Substitute Healthier Ingredients In Your Favorite Recipes
Regular ground beef | Try 90% lean ground beef or better yet, try lean ground turkey breast.
Lean ground beef is fewer calories, less saturated fat and less cholesterol.
Sour cream on tacos or in dips | Try plain yogurt .
Plain yogurt has fewer calories and less saturated fat.
Butter or margarine when cooking | Try oils like olive, safflower, and other plant-based oils or reduce how much butter you use.
These oils have less of the bad fats and more heart-healthy fats.
Snack foods like crackers, chips, candy or baked goods | Try fruit with plain yogurt, fresh vegetables and hummus, a slice of whole wheat toast and natural peanut butter, or nuts.
These options have less sodium, less saturated fat and zero trans fat.
Regular mayonnaise | Try mustard on sandwiches, or try yogurt or a combination of yogurt and less mayonnaise if used in dressing, sauces, and dips.
These options have fewer calories and more nutrients.
Bologna, salami or pastrami | Try sliced low-sodium turkey or roast beef. Or better yet, cook fresh chicken or turkey on the weekend and use throughout the week for meals.
These options have less total fat, less saturated fat and less sodium.
Eating Nutritious Healthy And Downright Delicious Food Is That Bit Easier With Our Meal Planners
We’ve created multiple different weekly meal plans to suit all types and tastes. They’re nutritionally balanced, are calorie and carb counted, and can help if you want to lose weight. They also make sure you eat your five a day and have the right amounts of dairy , wholegrain foods, oily fish and very little processed meat. So get cooking and enjoy the food you love, but healthier.
What To Drink When You Have Diabetes
Your choice of drinks can make a difference in your blood sugar levels. Palinski-Wade recommends focusing on unsweetened beverages, such as water and seltzer.
If you like coffee or tea, you may notice that caffeine increases your blood sugar levels, so Palinski-Wade advises monitoring your glucose response after consuming these drinks to see where you stand.
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No Cost Health Kit To Lower Your Risk Of Diabetes
Prediabetes and high cholesterol also share something else. A prediabetes diet can also be a good diet to lower cholesterol. There are not any foods that are good for one condition but unhealthy for the other, so following a diet for one or the other is just fine if you have both, which is what the American Diabetes Association suggests !
These are some of the best foods to lower blood sugar and cholesterol and how to fit them into your diet:
Choose Good Fats Over Bad Fats
Fat is an important nutrient, necessary for energy and hormone production, vitamin absorption, maintaining the membrane integrity of every cell in our body, and growth and development. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, 20% to 35% of calories should come from fat. But when it comes to dietary fat, not all types are created equal.
As noted above, saturated fats contribute to high levels of LDL cholesterol, as do the trans fats in fried foods and baked goods. At the same time, however, monounsaturated fats, which are found in olives, olive oil, and certain nuts and seeds, actually help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Another type of good fat, the polyunsaturated fat in fatty fish like salmon and cod, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that play a significant role in reducing overall blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
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Take In Nutrient Rich Fresh Foods
A strong intake of vegetables is a key part of improving your cholesterol results as well as improving your overall health. Include a wide variety of different types and colours of vegetables as this will maximise the variety of nutrients you get from your diet.
A very healthy way of eating is to ensure half of your main meals are made up of vegetables.
One way to keep a good habit of eating plenty of vegetables each day is to use the plate method
Stay Safe When Blood Glucose Is High
If you have type 1 diabetes, avoid vigorous physical activity when you have ketones in your blood or urine. Ketones are chemicals your body might make when your blood glucose level is too high, a condition called hyperglycemia, and your insulin level is too low. If you are physically active when you have ketones in your blood or urine, your blood glucose level may go even higher. Ask your health care team what level of ketones are dangerous for you and how to test for them.Ketones are uncommon in people with type 2 diabetes.
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So What Foods Will Help Me Lower My Blood Sugar
As part of a prediabetes diet, we recommend eating foods that are moderately low in carbohydrates and take longer to digest. This helps prevent your blood sugars from sky-rocketing from a large blast of glucose. We recommend including fiber-rich foods, lean proteins, and foods with a low Glycemic Index. Check out our list of foods to include in a prediabetes diet:For an even more detailed look, read our full blog on the foods to eat for prediabetes
Fiber-rich foods digest and absorb more slowly in the GI system, causing a slower rise in blood sugar. This helps prevent rapid “sugar spikes”.
