When you have type 2 diabetes, it's often a juggling act to remember all of your daily tasks. Nora Saul, RD, CDE, a diabetes educator and manager for nutrition services at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, offers this "healthy habits" checklist to guide you through the day.
Check your blood sugar levels.
Most people with type 2 diabetes need to check their blood sugar, also called glucose, at least once a day. "That's the minimum," Saul says. But the frequency depends on your treatment...
“Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans are all great for blood glucose control,” says Jessica Bennett, a dietitian at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “They’re high in fiber and take a long time to digest.”
Beans offer a lot of options. They make a tasty side dish, or you can add them to salads, soups, casseroles, and chili. They’re also a great stand-in for meat because they’re high in protein but low in fat.
Dried beans are a better choice than canned. They contain less sodium. Soak them overnight and they’ll be ready to cook in the morning. If you go for the ones in a can, rinse them first. That’ll keep the salt down.
Salt-Free Seasonings Spices are a great way to jazz up your meals without adding calories or carbs. Just be sure to avoid ones with salt.
“Red pepper flakes, oregano, curry, cinnamon, turmeric, and garlic powder [not salt] are all great options,” Bennett says.
They’re packed with fiber, but finding them isn’t as easy as it may seem. Some foods only contain a small amount, even though it says “contains whole grain” on the package. Read the ingredients label and look for the following sources to be listed first:
Bulgur (cracked wheat)
Whole wheat flour
Whole-grain corn or cornmeal
Bennett suggests the following ways to get more whole grain into your meal plan:
Bake with whole wheat flour instead of white.
Start the day with a half-cup of high-fiber bran cereal. “Choose one with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and less than 6 grams of sugar."
Use whole wheat pasta.
Make a sandwich on whole-grain bread.
Try recipes that use less-common whole grains like barley or bulgur.