Healthy Food Choices Help Diabetics Manage Disease
Posted: September 19, 2011
Nicole DeMarco, Penn State Cooperative Extension community health program assistant, provides the following suggestions from Harvard University’s Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetic friendly foods.
*Focus on fiber. Adults should consume 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day. Increasing fiber intake should be a gradual process because doing this too quickly can lead to problems with irregularity.
*Eye some olive oil. This “heart-healthy” oil is best if used in moderation because of its high calorie content and it is a good substitute for butter.
*Buy some seafood. Seafood provides a healthy option for those with diabetes because it’s low in saturated fats.
*Pick the right carbohydrates – The body needs carbohydrates for energy and the unprocessed, unrefined carbs such as whole-wheat pasta, beans and whole grains are best.
*Consider protein. Almonds are a great source of protein, but portion control is important when eating nuts.
Foods to keep on hand include: fresh fruits and vegetables; low-fat yogurt, milk and cheese; and low-fat peanut butter or other nut butters and soft margarines. Foods such as fried food, high-fat meats, sugary snacks and sodas should be kept out of the kitchen because they provide little nutrients, are high in calories and promote weight gain.
If you’d like to learn more about managing your diabetes and selecting foods which help control blood glucose levels, register for Penn State Cooperative Extension’s Dining With Diabetes: A Program for Adults with Diabetes and their Families. It is a 4-week course running on four consecutive Fridays, beginning February 25 through March 18 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Penn State Cooperative Extension, 200 Adams Avenue, Lower Level, Scranton. There will also be a follow-up class in late May. Participants will receive an exercise DVD, pedometer, blood glucose testing, recipes, as well as taste healthy dishes at each class. The cost is $35 per participant and $50 per family. For more information or to register, please call 963-6842 February 18.
Karen Thomas is a family and consumer sciences educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lackawanna County.