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How food can help you manage diabetes

While eating healthy is one of the most important tools you can use to manage diabetes, it can be difficult to shift the eating habits that you've developed over the course of many years. Thankfully, making small changes can have a lasting impact. If you're not sure how to get started, consider implementing some of these guidelines in your daily routine.

Eat healthy meals and snacks regularly

Consuming nutritious foods throughout the day allows your body to produce and use enough insulin so you have the energy that you need, especially if you have type two diabetes. Not eating enough—just one or two meals a day—can result in low blood sugar, and, as a result, cause a spike in blood pressure when you do finally eat.

Don't skip breakfast

After a long night of rest, your body wakes up in a fasted state. This means that you have not consumed food for several hours. Your body needs food for energy, so eating in the morning is a great way to fuel up for the day ahead.

Watch portions

Portion size refers to how much food you put on your plate, whereas serving size refers to the amount of food listed on an item's nutrition facts label. It's OK to eat more than one serving of food at a time, but it's important to be aware of how many servings you're eating to better track your body's needs and prevent overconsumption.

Stay consistent

Eating around the same amount of food at about the same time every day simplifies managing your blood sugar and helps you remember to take medications on time.

Limit added sugars and refined grains

Be sure to pay attention to what you are drinking and eating since many foods and beverages contain added sugar. Try to replace refined grains, such as white bread, rice and pasta, with whole grains, like brown rice and whole-grain bread and pasta.

Limit processed foods

Whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain many nutrients. On the other hand, processed foods, such as crackers, chips, candy and sugary drinks, tend to be high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients.

Reach for healthier fats

Polysaturated and monosaturated fats, found in foods like olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, are much better for your heart than unhealthy trans fats.

Learn more about how to better manage your diabetes by checking out our six-week virtual workshop Healthy Living with Diabetes. Topics covered include physical activity, healthy eating, monitoring, stress management, understanding emotions, medication, communication, avoiding complications, decision making and more.

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