Tips For Maintaining Healthy Blood Glucose Levels Whenever You Eat Lunch
With these tips, you can maintain healthy blood glucose levels any day.
- Eat a healthy breakfast, even if you’re not hungry: Eating breakfast helps to stabilize your blood sugar and decreases the likelihood of overeating later in the day. If you don’t feel like eating in the morning, try drinking some tea or juice instead.
- Eat a small snack before lunch: Eating a small snack before lunch helps to prevent hypoglycemia between meals and can help keep your appetite under control throughout the day. You should also consider taking your medication at this time as wellit’s important not to skip it!
- Eat a healthy lunch: Your lunch should be made up of foods with complex carbohydrates and lean protein . Vegetables such as broccoli or tomatoes are also great additions because they contain vitamins necessary for good health!
- Eat another small snack after lunch: It’s best practice to eat something every three hours so that sugar levels remain stable throughout our entire day this will help prevent dips in energy levels, which can lead us towards those delicious treats we’ve been trying so hard not eat all day long! Again though, remember not too much.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined products, such as white rice or white bread
- Try eating more vegetables instead of meat
- Limit salt intake in order not to increase blood pressure levels any further
Prevent Low Blood Glucose
Because physical activity lowers your blood glucose, you should protect yourself against low blood glucose levels, also called hypoglycemia. You are most likely to have hypoglycemia if you take insulin or certain other diabetes medicines, such as a sulfonylurea. Hypoglycemia also can occur after a long intense workout or if you have skipped a meal before being active. Hypoglycemia can happen during or up to 24 hours after physical activity.
Planning is key to preventing hypoglycemia. For instance, if you take insulin, your health care provider might suggest you take less insulin or eat a small snack with carbohydrates before, during, or after physical activity, especially intense activity.4
You may need to check your blood glucose level before, during, and right after you are physically active.
Choose Wisely At The Salad Bar
This is a good place to fill up on nutritious vegetables. Pile your plate with low-carb picks, like leafy greens, broccoli, and bell peppers. Then add lean protein, such as grilled chicken or chickpeas. Cheese, croutons, dried fruit, and bacon bits are high in calories, so only sprinkle on a small amount. Skip the creamy pasta and potato salads, and go easy on the dressing.
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Sugary Foods And Drinks
Sugar is not healthy if you have diabetes because it can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and they provide empty calories, meaning it is not very nutritious.
When you eat sugar, your body breaks it down into glucose, which is then released into your bloodstream which can cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks, such as candy, cookies, cake, fruit juice, and soda to maintain a healthy lifestyle with diabetes and limit these dangerous spikes.
Polenta And Mushroom Grills
Cooked and cooled polenta can be cut into shapes and grilled to make an excellent base for a tempting topping. Here the polenta is flavoured with Gruyère cheese, and the topping is a savoury mixture of mushrooms, walnuts and herbs. Serve as a sophisticated appetizer-with a few mixed salad leaves if you like.
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Whole Grain Wheat Bread
Whole grain wheat bread is a better and healthier alternative than white bread as they are rich in fibre. Hence, they reduce the chances of increasing diabetes.
Recent studiesconfirmed that men and women who ate whole-grain wheat bread had a reduced risk of type diabetes. These researchers found that men with a high whole-grain intake had a 34% decreased risk of diabetes while men with a high whole-grain intake had a 22% reduced risk.
One can include a whole grain bread sandwich with a protein such as chicken, egg, and paneer, and fibre-rich veggies such as lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes.
At Mexican And Spanish Restaurants: Fish Tacos
Yup, thats right! Tacos can be diabetes-friendlyso long as you pick the proper shell. Corn tortillas are much smaller than flour tortillas, so theyre lower in carbs, explains Zanini. Order two grilled fish tacos on corn tortillas with a side of guacamole. If youre still hungry, get a side salad. Here are other tips on how to eat healthy at Mexican restaurants.
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Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes
For most people with type 2 diabetes, the general guideline for moderate alcohol consumption applies. Research shows that one drink per day for women and two a day for men reduces cardiovascular risk and doesnt have a negative impact on diabetes. However, alcohol can lower blood sugar, and people with type 2 diabetes who are prone to hypoglycemia should be aware of delayed hypoglycemia.
Ways to prevent hypoglycemia include:
- Eat food with alcoholic drinks to help minimize the risk.
- Mixed drinks and cocktails often are made with sweeteners or juices, and contain a large amount of carbohydrates so they will increase blood sugar levels.
- Wear a diabetes alert bracelet so that people know to offer food if you demonstrate hypoglycemic symptoms.
It also is important to know that hypoglycemia symptoms often mimic those of intoxication.
