When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I originally thought that all carbohydrates would be detrimental to my health as it would cause a spike in my blood glucose levels. As I was educated by my doctor and nutritionist, it became clear to me that carbs aren’t necessarily bad for me. Rather it’s specific kinds of carbs that are bad for a diabetic such as myself. Simple carbs such as processed foods and sugars are the worst types of carbohydrates because they loaded with sugar which will cause a sharp spike in my blood glucose.
The carbs that are beneficial to my overall health are called complex carbohydrates which consist of whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. Complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to digest resulting in a steady flow of sugar being released into the blood stream rather than a broken dam of sugar rushing through the flood gates.
Good fats on the other hand can be found naturally in some of my favorite foods such as nuts, avocados, fish and olive oil. These fats are all considered unsaturated (mono- and poly-) and they occur naturally in many foods. By replacing unhealthy fats with healthy benefits the body by curbing cravings for junk food while also promoting fat burn and supplying the body with essential nutrients.
As for vegetables, I love them all and I often times eat them raw to get more nutrients out of them. One vegetable that must be warned of is the tuber (potato) because of its high starch (carbohydrate) content. As a diabetic, I still enjoy potatoes but I choose to limit the amount I eat, as well as choosing yams and sweet potatoes over the standard white potato. There are great ways to prepare vegetables whether it is in the oven, on the grill or a quick stir fry.
In order to battle my diabetes, one step is managing my diet. By choosing what I eat and educating myself on nutrient sources, I am one step closer to managing my disease. Feel free to share someone of your favorite diabetic friendly foods, ways to prepare them or any comments to increase awareness!