There is a lot of misinformation around diabetes, which often leaves people feeling confused and frustrated about what they should be doing.
Lifestyle changes to prevent and manage diabetes really come down to some simple healthy principles. And like most things when it comes to wellbeing, it’s all about balance, moderation and variety.
Anna Debenham, co-founder and Accredited Practising Dietitian at The Biting Truth, shares some guidelines to help you develop your healthy eating plan.
Forget dieting – eat for life
Adopt a way of eating that allows you to enjoy food, while still adequately nourishing your body with real, whole foods. Fad diets, as their name implies, are short-term fixes that set many of us up for failure and disappointment. The key is to develop lifelong healthy eating habits that bring joy and happiness to your life.
Enjoy a variety of foods
Each food group contains its own unique array of vitamins and minerals that contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. In order for your body to receive all the nutrients it needs to live a long and healthy life, it’s important to eat a variety of different foods from all five-food groups (grains and cereals, fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean meats and alternatives) each day.
Eat regular meals and snacks
Eating regularly throughout the day helps ensure your body has a sustained supply of energy and assists in keeping your blood sugar levels within an optimal range. Eating smaller, more regular meals also helps to control your appetite, meaning you are less likely to feel ravenous and overeat at other meal times.
"Foods with a low GI are broken down and absorbed more slowly, leaving us feeling fuller for longer."
Choose low GI foods
The glycaemic index (GI) looks at how foods containing carbohydrates affect our blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI (e.g. white bread, soft drinks, cakes, biscuits) are quickly broken down and absorbed by the body, causing a rapid spike in our blood sugar levels, leaving us feeling hungry and unsatisfied.
Foods with a low GI (e.g. fruit, milk, grainy bread, porridge and lentils) are broken down and absorbed more slowly, causing a steady rise in blood sugar and insulin levels over time, and leaving us feeling fuller for longer.
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