Prediabetes has been linked to other chronic conditions, such as heart disease. Including more lean proteins as opposed to proteins higher in saturated fat can have a cardio-protective effect!
Low Glycemic Index
A food’s glycemic index reflects how quickly any given food will raise your blood sugar. To avoid drastic spikes in blood sugar, choose foods with a low glycemic index.
There are also a handful of “functional” foods that can regulate blood sugar levels. Functional foods are naturally occurring foods that are shown to have additional medicinal benefits beyond basic nutrition.
Are There Foods I Should Avoid In My Prediabetes Diet
As part of your prediabetes diet, we recommend avoiding processed and refined foods as much as possible. These foods tend to be void of nutrients and have a high Glycemic Index, which can cause drastic spikes in your blood sugar. Try to eat these foods and ingredients sparingly:
- Highly Processed and Refined Foods Processed and refined foods are extremely low in fiber and nutrients, which tends to absorb more quickly in the GI tract. These are the types of foods that cause drastic spikes in blood sugar. Replacing these foods with more nutrient-dense options will help prolong the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
- Trans fats
Interested in more details? Read our full blog on foods to avoid for prediabetes
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What Exactly Is Prediabetes
Prediabetes is a warning sign that you’re heading toward Type 2 Diabetes. The good news is, you’ve caught it early enough to turn the train around and avoid letting your condition become worse. Before we start to make lifestyle changes, it is helpful to know exactly what prediabetes is. According to the American Diabetes Association, you have prediabetes if:
Not familiar with this terminology? The a1c % is the percentage of your red blood cells carrying sugars. Blood sugars can also be measured in absolute terms, through a fasting glucose blood test or an oral glucose test.
Concerned you may be at risk?Learn more about the five likely causes of prediabetes HERE.
Diet Plans To Discuss With Your Healthcare Team
While its best to talk to your doctor before you start any diet plan, its especially important to talk to them if youre interested in the following:
Intermittent fasting IF requires you to limit the time period in which you eat to a certain number of hours per day, or to eat a very low number of calories on certain days. Some research has shown benefits from IF to fasting glucose and weight. That said, skipping meals may hinder blood sugar control or cause low blood sugar , especially if youre on insulin or a sulfonylurea, so talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits before you attempt it.
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Healthy Eating And Diabetes
If you have diabetes, healthy eating can help you to:
- maintain general good health
- maintain a healthy body weight
- prevent or slow the development of diabetes complications.
Healthy eating for people with diabetes is no different than for everyone else. You do not need to prepare separate meals or buy special foods, so relax and enjoy healthy eating with the rest of your family.
S You Can Take To Help Manage Your Blood Fats
- You should have your blood fat levels checked normally once per year. Things might be a bit different at the moment though. Read our information on what care to expect during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Ask for support to lose weight if you are living with obesity or overweight
- Eat a healthy diet based on more fruit and vegetables, nuts, oily fish and wholegrains. See our 10 tips for healthy eating with diabetes.
- Keep a check on how much alcohol you drink . Read more about alcohol and diabetes.
- If you smoke, get support to quit smoking
- Keep active and sit less. We have lots of advice on this in our article on exercise and diabetes.
Your GP can also refer you to a dietitian who can help. They will advise you to cut down on saturated fat and increase your intake of fibre.
There are natural foods you can eat to help protect your heart and products on the market that claim to lower your cholesterol but do they work?
We looked into the best foods to eat and looked at the products you can buy.
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Physical Activity And Diabetes
Along with healthy eating, physical activity is important. Be as active as possible in as many different ways as possible. Aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, if not all days of the week. A regular half-hour of physical activity can help to:
- lower your blood glucose levels
- improve your mood and self-esteem
- improve the quality of your sleep
- increase muscle and bone strength.
If your goal is weight loss, aim to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. If 3060 minutes of physical activity seems like too much to start with, you can break this up into smaller blocks of 1015 minutes, spread out across the day.
Resistance activity is also highly recommended for all people and especially people with diabetes. An exercise physiologist can help you to create a safe resistance activity program. Aim to do resistance type activities at least twice per week.
This could include:
- body weight exercises like push-ups, squats or lunges at home
- using dumbbells and resistance bands to do resistance exercises at home
- doing tasks around the home that involve lifting, carrying or digging
- joining a gym and doing weights or other resistance exercises.
