Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes? In honor of "Defeat Diabetes" Month
, we are sharing ten diabetic diet, recipe and lifestyle tips to help keep you (or your loved one) on track for a healthy lifestyle (without missing out on enjoying some great food)!
Instead of thinking of your meal planning efforts as a "diet", focus on the wonderful foods you can choose to enjoy more often and the diabetic-friendly recipes you'll get to try. Keep in mind these helpful tips for feeling better, staying healthy, managing blood sugar
and enjoying life with your family. There are lots of natural foods that can help you manage diabetes effectively
1. Add Some Spice to Life
Spice up your dishes with a little clove, cinnamon, turmeric, and other spices (check this out
); their antioxidants
help prevent diabetic-associated inflammation in the body.
(Get the Spiced Party Nuts Recipe
2. Enjoy Citrus Fruit and Berries
Enjoy citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, plus your favorite kind of berry (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry ...) to supply the body with plenty of Vitamin C, fiber, as well as healthy antioxidants to help the body fight off inflammation. Toss them all together in a fruit salad, layer them with some yogurt for a breakfast parfait or healthy dessert, or enjoy them in one of the diabetic dessert recipes below.
3. Go Green
Superfoods like spinach, kale and other leafy greens are a healthy and delicious recipe addition, and they're low in carbs and calories, too! Add a hand full of fresh spinach to your next sauce, quiche, omelet, or soup (towards the end of cooking). Saute some fresh spinach with a dash of olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper for a quick side dish. (See Spinach Recipes
and Greens Recipes
) And, of course, a hearty salad full of greens is always an inviting option!
4. Take Time to Play
Take time to play! Go fly a kite, take a hike, go dancing with friends, plan a nature scavenger hunt
with the kids .. pick a favorite moving activity and get going! (Photo below by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash)
5. Savor Sweet Potatoes
Exchange sweet potatoes
in your recipes for white potatoes for a reduced glycemic index dish, while enjoying the healthy fiber and delicious fresh taste of this brightly colored veggie.
6. Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sugar-sweetened beverages make up a large percentage of the "empty" calories many people drink each day. Drink more water! (If you prefer flavor in your water, add some fruit or cucumber slices to your water pitcher each morning and enjoy throughout the day).
7. Portion Control
Think before eating about how much you're going to put on the plate, and how much of the plate will be covered by which type of food. MyPlate
is a handy tool for this, and suggests that half the plate should hold vegetables and fruit, with the other half divided between protein and a whole grain (such as brown rice, quinoa, barley, whole grain pastas or bread, etc).
There are so many ways to enjoy tomatoes, it's easy to incorporate them almost every day and enjoy the health benefit of vitamins C and E along with iron. Slice fresh tomatoes on a sandwich or salad, roast tomatoes to serve over your main dish, add diced tomatoes to a favorite soup or casserole, or get your tomatoes in a sauce or salsa served with whole grain pasta or tortillas. Delicious and easy every day, like in this Tomato, Basil and Feta Salad.
Whether you prefer kidney, navy, black, pinto, or other types of beans, their high fiber content, protein, magnesium and potassium content make them a no-brainer healthy addition to your dishes. (Remember to rinse and drain if using canned varieties). Reduce the meat or pasta content in a favorite dish by adding in your favorite beans instead (in soups, casseroles, and salads). (See Easy, Healthy Recipes with Beans
10. Delight in Dessert
Just because you're making changes and better choices to be healthy, doesn't mean you have to eliminate dessert. Decide to delight in healthier diabetic dessert options (in reasonable portions) like:
1. Honeyed Grapefruit - Grapefruit and banana slices drizzled with honey and sprinkled with fresh chopped mint.
2. Strawberry Shortcake - A small slice of sponge cake topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries or other favorite berries.
3. Berries with Maple Cream - Serve 2/3 cup of fresh blackberries and raspberries topped with Maple Cream (whisk together 1/4 cup of maple syrup with 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream).
(See More Diabetic-Friendly Recipes)
Do you have any helpful tips you would like to add or share? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Let us help you keep all your favorite, healthy recipes for the entire family at your fingertips here at Dish Dish in your own online recipe organizer.
American Diabetes Association
Defeat Diabetes Foundation