Quick Lunch Options For Diabetes
Finding time to prepare and eat lunch can often be limited during the workweek. It can be helpful for people to consider other quick, healthful choices for a diabetes-friendly lunch. Examples include:
- hard-boiled eggs with fruit
Food that commercial establishments serve tends to involve large portions that are high in calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, and salt, but low in fiber and vegetables. This makes eating out a challenge for people who have diabetes.
They have to be extremely careful to choose a healthful lunch that will not cause a spike in their blood sugar.
Portion control is especially important when eating out, as lunch dishes may be much larger than appropriate. People with diabetes should resist the urge to super-size any meal or snack.
Another option might be eating a small amount of the meal and taking the rest home to eat sometime later.
The following ideas can help people with diabetes avoid carb-heavy, overlarge, or sugary options at lunchtime:
- Choose whole-grains where possible or skip the flour-based options.
- Order salad dressing on the side rather than already added.
- Look for broth-based soups.
- Choose grilled, roasted, or baked meats, fresh poultry, and fish.
- Ask for steamed vegetables when possible.
- Swap mashed potatoes or french fries for non-starchy vegetables, such as a side salad or cooked greens.
- Replace refined, low-fiber carbohydrates, such as white rice or pasta, with beans or sweet potatoes with skins.
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Balancing Nutrients In A Healthy Lunch
Macronutrientsprotein, fat, and carbohydratesprovide the body with energy. For diabetes management, it can be helpful to reduce your carbohydrate intake to decrease potential blood sugar spikes.
Everyone has different needs when it comes to macronutrients. Factors that can affect the right macronutrient balance for you include:
- Blood glucose control
- Your medication regimen
It is important to work with a nutritionist or certified diabetes educator to determine the ideal macronutrient ratio for you. A personalized regimen can help you achieve your specific treatment goals. Medicare, Medicaid in some states, and most insurance plans cover diabetes nutrition therapy.
The American Diabetes Association says there is no one ideal macronutrient breakdown of calories among carbohydrates, fat, and protein for people living with diabetes. Meal plans should be tailored to align with calorie, weight loss, and metabolic goals.
It’s important to recognize that not all macronutrients are created equal. Highly processed foods often found in traditional lunches such as lunchmeats, white bread, canned soups, and sugary yogurts are low in nutrient density. They are filling but lack the nutrients found in unrefined foods, like whole grains and leafy greens.
Which Type Of Fats Are Recommended
Fats have little direct effect on blood sugar but, as part of a meal, they are useful in slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates. Fats also have effects on health that are not related to blood sugar. For example:
- Animal meat fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, dairy, and specifically fermented dairy such as yogurt, appears to decrease this risk.
- Plant-based fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocado are associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk.
- Fat also contributes to feelings of satiety and can play a role in managing overeating and carbohydrate cravings. A portion of healthy fats is much more satisfying and healthy than jam on white toast.
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At American Restaurants: Turkey Burger With Steamed Broccoli
When youre getting food from your local sports bar or diner, registered dietitian Isabel Smith, RD, CDN, says that a turkey burger is the way to go. Remove the top bun, which doesnt typically contain much fiber and swap fries for a green veggie. This will add fiber to your meal and help slow blood sugar spikes and promote satiety, she explains.
Avocado Toast With Egg
Avocado toast provides you with the heart-healthy fat your body needs to function. Whole wheat bread makes it an even healthier option and you can also add an egg for extra protein.
Other toppings, such as tomatoes or spinach, can be added for extra nutrients.
Please note that these meals can be healthy when you eat them in the correct portion size.
If you do not practice portion control, you may still gain weight and can have your blood glucose levels rise to an unhealthy range. Also, make sure to read any nutrition labels for trying new foods.
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Veggie And Hummus Sandwich
If you’re on a budget, the best way to ensure your meal is diabetic-friendly is to choose whole grains over refined ones. You can still enjoy sandwiches by making your own hummus and using veggies that don’t contain too many carbs. A couple of whole wheat bread slices will give you enough energy to last through lunch without adding unnecessary sugar or fat.
To keep it simple, pick out one vegetable from each color group: red , yellow , green , blue/purple , and orange-ish/brownish things like bell peppers or carrots.
If you want more protein in your sandwich, throw in some canned tuna or boiled egg whites for extra flavor but try not to add any other meats since those are higher in protein than these options .
If possible, always opt for low-fat dairy productslike low-fat cheese instead of regular cheeseor non-dairy alternatives such as sour soy cream or almond milk yogurt so they won’t be loaded with sugar like regular versions.
Whats The Diabetes Diet
There is no such thing as a special diet exclusively for people with type 2 diabetes. No two people with diabetes are the same. So there isnt a one-size-fits-all way of eating for everyone with diabetes.
In the past, people with type 2 diabetes were sent away after their diagnosis with a list of foods they weren’t allowed to eat, or often told to cut out sugar. But our advice is to make healthier choices more often, and only have treats occasionally and in small portions.
