American Diabetes Month: How to Eat Well for Your Blood Sugar (& Heart Health)

Today, there are nearly 30 million Americans who are currently living with diabetes and nearly 90 million people who show signs of prediabetes. Making healthy food choices is key to maintaining the right weight and preventing or managing diabetes. Being overweight or obese can make it difficult to manage Type 2 diabetes, while also increasing the risk for high blood cholesterol and pressure, which often leads to heart disease. 

In honor of American Diabetes Month, we are sharing a few ways you can eat well for your blood sugar and your heart health.

Foods to Eat

Minimizing your consumption of simple carbohydrates and elevating your consumption of fiber-rich foods, lean meats, fruits and vegetables will help manage your diabetes or prediabetes. Below are a few items you should add to your grocery list:

  • Whole grains: oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta
  • Fish: salmon, mackerel
  • Lean Meats: chicken, turkey, round sirloin and chuck
  • Colorful fruits and veggies
  • Low fat dairy products
  • Nuts, seeds and legumes

Foods to Limit

There are many foods, like sodas, cakes and candies, that can increase blood glucose levels. While it’s okay to eat some of these items, it’s important to do so in moderation, especially if you’re living with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Below are a few foods you should try to limit:

  • Sweets: fruit drinks, cakes, fruit juice, candy
  • Fatty/processed meats: pork, salami
  • Hydrogenated or Trans Fats: shortening, desserts, frozen pizza
  • Whole milk dairy products
  • Alcohol

Healthy Eating Tips & Tricks

We understand that everyone is super busy, between work, school, family obligations, etc. And, because of this, sometimes healthy eating can be placed on the back burner. This is why we have put together a few tips and tricks that our staff uses to maintain a healthy diet.

  1. Keep a food journal – If you’re someone living with diabetes or are on a weight loss journey, keeping an accurate diary of the things you eat and how they make you feel can be very helpful.
  2. Meal prep – A brief Google search will help you find easy and quick meal prep recipes. Not only can meal prepping help you stick to your diet, but it will also save you money in the long run. 
  3. Bring a water bottle – Whether you’re headed to the grocery store or sitting at your desk at work, we recommend keeping a water bottle by your side at all times to ensure you’re staying hydrated.
  4. Check the labels – Most foods are required to have a nutrition label. We recommend referring to those when grocery shopping.
  5. Use AHA Recipes – The American Heart Association has a ton of fantastic and delicious recipes! 

Read more about heart disease and Type 2 diabetes here.