Individuals with prediabetes or diabetes have additional food considerations, especially limiting simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs are found in foods like table sugar, cake, soda, candy, and jellies, and consuming them causes an increase in blood glucose.
With so many food options, it can be difficult realize which ones are healthy. If you have prediabetes or diabetes, this chart will help you determine the best choices.
Keep a Food and Blood Glucose Log
By writing down what you eat, when you eat it, and how it affects your glucose levels, you can keep better track of how foods affect your body. Check your blood sugar one hour to one-and-a-half hours after eating to see how your body reacts to various foods. Download and print this week-at-a-glance tracker to record your glucose levels or track your glucose online with Heart360. You can even set text reminders and upload your readings straight from your phone or device.
Healthy Eating and a Busy Lifestyle
Today, most Americans are on the go and don't spend a whole lot of time at home. Even when your own kitchen isn't convenient, eating right should still be a priority.
"After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I took some time off to reflect and realized that due to my busy work schedule, I would put in 14-16-hour days with erratic meal schedules," said Barbara, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2006. "When I did eat at work, I didn't make good food choices. I decided that no matter how much I loved to eat unhealthy foods, it wasn't worth dying for, and it was time to make a change."
With a little forethought, you can properly nourish your body wherever life takes you. Remember these tips for eating on the go:
- Bring a healthy lunch and snacks to eat throughout the day. This will help you stick to healthy food options and be less tempted by unhealthy ones that are perhaps more convenient.
- Reduce your caffeine intake and stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water handy to drink throughout the day.
Eat Healthy on a Budget
Read our Top 10 Tips for making healthy choices without breaking the bank.
Discover Diabetes-Friendly Recipes
"Being from North Carolina, a lot of my favorite home-cooked dishes are, unfortunately, unhealthy," said Janet. "Luckily, after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I learned that a few small changes to my favorite recipes allow me to continue eating my favorite Southern recipes."
The American Heart Association has assembled an online collection of tasty, diabetes-friendly recipes to satisfy your cravings, whether sweet, savory, or somewhere in between.
Visit the American Heart Association's online Nutrition Center to find out how small changes in your diet can put you and your family on the road to healthier hearts and longer lives.
Get more diet and shopping tips.