November is Diabetes Month, a time for us to raise awareness to Diabetes, a condition that affects levels of sugar in the blood.
Yet, often, for those of us who have diabetes, or for those of us who have been told that our blood sugar runs a little high, it can be confusing to figure out what to eat.
So, I thought I would take some time to dispel some common myths I hear, when it comes to eating with diabetes, and share what is recommended, so that we can set the record straight.
Eating with Diabetes Myth #1:
“I can’t eat fruit- there’s too much sugar in that."
Fact: Fruit is nutritious and delicious. It has vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, meaning it’s nutrient dense. So, yes, it can absolutely be included in your eating plan.
Eating with Diabetes Myth #2:
“I can’t eat carbs.”
Fact: Yes, carbohydrates can be included in your eating plan! Carbohydrates provide our body with energy, and is our brain’s main source of fuel. Some sources of carbohydrate that support sustained energy, and may contribute to less of a rise in our blood sugar, include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and legumes, although others sources of carbohydrate like white bread, or white pasta, and, yes, even sweets, can be included too.
Eating with Diabetes Myth #3:
“I can’t eat my favorite foods.”
Fact: A balanced eating style allows for all foods to have a seat at the table.
A balanced eating style is one that allows you to have adequate energy, adequate nutrition, pleasure and satisfaction, and supports your health goals and overall well-being. A balanced eating style is one that is completely individual to you.
Working with a registered dietitian nutritionist, or a diabetes educator, can help you to find an eating style that suits you!
Not ready to see a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist just yet?
Here are some additional tips to help keep your blood sugar in check:
Be sure to take all medications as directed.
Be mindful of how your body responds to different foods, and different combinations of foods, by monitoring your blood sugar levels and how you feel.
Modify alcohol intake.
But, we also know nutrition is not the only component to living well, and that other components may play a factor in our blood sugar control.
So here are some other lifestyle things you can do:
See your doctor on a regular basis.
Get recommended health screens and checks.
Work to quit smoking (if you are a smoker).
Incorporate movement, you enjoy, into your day.
Work to manage stress and practice stress management techniques.
Be an advocate for yourself: speak up if something feels "off", and, ask for clarification if you need help in further understanding.
Talk about your mental health.