Because we know that making healthier food choices is important to manage your diabetes and to reduce your risk of diabetes complications, like heart problems and strokes, and other health conditions including certain types of cancers.
Try and make changes to your food choices that are realistic and achievable so youll stick with them. This will be different for everyone, depending on what you eat now and the goals you want to achieve. Here are some examples of goals think about yours and write them down if that helps:
- I want to reach my target blood sugar level
- I want to reduce my cholesterol levels
- I want good blood pressure
- I want to be a healthy weight
- I want to be in diabetes remission.
Youre more likely to achieve your goals if you get some support whether thats from your healthcare team, your family and friends or other people with diabetes. There are millions of people with type 2 diabetes wondering what they can eat youre not alone in this.
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At American Restaurants: Grilled Salmon
Steamed or grilled wild salmon is always a good option because its rich in omega-3 fats, says registered dietitian Patricia Bannan, RDN, author of Eat Right When Time is Tight.The nutrient helps ward off heart disease, which is important for those with type 2 diabetes, as they have an elevated risk of the condition. Pair your fish with a side of steamed or sautéed veggies. Bannan suggests non-starchy veggies like broccoli, spinach, carrots, green beans, and Brussels sprouts, as they wont spike blood sugar and are among some of the best foods for people with diabetes.
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Why Is Managing Your Diet Important For Diabetes
There are a few reasons why managing your diet is important if you have diabetes.
For one, eating healthy foods helps to keep your blood sugar levels in check, which is important in maintaining your blood glucose levels in the normal range.
Additionally, a nutritious diet can help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is important for managing diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes where obesity is a risk factor.
Finally, eating healthy foods provides your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, which is important for overall health.
When you have diabetes and eat something high in sugar or carbohydrates, your blood glucose levels rise.
The reason for the rise is due to your body processing the food and breaking it down into glucose, also called blood sugar.
If you have diabetes, you cant process the glucose because your body does not make the insulin required to metabolize it or your cells have become insulin resistant.
If your blood sugar spikes happen too often, it can lead to long-term health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage.
Thats why its important to limit sugary and high-carb foods in your diet.
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Facts You Should Know About The Type 2 Diabetes Diet
- Type 2 diabetes involves problems getting enough glucose into the cells. When the sugar can’t get where it is supposed to be, it leads to elevated blood sugar levels in the bloodstream, which can lead to complications such as kidney, nerve, and eye damage, and cardiovascular disease.
- Foods to eat for a type 2 diabetic diet meal plan include complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils. Foods to avoid include simple carbohydrates, which are processed, such as sugar, pasta, white bread, flour, and cookies, pastries.
- Foods with a low glycemic load only cause a modest rise in blood sugar and are better choices for people with diabetes. Good glycemic control can help in preventing long-term complications of type 2 diabetes.
- Fats don’t have much of a direct effect on blood sugar but they can be useful in slowing the absorption of carbohydrates.
- Protein provides steady energy with little effect on blood sugar. It keeps blood sugar stable and can help with sugar cravings and feeling full after eating. Protein-packed foods to eat include beans, legumes, eggs, seafood, dairy, peas, tofu, lean meats, and poultry.
- Five diabetes“superfoods” to eat include chia seeds, wild salmon, white balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, and lentils.
- Healthy diabetes meal plans include plenty of vegetables, limited processed sugars, and red meat.
Glycemic index and load
Carbohydrates can be classified as either
What Foods And Drinks Should I Limit If I Have Diabetes
Foods and drinks to limit include
- fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat and trans fat
- foods high in salt, also called sodium
- sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream
- beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks
Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Consider using a sugar substitute in your coffee or tea.
If you drink alcohol, drink moderatelyno more than one drink a day if youre a woman or two drinks a day if youre a man. If you use insulin or diabetes medicines that increase the amount of insulin your body makes, alcohol can make your blood glucose level drop too low. This is especially true if you havent eaten in a while. Its best to eat some food when you drink alcohol.
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Healthy Diabetic Lunch Ideas
It can be hard to find a good lunch menu for a diabetic. Perhaps you are at work or school without access to a kitchen but with plenty of unhealthy choices around you. Thats why its important to plan ahead and to have a good list of healthy diabetic lunch ideas to choose from!
For this roundup, I have chosen a mix of cold lunches, lunches that you can make beforehand and reheat, and a few that require cooking at lunchtime. What they all have in common is that they are low-carb, taste amazing, and will give you a healthy boost in energy for the afternoon.
I try to follow the guidelines that my diabetic lunch ideas should have:
- Less than 20 grams of carbs
- Mostly carbs with a low glycemic index
- At least 20 grams of protein
- Some healthy fat
For even more healthy low-carb recipes, check out my roundups of Breakfast Ideas for Diabetics and Dinner recipes for Diabetics.