January is the month of the year that everyone is motivated to eat healthy, exercise and lose weight. But, controlling diabetes is important every month and not just in January.
Remember, to be realistic with your goals and small changes can add up to a big change. Also, you don’t have to do them all at once, but set a couple as yourself for the week or month and then move on to the next. Don’t forget to reward yourself (not with food!), when you reach a goal.
Here are some examples of some healthy eating goals to work on for the New Year:
Control Your Blood Glucose Better
Research has proven that having good blood glucose control— with a hemoglobin A1C less than 7 percent — can decrease a person’s risk for complications. We can control diabetes much better now than in years past. Take some time to assess how you manage your blood glucose. Is it working for you? Is it time to look into new tools that might help control your numbers better?
Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains contain lots of natural protein, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Eating whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer. Eat brown rice in place of white rice, try a lentil pasta, add quinoa into your salads. Change to a whole-grain cereal such as oatmeal for breakfast.
Make Sure You Eat Your Veggies
Your goal should be to eat a minimum of two servings of vegetables every day (serving size = 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw). Vegetables are generally low in fat and calories, and as an added benefit, no vegetable has cholesterol! Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C. Be careful about adding dressings to your veggies, however, because they may add fat, calories, and/or cholesterol.
Eliminate Sweetened Beverages
Go ahead, limit, or eliminate all the soda from your diet and see the lasting effects on your weight and health. According to the Center for Disease Control, frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain/obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Dietary fiber which is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, has many health benefits. It is a good way to maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Whole-grain products include fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, legumes, nuts and, seeds. Processed foods like canned fruits and vegetables, white bread and pasta and non-whole-grain cereals — are low in fiber and should be avoided. Choose foods with no less than 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
Include Fish in Your Diet
Fish is naturally in low-fat and high in protein. It’s filled with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin), calcium, phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week as part of a healthy diet. Fish can also lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Try baking, broiling or grilling it for some variation.
Space Your Meals Out
Eating your meals at a regular time is an important factor in maintaining your body weight. Your body generally gets hungry every three to five hours. Try to eat at the same time every day. Keep healthy snacks like vegetables, hummus, and cheese around to eat between meals to curb your appetite. Space your meals four to five hours apart.
Don’t Skip Meals
Make sure you eat three or five mini-meals every day. Research has shown that skipping meals can also cause your metabolism to slow down, which can cause weight gain or make it harder to lose weight.
Try A New Shake
When you don’t have healthy food, try a meal substitute such a protein shakes or meal bars, in place of skipping a meal. Keep your favorite shake handy in the pantry. As always, consult your doctor before trying a new shake and make sure it’s okay to include in your diet.
Keep Healthy Snacks At Hand
Always be sure to fill up your cart with healthy snacks such as nuts, light yogurt, and fruit. Keeping healthy foods in your pantry is the oldest and most effective trick in the book. Don’t bring home the junk food, and it won’t make it’s way your tummy!
Measure Portion Size
Try turning over a new leaf and invest in a simple food scale. Measure portion sizes on cereal, rice, and pasta since most people overeat these foods. You will be surprised to see what an actual portion size for some foods really is.
NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified nutritional professional. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your specific dietary needs.
Happy New Year to all our loyal dLife followers. Wishing you the best in health and happiness for 2020!