If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you may feel overwhelmed. It can be hard to know what foods you can eat and the foods you should avoid. Being a diabetic does not mean you have to forgo all sweets. The key is moderation. Eating does not have to be a challenge if you plan meals ahead of time.
Skipping breakfast is never a good idea for diabetics. After sleeping all night, your body needs fuel to start your day. According to the American Diabetes Association, eating a balanced breakfast keeps blood glucose levels stable and will make you less likely to want snacks later in the day.
A good breakfast for on the go is a blueberry bran muffin and a low-sugar yogurt. Another option is to make a breakfast burrito ahead of time with eggs or egg-white substitute, bacon and cheese all on a whole-wheat tortilla. If you have time to eat breakfast at home, you can have a bowl of cereal, avoiding the sugary kid cereal, and milk topped with strawberries. Another option is to make an egg white omelet with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and spinach to add an extra serving of vegetables in your diet along with whole-wheat toast.
Bringing lunch from home is one way to ensure your lunch is healthy for your diabetes. A turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread, a side of cooked broccoli and for dessert an apple is a quick and easy lunch. Soup is a great way to fill up at lunch and add vegetables to your diet. Side items can include wheat crackers and a cheese stick.
You don't have to give up eating out with co-workers at lunchtime. Stick with a salad, asking for a lower sugar dressing on the side. You can even have a burger, just skip the fries and ask for steamed vegetables. Several fast food restaurants offer alternatives to fries as well. Try to limit visits to fast food restaurants to avoid the excess fat and calories.
Dinner should include protein and plenty of vegetables. Grill lean steak or a chicken breast along with zucchini brushed with olive oil. Sides can include a salad, baked sweet potato and for dessert a low-sugar chocolate pudding.
Fish is a good source of protein and makes a good dinner choice. Bake or grill salmon or other lean fish and serve with a rice pilaf made from whole grain rice, and steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon.
Snacking throughout the day keeps blood sugars from dropping low in between meals. Celery stuffed with peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks, Fig Newton cookies, grapes, nuts, cottage cheese and low-sugar granola bars all are good snack food choices.
You can even snack on a cookie or two if you have maintained a healthy diet for the day and your doctor approves.