Portion Control For Diabetes: Tips For Eating Out – We all love to eat, not just for sustenance but also for sensory pleasure. But eating too much is not good for your health. It affects your digestive system as well as your state of mind. It also changes hormonal balance, especially serotonin, leptin, ghrelin (1) which controls our hunger and satiety center, changes insulin levels and affects blood flow (which is why we feel sleepy after filling up on food instead of eating it).
Diabetes affects the body’s ability to metabolize food as well as the secretion and function of insulin. This combination of deficiencies causes blood sugar levels to rise, especially immediately after a meal. A healthy balanced diet is essential to control blood sugar. And the best way to eat a balanced diet is to portion your food.
Of all the food groups we consume on a daily basis, carbohydrates have the greatest impact on blood sugar. Thus, managing the quantity as well as the quality of carbohydrates should be the primary goal of diabetes management. The quality of carbohydrates is important in terms of glycemic index, the rate at which they release sugar into the blood. (2)
Eating right is not eating small portions, but eating the right portions. It may vary from person to person. The goal should be to feel satisfied and happy after a meal, not full and boring. Planning food portions at regular intervals will naturally reduce your meal size. It ensures better digestion, assimilation and absorption of food and gives us many health benefits.
Veer Ramlugon, founder of The Food Analysts, a human-powered calorie-counting service, helps diabetics understand the right way to control portion sizes.
1. Divide your plate: Follow the 30-40-30 rule. Aim to fill your plate with 30 percent carbohydrates (non-starchy, high fiber, low glycemic index carbohydrates), 40 percent lean protein, and the remaining 30 percent essential fats. This way you ensure that your blood sugar levels remain stable.
2. Use small plates and glasses: If you keep large plates and glasses in the kitchen, consider using small ones instead. An appetizer plate can help you eat less. By simply swapping out 12-inch plates for 10-inch plates, you can serve yourself 22 percent fewer calories. The key to sticking to healthy servings of carbs for people with diabetes is filling up on tasty, interestingly prepared vegetables (don’t forget to season them!).
3. Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets: Meal plans and buffet dining rooms can feel like a royal feast, but the downside is that you’ll be eating a lot. At such a buffet, most of us feed our greed (brain) rather than our hunger (stomach). Moreover, the healthiness of the cooking methods is also in question.
4. Read food labels when buying processed or prepared foods: Food labels contain useful information about what is included in one serving of food. It also includes information on “added sugars”. Added sugars include versions of table sugar, such as beet and cane sugar, corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, and other sweeteners added to foods and beverages. These increase your blood sugar levels. Also note that milk contains natural sugars and is not listed on the label as an added sugar (lactose). Reading these labels will help you make the most informed choices.
5. Visually mapping out your food works best: Visual aids make it easier to remember how much food to eat according to your goal. Here are some examples:
A deck of cards or the palm of your hand (not including fingers) – 3g portion of meat, fish or chicken or 10 chips
Baseball – 8 ounce cup of yogurt, 1 cup of beans or 1 cup of dry cereal.
Finally, and most importantly, chew your food well. It takes 15-20 minutes for your brain to realize that your stomach is already full. So eat slowly and eat well.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for patient awareness only. It is written by qualified experts and scientifically validated by them. or its affiliates/subsidiaries shall not be responsible for the content provided by these experts. This article is not a substitute for medical advice. Please always consult your doctor before trying anything suggested in this article/website. Food plays a huge role in family life. Dinner is the table where we sit down to meet at the end of the day, and a holiday is not the same without a spread of the usual delicious food. Recipes for these foods can be passed down from generation to generation. But when you come home with a diabetes diagnosis, participating in these important traditions can feel like a barrier. The truth is that you can still enjoy this time with your family. How you support your blood sugar management with food and activity makes all the difference.
These foods are especially healthy for people with diabetes because they have almost zero net carbohydrates and help stabilize blood sugar.
When we think of cooking with family, it is customary to think of food that gives us a sense of emotional comfort while eating it. Whether it’s grandma’s meatballs or mom’s homemade pierogies, the smell and taste of these foods can make you feel warm and cozy at home. However, these recipes often focus on unhealthy ingredients and may contain high levels of carbohydrates, starches, fats or sugars. Some of the most popular dishes include:
Fortunately, there are many simple alternatives, both in terms of ingredients and preparation, that can help reduce the blood sugar impact of these foods.
Reducing trans fats and saturated fats is an important aspect of any healthy diet. This is because these types of fats can raise blood cholesterol levels.
People with diabetes already have a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack or stroke, so reducing your intake of trans fat and saturated fat is one of the best ways to reduce this risk. Try starting by replacing ingredients like trans fats, butter, or lard. These hydrogenated oils are actually worse than saturated fats. Fortunately, you can easily replace it by cooking with canola oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, or olive oil.
Saturated and trans fats seem pretty healthy. Here are some examples:
So now that you know where bad fats can be found, try to limit your intake of foods that contain them and make healthy choices instead.
One of the reasons we love carbohydrates is that they make us feel full and satisfied after a meal. But there are other options to satisfy your hunger without ruining your diet plan. Fiber is a fantastic nutrient to discover because while it fills you up, it’s not actually broken down by the body, meaning it doesn’t spike your blood sugar a notch.
The best sources of fiber come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, so mealtime can still be a varied feast.
For many people with diabetes, celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can add to the challenge of eating healthy meals every day. Here’s a quick guide to what it means to live gluten-free.
The symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can be similar—stomach aches, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, or other symptoms that occur after a person eats gluten-containing foods. If you suspect you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, talk to your doctor about getting tested. Celiac disease can be diagnosed by a doctor through a blood test. If the results come back negative for celiac, gluten sensitivity may be the diagnosis. Either way, if your body has trouble processing gluten, you may want to include a gluten-free diet in your self-care.
People with type 1 diabetes are at higher risk for celiac disease, as both are autoimmune diseases. So be sure to talk to your doctor about switching to a gluten-free diet. And remember that “gluten-free” does not equal “low-carb,” and many processed gluten-free foods are loaded with other types of sugar. They may not be the healthiest choice for your blood sugar.
If you and your healthcare provider have decided that you need a gluten-free diet, it’s time to take wheat, barley, and rye off your plate. But there are many other sources of gluten that you might not have imagined, including beer, oats, processed dressings and sauces, soy sauce, and condiments found in potato chips or dry pasta mixes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has created a helpful list of gluten-containing foods to watch out for.
As you can see from the list mentioned above, fresh fruits and vegetables are the way to go. Other gluten-free items to keep in your pantry include beans, yogurt, cheese, corn, flakes, sweet potatoes, and gluten-free foodies’ best friends, quinoa and rice.
Make a change for the environment and your health – consider going vegetarian one day a week without losing protein or stocking up on carbohydrates.
Meatless Mondays and VB6 (vegetarian before 6pm) movements aspire to
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