Trade these seven foods for a quick way to regular glucose levels When it comes to managing diabetes, the first place to start is with your plate. That’s because the foods you eat directly affect your blood sugar level: Simple and processed carbohydrates (sugary foods, white bread, white pasta or white rice) are quickly broken down by the body into glucose, a type of sugar cells used for energy that causes spikes and crashes in your blood sugar level. Foods that the body takes longer to break down (whole grains, fiber-filled fruits, and vegetables or lean protein) provide a more steady release of glucose. Start by making healthier substitutions for your standard fare, which will allow you to build habits that will last.
You eat: A sandwich for lunch
Replace with: Half the sandwich, with a salad or piece of fruit
The giant grilled sandwiches we are used to eating actually pack in as many calories as two meals. It’s a good idea to order just half a sandwich and adding a side order of salad or a fruit to your meal. This will bring your meal within reasonable calorie range.
Replace with: 1% milk and reduced-fat cheese
Sugar levels and the heart’s health are closely linked, so start by ditching foods with saturated fat from your meals. Low-fat versions of dairy products work in two ways — it cuts down calories and helps you stay away from LDL cholesterol which is an artery clogger.
Replace with: Water and unsweetened flavored tea
The problems with aerated drinks, sports drinks and juices is that they are all loaded with sugar. Water, on the other hand, doesn’t make your blood glucose levels spike, and at zero calories, it doesn’t widen your waist. Besides, staying hydrated beats exhaustion. Always keep a bottle in your car, on your desk, and in your handbag. It’s a good idea to add a sprig of mint or a slice of cucumber to give a fresh tinge of taste.
Replace with: Half a whole-grain bagel with peanut butter
Anything whole grain means a slower release of glucose into the blood. It’s the same with peanut butter thanks to its protein content. Experts say you should read labels and search for the word ‘whole’ in the first few ingredients.
Replace with: Veggies as the starter of your meal
Doctors say the simplest way to control carb intake and calories are to up your intake of fresh vegetables. Their extra fiber keeps you full for longer, and blood sugar levels eveOne-quarter of your meal should be protein and the other quarter should be 100 percent whole grains. Make sure your plate is colourful.
Veggies have more nutrients and fiber that helps balance blood sugar. Processed packaged foods like chips have a high sodium content that also ups blood pressure, putting you at risk of heart disease. Unsalted nuts are a good snack, too, due to their heart healthy fats. Just make sure you watch the portions. Count out no more than 10 nuts.
It’s an easy-peasy swap but doubles the health benefit. Red meat is another artery-clogger on account of its high saturated fat content. Fish on the other hand has Omega-3 fats. Aim for two servings of fish a week.
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