Spring is here!! and we are excited that the winter blast is just about over (I hope!!).
This month is National Nutrition Month; this is the month when healthy food choices and portion control, are being highlighted. It can sometimes be a challenge to eat healthy, but taking it one choice at a time can make it a little easier.
Below are a couple of Spring Gems to help you spring into action!
The Essentials for Healthy Eating: Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats;
- Carbohydrates: Is the most important food group for diabetics because that provides your body with energy. This is the group of foods that greatly affects your blood sugar. There are two types of carbohydrates; Sugars (such as milk, juice, honey, fruit, fruit juices, chips and cakes) and Starches (such as breads pasta’s, potatoes, beans, and some vegetables). Remember all carbohydrates are created equal in this sense, they all have the potential of raising your blood sugar, however eating healthier carbohydrates such as more fruits and vegetables and less sugary cakes or candy treats, gives you more fiber and vitamin nutrients that helps create a healthier lifestyle Counting your carbohydrates’ effectively helps you calculate the amount of insulin you need daily. Remember please see your dietian, or diabetic educator, so they can help you calculate the amount of carbohydrates you need daily for better glucose control.
- Protein: Is the food group that often comes from animal based products, such as meat, fish, cheese, eggs, and milk. You can also get protein from beans (such as kidney beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, nuts, and tofu. Proteins’ do not raise your blood sugar but some have a lot of fat and cholesterol. Always choose leaner meats, and fish that are baked or grilled, not fried. Choosing healthier proteins in your diet is a big step on making healthier food choices.
- Fats: There are many types of fats that are included in our diets, however all fats are not bad for you in limited amounts. Two commonly know categories’ of fat are Good Fats (Unsaturated fats), and Bad Fats (Trans Fats). The good fats are normally found in plant based food and are good for your heart and cholesterol, they include things such as: olive oil, sunflower oils, avocados, and peanuts flax-seed, tofu. Bad fats increase your cholesterol and risk for disease, they are found in prepackaged snack foods, pastries, crackers, chips, candy bars, and stick margarine and foods that have been deep fried. Foods high in omega 3 are good heart healthy choices as well. Remember fats are an essential part of your diet choosing the right types, and watching your amounts, is what counts.
Portion Control is Key: How much you are eating is just as important as what you are eating. The plate method is an excellent tool to use to help you monitor portions. For example a plate can look like this: ¼ of a side grilled or baked chicken tenders, ¼ of a side of pasta salad, ¼ of a side of broccoli, and ¼ of a side bowl of mixed fruit.
Remember healthy eating will not only help you manage your weight but it will also help you manage your blood sugar. Balancing nutrition and taste will help you make the best food choices for your health!