1 – Eat 3 regular meals everyday and do not skip meals, have a breakfast, lunch and dinner. This will help control your appetite as your body will know when to expect food and help you control your blood glucose levels.
2 – With each meal include a starchy carbohydrate food. Some foods that contain starchy carbohydrates are pasta, bread, potatoes, noodles, rice and cereals. The amount of carbohydrates you eat will directly affect your blood glucose levels so it is important that you integrate it into your daily diet. There are many different varieties of these foods available and they all do you good. Some are more slowly absorbed by the body and don’t effect your blood glucose levels much, these can be pasta, grainy breads, sweet potatoes, bran flakes and basmati rice.
High fibre carbohydrate foods will help you to keep your digestive system in good health and should avoid problems such as constipation.
3 – You should cut down on the amount of fat that you eat, especially saturated fats as these can be linked to heart disease. Monounsaturated fats are much better for the health of your heart. You should note that all fats contain calories so if you are trying to lose weight chose less fatty foods to cut some fat out of your diet. Use these tips to cut out the fat.
Eat less butter, cheesy and fatty meals. Pick lower fat dairy foods like semi skimmed milk, reduced fat yoghurts and cheeses Instead of cooking by frying or using oils or other fats you should steam or bake foods. Don’t eat too many foods with creamy sauces and dressings.
4 – Every day you should aim to eat at least 5 servings of fruit or vegetables as these will help with the overall balance of your diet and provide you with essential vitamins. Some suggestions are a slice of melon, plums, a handful of grapes, a bowl of salad, a banana or apple.
5 – Eat more lentils and beans like butter beans, chickpeas and kidney beans as these can help in controlling your blood glucose levels. An idea is to add them to casseroles, soups and stews.
6 – Try to eat at least 2 portions of oily fish every week as it contains a type of polyunsaturated fat named omega 3 which helps prevent heart disease. Some ideas are oily fish such as sardines, salmon, pilchards and mackerel.
7 – Cut down and limit your sugary foods. By no means does this mean have a sugar free diet as sugar can be used as part of a healthy diet. You must be aware that sugary foods, high level sugar drinks can have a immediate effect in increasing your blood glucose levels, so where possible chose the sugar or less sugar alternative such as diet drinks or no added sugar drinks.
8 – High levels of salt in your diet can increase the risk of heart disease and strokes as it can increase your blood pressure. You should aim to keep your salt intake to less than 6g a day. Instead of flavouring your foods with salt use herbs and spices, you may find you even enjoy the variety better.
9 – Stay away from foods that are marked as ‘diabetic’ as these are usually gimmicky. They can cause a laxative effect in the body and will still affect your blood glucose levels, plus the companies selling these products are selling them at a much higher price than normal foods which are just as good if not better.