THE DIABETES CAREGIVER: Diet
How to manage diabetes by achieving long-term weight control
Long-term weight control is a key tool in managing diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. And healthy eating is the best way to achieve that.
Here are guidelines for helping your loved one enjoy a sustainable diet from Ann L. Albright, PhD, RD, Director, Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Individualize It: A workable meal plan needs to suit one's schedule and eating habits. Food is a personal thing, and meals should be made as enjoyable as possible. Determine the eating patterns of the person you care for, and ask what foods he or she likes to eat most. This will help in devising a realistic plan.
Include a Variety of Healthy Foods: Choose from the following food groups—vegetables; whole grains; fruits; non-fat or low-fat dairy products; beans, lean meats or fish—and balance carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Check the American Diabetes Association website for guidelines.
Watch Preparation Methods: Bake or broil rather than fry. Use monounsaturated oil (such as olive oil, canola oil or peanut oil) instead of lard. Also avoid fast foods, which tend to be high in fats and calories.
Limit Portion Size: Read the Nutrition Facts labels on packaged foods and remember that even healthy foods can become high-calorie if consumed in quantity.
Talk with a Dietitian: A professional can provide guidelines on carbohydrate counting, clarify misinformation concerning diet and sweets (don't assume sweets are never allowed), establish realistic goals, and help create shopping lists and menus.