July 10 -16 is National Diabetes Week. Diabetes poses a big risk to the health of many Australians. Fortunately, simply changing your diet can play a key role both in preventing diabetes as well as managing diabetes.
Six top diet tips to help manage risks of diabetes are:
- Eat mostly low GI carbohydrates. These include legumes, wholegrains including breads, barley, porridge, quinoa, pasta, noodles, fruits and some rices and potatoes.
- Hydrate with water. Avoid sugar sweetened drinks such as softdrinks, cordials, fruit juices, flavoured milks, energy and sports drinks.
- Choose more healthy, unsaturated fats and oils. These include olive oils, nuts, avocado, oily fish such as salmon, sardines and seeds including pepitas and sunflower seeds. Limit saturated fats found in fatty and procesesd meats, many processed snack foods, fast foods, butter, coconut oil.
- Eat more home cooked meals. Meals eaten outside the home tend to be higher in fats, energy (calories), larger portion sizes and limited in vegetables. Eating home cooked meals requires a bit of planning, but with practice it is possible to have some easy home cooked meals on standby. Refer here for a weekly menu planner and simple easy meal ideas.
- Snack wisely. The best choices are fruit, nuts, yoghurt and low fat cheese & crackers.
- Find 30 mins each day for exercise. Examples include a walk over lunch, riding a bike, dance lessons, exercise classes, bush walking, gym, skipping, sports and playing outside with the kids.
An annual check up with a dietitian can help keep you on track and up to date with topics such as:
- ensuring a balanced intake of all nutrients
- reading labels
- meal planning
- modifying recipes
- choosing healthy snacks
- lowering the glycaemic load of your diet
- managing blood pressure, cholesterol
- clarifying confusing diet information in the media
- managing your weight
- interpreting blood glucose results