Diabetes Control: Small Steps Equal Big Changes

united states map with diabetes written in the front(BlackDoctor.org) — Often times, when being diagnosed with diabetes, you are overwhelmed with plenty of information and changes.

One of the changes that does not have to be so overwhelming, but can greatly improve your blood sugar, is diet. By definition, diet simply means the foods that you choose everyday. There are no special foods for people with diabetes; you can eat all of the same foods that your family enjoys.

Rethink Food’s Importance

Food is such an important part of our culture and while some of our favorite foods may contribute to diabetes and heart disease, we should not have to give them up all together. By simple portion control and modifying the preparation of foods, you can enjoy all the foods that you love.

We have to remember that carbohydrates, foods that turn into sugar, are our body’s main source of energy. While large amounts can cause your blood sugar to increase, small amounts are necessary. An easy way to make sure you are having the right number of servings is to use an 8-inch plate as your guide. First, fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as collard greens, salad, or green beans. Then place a portion of lean meat, such as skinless chicken or pork loin, about the size of a deck of cards, on one corner of the plate. Lastly, place your carbohydrates, such as grains, starchy vegetables, breads, or fruits, in the last corner of your plate. It is also important to remember that what you drink can contribute an additional 120-240 calories per serving. Try flavored water or sugar-free beverages to cut back on sugar and calories.

Rethink Your Plate

Now let’s talk about what actually goes onto the plate. We have to consider that the preparation of these foods can totally change how they affect our bodies. When we fry foods or add additional seasonings, including smoked meats and fat, we add large amounts of sodium and saturated fat. This can help blood sugar to increase and stay elevated, which over long periods of time can harm our organs, leading to kidney disease and blindness. So, for example, by changing from deep-frying to oven frying, or by using Canadian bacon or pork loin instead of salted pork meat, we can greatly reduce the amount of fat and sodium in a recipe. You will keep the flavors and textures that are so delicious, while reducing your health risk.

All It Takes Are Small Changes

Keep in mind that these small steps can equal big changes over time. Start with limiting your portions and adjusting the way that you prepare foods and be empowered that you can make this change to a healthier, happier life with your friends and family.

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