Nutrition and Food Tips for Diabetes
I had a bad food week last week. So naturally I turned to the Internet. Got to stop munching all that high-fat stuff! Time to take a closer look at all that food/nutrition stuff in my Inbox.
Somehow I got on the email list of a group called the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, which is "dedicated to the incorporation of biochemical metabolism to problems of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease." But it's not as boring as it sounds. There are some good tips and book recommendations on the sites, along with some fun, proud-to-be-geeky T-shirts.
One of the sites they recommend is Know What You Eat! from Nutritiondata.com. It's a great tool to instantly look up the nutrition specs on just about any food you might like. "So much fun it can become addicting!" they say
Furthermore, the Wellsphere folks are inviting bloggers to feature this widget, which makes it easy to search this site, a big aggregation of "health knowledge made personal":
Just for fun I punched in "carbs in banana" and got back about a dozen blog posts, eight videos, five high-quality photos, and numerous news and community links on the topic. And yes, the carb count of your average banana: 23 grams (although that seems awfully low?)
And last but certainly not least, I wanted to share a great, pragmatic list of Basic Diabetic Food Tips from John Crowley of Alliance Health (developers of the buzzing DiabeticConnect community). John has a son with Type 1 who is now 16 years old. He put this list together for a friend, and it "certainly isn't a comprehensive list, but I think it's a good start," he writes.
1. Stop buying white bread and white rice. Plain and simple, if you don't have
it in your house, you will eat a lot less of it. These white carbohydrates have
very little nutritional benefits and a whole lot of blood sugar spikes.
2. Check your plate for color before you start eating. If your plate is all one
color (usually brown or white), you need to make drastic changes. You should
have greens, yellows, reds, and oranges on your plate as often as possible.
3. Avoid toppings and condiments that you don't need. Why does everyone put
butter on their bread? Why do we have to have cream cheese on a bagel? Why add
200 calories to a sandwich with a spread that you don't need? Ask yourself if
you can simply leave it off. Choose low-calories/low-carb alternatives like
mustard and balsamic vinegar.
4. Fresh raw vegetables are your best friend. When you're planning your meals,
start envisioning building your meal from crisp, fresh, dark-green lettuce or
cruciferous veggies (like broccoli, cabbage, and collared greens). Then add your
favorites: carrots, squash, cucumbers, peppers, onions, whatever.
5. Lean proteins are your next best friend. Chicken breast, turkey breast, and
fish. These proteins provide good sustained energy without spiking your blood
sugar. Beef and pork (and other red meats) will do the same but the lean meats
have much lower fat and cholesterol.
6. Use carbohydrates as a garnish. We have to change our thinking. The "bowl" of
mashed potatoes filled with gravy was the center-piece of the dinner plate for
our grand parents. We simply can't rely on starchy vegetables or breads to be
the foundation of our diet any more.
7. If it comes in a sealed plastic wrapper, it most likely shouldn't go in your
mouth. There's a reason why we use the same word to describe garbage and highly
processed high-calorie packaged foods: JUNK.
8. When you do choose carbohydrates, choose healthy ones. Whole grain breads.
Brown and wild rice. Fresh fruits.
Feel free to add your "rules" to the list, too.