table sugar. It is most prevalent in sugar-sweetened beverages, which have been linked to obesity and diabetes. It can also be found in the ingredient lists of breads, yogurts, sweets, and many snack foods found at the grocery store.
High fructose corn syrup is included in the grams of sugars on the nutrition facts label. It does not add any nutritional value to our foods, but it does add calories – just like other added sugars. ADA recommends limiting the amount of added sugar in your diet. This includes table sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup, and other forms of added sugar.
We also recommend avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages. Extra calories from added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup can contribute to weight gain in the long run, and carrying extra weight can put you at higher risk for developing diabetes and certain diabetes complications.
I was recently diagnosed with prediabetes. Can you point me to some good sources of information specific to prediabetes and diet? I’m not sure what I should and shouldn't eat to lower my blood sugar and reverse the trend toward diabetes.
When you have prediabetes, your main goal should be to prevent or delay diabetes. Research has shown that moderate weight loss (about 7% of your body weight) through increased physical activity (at least 30 minutes moderate intensity exercise, 5 days a week) and eating a healthy, reduced calorie diet can help.
Start by changing a few things about the way you eat. To find healthy meal plans and recipes, visit our new nutrition resource, Recipes for Healthy Living. Sign up for free today, and each month you’ll receive:
- A new set of healthy recipes
- A healthy one-day meal plan with tips for adjusting carbohydrates and calories plus a grocery list
- Cooking videos
- Other healthy tips and meal planning advice
Recipes for Healthy Living is a great resource if you have prediabetes and are trying to lose weight. You’ll find dozens of tips and ideas for cooking healthier in your own kitchen, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, and you’ll see how to put together an entire day of healthy meals from our sample meal plans.
Here are just a few basic guidelines for healthier eating with prediabetes:
- Use a grocery list when shopping for food. The bulk of the list should include a variety of fruit, whole grains, and vegetables (both starchy and non-starchy).
- Buy leaner meats such as fish, shellfish, chicken or turkey breast (without the skin) and lean cuts of pork or beef such as sirloin or chuck roast. Be open to trying vegetarian meals that include sources of plant-based protein.
- Choose lower fat dairy products like skim or 1% milk, non-fat or light yogurt, and reduced-fat cheese.
- Instead of stressing out about the foods you're trying not to eat, focus on the foods you need to eat more of (fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein).
- Use healthier cooking methods that don’t require added fat (i.e. broiling, baking, microwaving, grilling, roasting, etc.). Avoid frying foods.
- Limit foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fat. Even when you choose healthy fats like nuts, vegetable oils, and avocados, remember to keep portions small. These foods are good choices, but are also dense in calories.
- Save money and calories by limiting the amoutn of sweets, chips, and other snack foods you buy.
- Choose zero-calorie drinks. Limit sugary beverages like soda, energy drinks, and juice drinks.
- Remember that portion size is still important, even if you are eating healthy foods. If you need help controlling portions, try using our plate method or even measuring out your foods with measuring cups and spoons.
- Have a small portion of fruit for dessert instead of cookies, candy, or other baked goods. If you are out to eat, split one dessert among the whole table.
Healthy eating is just one important lifestyle change that you can make to reduce your risk for developing diabetes. It is also important to be active on a regular basis. If you have never been active or have not been active for a while, you will need to start slowly and work your way up. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity activity, 5 days per week is a good goal to start with.
Some other online resources that can help include:
If you have further questions or would like to recieve a free copy of booklets on weight loss or the top ways to stop diabetes, contact our Center for Information and Community Support. Our reps are standing by to answer your questions Monday through Friday, 8:30 am- 8 pm EST. Just call 1-800-DIABETES.
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