According to Diabetes Canada, in 2015 diabetes affected 3.5 million Canadians. The prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes are expected to rise by 45% by 2025.
Chances are diabetes affects you or someone you know. For Diabetes Awareness Month, I was on Morning Live to discuss nutrition tips for diabetes management.
Feel free to share this post and media interview with someone you know who is affected by diabetes!
Please note that this post and the media interview are meant for individuals with Type 2 diabetes. According to Diabetes Canada, 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is more prevalent in adults, but children can also be affected.
About Type 2 Diabetes
In Type 2 diabetes, the body cannot properly use insulin that is released or it does not make enough insulin. Instead of being used up as energy, the sugar builds up in the blood causing high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels cause damage to your organs, nerves and blood vessels.
Your doctor or dietitian might speak to you about controlling how many carbohydrates you eat and choosing more complex carbohydrates, which break down slower.
I developed a diabetes friendly pasta recipe for TV. It is made with NuPasta, a konjac pasta – which is low in carbohydrates (6 g per package – 210 g serving) compared with 40-50 g of carbohydrates in regular pasta:
[CLICK] for Diabetes-Friendly Garlic Chicken & Veggie Pasta
Focus on consuming enough fibre. Fibre is an indigestible form of carbohydrate that slows down food absorption. The goal is to consume 25-38 g of fibre, depending on your age and gender.
Complex carbohydrates break down slower in the bloodstream and are often higher in fibre than simple carbohydrates (white bread, rice, pasta). Oatmeal (go for slow cooked), quinoa, brown rice and sprouted grains bread are great options.
I Have Diabetes. I was Told to Avoid Eating Sugar. Can I Eat Fruit?
The goal is to limit the intake of added sugars (no more than 25 g per day). Added sugars are found in baked goods, honey, candy, fruit juice and pop.
Although fruit is a nutritious option, it has more naturally occurring sugar than most other whole foods. Limit your intake to no more than 2 to 3 servings per day.
What’s a serving of fruit?
- A medium apple – about the size of your fist.
- ½ a cup of chopped fruit (berries, melon, pineapple, etc).
Foods That Slow Down Absorption of Carbohydrates
To further avoid spikes in blood sugar, consuming foods that slow down the absorption of carbohydrates is ideal.
Legumes, such as black beans, chick peas and lentils are great options because they are packed with fibre and protein – both which slow down digestion.
Remember to speak to your doctor or registered dietitian for more information and individualized support for your needs.
Adding healthy fats to your diet will also slow down carbohydrate digestion.
Olive oil, canola oil, avocados, salmon, sardines and nuts all have healthy fats and are a great addition to your diet.
Canned salmon and sardines (high in omega 3 essential fatty acids) also have the added benefit of having calcium and vitamin D from eating the bones, and are also more economical than fresh fish!
Meal and Snack Planning
You want to plan your meals and snacks to ensure that you have something to eat every 3-4 hours. This will help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Remember, every meal or snack should include healthy fats, protein and fibre.
Be sure to speak to your doctor or dietitian for an individualized care plan to fit your needs!
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