Special Series: Gaining Control of Your Diabetes Symptoms Through Nutrition – Post 2/4
How To Improve Your Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms By Eating More of These 3 Things
At Smart Diabetes Solutions, we are firm believers that gaining control of your diabetes symptoms is not about eating less, but about eating better. In this post, we will show you how eating more of the nutrients you’re missing can help seriously improve your health.
Welcome back to our special series on improving your diabetes symptoms through simple nutrition! In yesterday’s post, we went over the first part of this system; identifying the foods that are doing the most harm to your system and cutting back on your intake of them.
Now that you have cut back somewhat on those harmful foods, it’s time to add in more food! That’s right… we are telling you to eat more, but not just more of anything….
More of the foods that contain the nutrients your body has been missing. By adding these foods into your day, you body is going to be able to run more smoothly. These foods take longer for your body to break down or metabolize, which means they allow for a slower, more steady release of sugar in your body. And that means less unpleasant blood sugar spikes!
With that, let’s jump right into the simplest thing you can do to get more of these nutrients into your body:
#1: Add in lean proteins
Yes – meat is not only okay to eat, but it’s a vital part of the ideal diabetic’s meal! Protein takes a long time to digest in the body and is an excellent way to control hunger.
Of course, I am not suggesting you grab a hamburger from a drive through and call it healthy. What I’m talking about here is lean meats and protein sources.
Here are some of the best types of protein that can be incorporated into each meal:
- Boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast
- 93% lean ground beef, turkey or chicken
- Lean fish (white tuna in water, salmon, white fish, etc.)
- Pork tenderloin
- Egg whites
- Low-sodium deli meats additives & nitrate free (chicken, turkey, roast beef)
- Soy (tofu, edamame, etc.)
Why is protein so important in improving the symptoms of diabetes?
After consuming food, your body’s energy expenditure increases for about four to eight hours to aid in processing the meal and storing nutrients in the body. In other words, your body begins burning calories. The amount of time and energy expended depends on the composition of the food you eat and the caloric content.
High-protein foods are slowly digested due to high nutritional value. Not only does this help stabilize your blood sugar levels, but it keeps your body burning calories for a longer period of time and keeps you feeling full for longer!
How much protein is too much?
Protein of course should be complemented by other food types to round out your meal. Here’s a diagram of what we call the Diabetic’s Perfect Meal so you can get an idea of the portion size for each type of food:
#2: Add in low-carb vegetables
Vegetables don’t have to taste limp and boring! Below, I’ll give you a few tips for making veggies taste great, along with the reasons why they are so important to add into your diet.
How many servings of low-carb vegetables would you say you currently eat per day?
In order to begin controlling and ideally reversing your diabetes symptoms, you want to pack in as many of these veggies as you can!
These vegetables contain nutrients that nourish your cells and provide your body with the type of energy it needs to burn calories more effectively.
The simplest way to get in more veggies is probably through salads. However, I know this isn’t always the most exciting option.
Inside Diabetes Blaster, our nutrition expert Lauren has created over a dozen delicious recipes for making vegetables taste so good, you’ll forget why you weren’t eating them in the first place.
Here’s some quick tips from Lauren to get you started:
- Steam vegetables like broccoli or carrots to soften them and give them vibrant color. Next, heat up some olive oil with minced garlic and red pepper flakes and add in your veggies for a flavorful kick!
- Use vegetable sticks in place of chips for delicious healthy dips like roasted red pepper hummus
- Chop up vegetables and lay on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs like rosemary, oregano, etc. Roast. When almost ready, remove pan and sprinkle with a handful of shredded parmesan cheese. Place back into the oven and brown the cheese.
By adding more low-carb veggies into your diet, I think you’ll see a big change in your energy levels, speed of weight loss (if that is part of your goal), and even your mood!
#3: Add in healthy fats
Most people think of fat as the main issue when it comes to gaining weight and developing diabetes. This is true when it comes to unhealthy fats, but the truth is that healthy fats can actually help contribute to weight loss! Let’s look at this in more detail:
Including healthy fats in your diet is not the same as eating high-fat foods. In other words, a greasy burger will contribute to weight gain, while healthy fats like olive oil or nuts and seeds can contribute to weight loss.
How can that be?!
Fats take a long time for the body to digest. Because of this, these fats help you feel more full and keep you feeling satisfied for longer. These fats also help your body absorb certain vitamins, which allow your body to run more effectively.
The important thing to note is that you do NOT need to eat a lot of healthy fat to experience these effects, so we are suggesting that you use any fats sparingly! Here’s some ways you can incorporate good fats into your day in a healthy, beneficial way:
- Use a tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil to cook up chicken or vegetables
- Use a drop of canola oil to cook eggs rather than butter
- Mix olive oil with vinegar and herbs for a healthy salad dressing or marinade
- Enjoy a handful of nuts and seeds in between meals
- Dip apple slices into two tablespoons of all-natural (NO sugar added) peanut butter for a tasty snack
Ok – that’s all the tips we have time for today! I hope you are feeling encouraged by the fact that it is okay and highly recommended to eat rather than go hungry all day in the name of improving your health.
Adding these foods into your diet, in the proper amounts, are going to contribute to your recovery from type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
Next up: the only step left is to begin eliminating the foods that are really harming your body
Yes – unfortunately, if you are serious about claiming control of your health and potentially reversing the effects of diabetes for good, we are going to clearly suggest that you eliminate or nearly eliminate some of the foods and drinks we talked about in yesterday’s post.
But don’t let that scare you! We’re going to help you tackle this process as easily as possible.
In the meantime, you’re already here on this page reading this post, so you’re looking to learn more about how you can take control of your diabetes and your health right now, I do have more for you!
Our team has put together the ultimate cookbook with all the recipes you need to manage your diabetes in the best way possible.
It’s called the Diabetic Budget Recipe Book, and if you have enjoyed what you’ve been reading the last two days, you may be the perfect fit for this.
If you’re looking to learn what it takes to reverse diabetes, as well as gain access to recipes of your favorite meals made diabetes-friendly, you can click here to learn what the Diabetic Budget Recipe Book can do for you.
Former registered nurse and co-founder of Smart Diabetes Solutions