Maybe you have a chronic disease requiring a careful diet. Maybe you’re striving to manage your weight. Maybe you’d simply like to eat well and have fun doing it. Here are three tips to help you eat for health—and enjoy your food.
Use vegetables for flavor.
We’re used to salt, sugar, and cheese adding zing to meals. But vegetables pack a delicious punch while providing more nutrients and fewer calories. Try sautéed onions and garlic, fresh ginger slivers, or grated carrot.
Dress up water with veggies and fruits.
Adding fruits and veggies to water boosts flavor and gives you important nutrients. Try adding lemon or peeled cucumber slices to cool water. Or, for a fall-themed drink, simmer three sliced apples and six cinnamon sticks in a gallon of water, strain, and let cool.
Make a plan to savor a special food.
Diets can make us feel deprived and resentful. You can counter this negative pattern by scheduling an occasional pleasure. Think of a dish that you love, set aside a particular time (maybe with a good friend), and bring a mindful approach to savoring a serving of it.
Find more plant-rich, flavorful recipes for your table at diabetesfoodhub.org.
Choosing the right carbs to manage prediabetes & type 2 diabetes
A diabetes diagnosis often comes with confusion about what’s okay to eat and what’s not — particularly carbohydrates. Here are some tips from the American Diabetes Association to help you sort out which foods are best to support your health and well-being:
Look for a balanced mix of protein, fat, and carbs.
Nutrition labels list the grams-per-serving of the most important macronutrients. If the number of total carbohydrates is much higher than protein or fat, you’re looking at a food that will affect your blood sugar negatively.
Seek out foods with fiber (this means plants).
Fiber is, in fact, a carbohydrate that’s vital for healthy digestion. Most adults need between 25 and 30 grams of fiber a day—and it can only be found in plants. Beans, nuts, fruits, and veggies (especially with skins, like apples), and whole grains are good sources of fiber.
Choose non-starchy veggies.
These vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals—and few calories. Because they have little or no starch, they are low in carbohydrates that can affect insulin levels. Some common options are beets, salad greens, broccoli, and cucumber.
Learn the skills you need to control diabetes, and prevent or delay complications associated with it, at our FREE 4-week class, “Healthy Living with Diabetes.” Outpatient Registered Dietitian Ruth Goldstein MS, RD, LD, will cover such topics as diabetes management, healthy eating, activity, medications and stress management.
Learn more about carbohydrates at diabetes.org/nutrition.