Also try to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down either at work, at home or both. Some small activities you can do to help reduce the amount of time you spend sitting throughout the day include:
Embrace A Heart Healthy Diabetes Diet
You may have negative associations with the word dietthinking that it means you can never have anything flavorful again and that youll be eating bland food for the rest of your life, just because you want to take care of your heart and blood glucose levels.
This doesn’t have to be the case. The simple definition for diet is “the foods we eat.” It has earned a negative connotation because so many people have strayed from eating wisely so much attention has been paid to going on a “diet” to mean eating to lose weight.
However, you can reframe the word to accept it’s original meaningto the focus has been on eating better. Eating well when you have diabetes and high blood cholesterol doesnt have to be a dull affair. You may choose to make some adjustments to the way you prepare meals like swapping whole grains for white flour, adding more fruits and vegetables, using healthy oils, and finding a way to put a little creativity into your cooking. These changes will help you prepare delicious meals that you, your family and friends can enjoy and that will assure that you are keeping your heart healthy!
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Glycemic Index Vs Glycemic Load
For example, watermelon has a high Glycemic Index value , but a Glycemic Load of only 5 because the food has relatively little carbohydrates. You can calculate a food’s glycemic load by multiplying the per-serving carbohydrate level by the glycemic index and dividing by 100. Above 20 is high, 11 to 19 is moderate, and 10 and below is considered low.
Ultimately, when building a meal plan to better regulate your blood sugar, it is important to be mindful of all three key metrics:
- The total carbohydrates in your food
- The speed with which a food will increase your blood glucose: glycemic index
- The ultimate level to which your blood glucose could rise: glycemic load
This is just a start for your prediabetes diet. See our full list of glycemic index foods.
Do I Need To Count Calories When Managing Type 2 Diabetes
While it can be helpful, its not absolutely necessary to track how many calories youre taking in daily. Although tracking calories can be beneficial when it comes to weight reduction, you can lose weight and still have a poor nutritional quality to your diet, Palinski-Wade points out.
Therefore, if you do count calories, make sure youre also focused on healthy food choices. You can track your food intake, she says, which will let you monitor portions as well as how certain foods and mealtimes impact blood glucose levels, she says.
- About 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day for small women who are physically active, small or medium-size women interested in weight loss, or medium-size women who are not physically active
- About 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day for large women interested in weight loss, small men at a healthy weight, medium-size men who aren’t physically active, or medium-size or large men interested in weight loss
- About 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day for medium-size or large men who are physically active, large men at a healthy weight, or medium-size or large women who are very physically active
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Calories Is Not Right For Everyone
First, we will begin with a word of warning: a 1200-calorie diabetes diet is not appropriate for every person with diabetes. For weight loss, this calorie level is low enough that it may cause a negative effect on the metabolism for many people. Also, this calorie level may not provide enough carbohydrates to complement medication regimens or prevent hypoglycemia.
However, 1200 calories will meet the energy needs of some people with diabetes. It’s probably best if you are small in weight and stature, older than 65, and/or less active. If you’ve received a 1200-calorie diabetes diet prescription, your healthcare providers will have taken all of these factors into account.
If your healthcare provider prescribed you a diet other than 1200 calories, we have sample meal plans for you as well.
Diabetes High Cholesterol And Diet
Heres some good news: it doesnt take a huge effort to start making heart-healthy food decisions. Especially when you have diabetes and high cholesterol, watching your diet is critical.
There are changes you can make to what you eat every day. We recommend that you talk to a certified diabetes educator or registered dietitian about changing how you eat. They can work with you to create a meal plan that is delicious, flexible , and healthyfor both your heart and your diabetes.
Consider the fruit and/or vegetables that you will add to your meal for the most heart healthy, weight neutral, blood sugar favorable eating plan.
In the meantime, here are 4 tips to help you eat well when you have high cholesterol.
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Preparation Methods Matter So Cook With Olive Oil Or Avocado Oil
Instead of cooking with those generic vegetable oils , switch to using olive oil, sunflower oil, and avocado oil, which contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. When choosing added facts in your cooking, the goal is to avoid butter, which is high in saturated fat, and to avoid products made with trans fats or partially hydronated fatty acids.
The way you prepare foods matters a lot. For example, fried foods have been linked to both high cholesterol and cancer, so while French fries are hard to pass up. You can make quite acceptable baked fries, or you can treat yourself to an air fryer, which will give you the satisfying crunch of fried foods without the negative health effects.
Baking, stir-frying , roasting, and steaming are all great ways to prepare your vegetables, tofu, and meats.