Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming. It can bring about a rollercoaster of emotions. Immediately, you’re probably given a laundry list of dos and don’ts from your healthcare provider and sent home with numerous handouts on the topic. Life (or your diet, to be more exact), as you know it, is no more.
But just because you now have to alter your diet to accommodate your diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to cut out all your favorite things. With a few modifications, you can make any diabetic diet more enjoyable. And here’s how!
Replace, Don’t Remove
Many older adults diagnosed with diabetes find it difficult to adapt to a low-glucose diet and lifestyle. Change is hard, but diabetes is serious and not a condition to ignore. Many associate a “diabetic diet” with boring, bland, and too complicated. It doesn’t have to be, however. There are so many options today, and it’s all about replacing sugary foods with healthier options.
Rice: If you like rice, you don’t have to cut it out of your diet. Simply swap white rice with a high glycemic index, meaning that it can cause spikes in blood sugar, with brown rice. Because of the whole grains and fiber found in brown rice, it doesn’t cause the same blood sugar spike.
Chips: These salty little snacks can be so satisfying. However, they can not only raise your cholesterol, but they can make managing your diabetes a little harder. If you’re a snacker, replace chips high in calories and fat with baked whole-grain crackers or even popcorn. Popcorn can satisfy your crunch and salt cravings.
Soft Drinks: You shouldn’t be drinking soft drinks for several reasons, but the sugar alone will send your blood glucose for a ride. If it’s the fizz you like, try drinking sparkling water instead. And to make it a little more fun and to add a touch of flavor, add some fresh fruit, such as strawberries, orange slices, or limes.
Sugar: If you’re diabetic, that doesn’t mean you have to eliminate all sugar. When something calls for sugar, try replacing it or at least half the amount with some cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla.
Eating Diabetic Doesn’t Have to Be a Challenge
Just because you’re diabetic, it doesn’t mean you can’t have enjoyable and tasty meals. When you’re planning your diet, remember a few things:
- Replace, don’t remove
- Maintain regular mealtimes
- Limit sugar
- Practice portion control
There are plenty of things you CAN eat as a diabetic. Just be open-minded. And speak to your provider. They can provide some guidance on having an enjoyable diabetic diet.