You may know someone with Type II diabetes or perhaps you yourself have been diagnosed or told you are at “high risk.” But what you may not know is that you can control and even prevent diabetes with the right lifestyle choices.
Quick tips for controlling diabetes
- Eat regularly throughout the day. This could be three meals plus two snacks, or five to six small meals per day. Try to avoid going more than four hours without eating a meal or healthy snack.
- Choose heart-healthy fats such as canola and olive oils. Limit deep-fried foods, fatty cuts of meat and bakery items that are high in fat (i.e. croissants, danishes, store-bought muffins, etc.).
- Think ‘whole’ foods: choose high fibre whole grain breads, brown rice, whole wheat pasta.
- Balance your meals and snacks to include fruits/vegetables, whole grains and protein.
- Limit sugary foods such as juice, candies, pop, jam and desserts. Drink water to quench your thirst.
- Put on your walking shoes! A good exercise program goes a long way to controlling your blood sugar levels. Speak to your physician about what exercises are appropriate for you.
Myth or Fact: “A diabetic diet is boring and tasteless and does not allow any treats at all, like my favourite chocolate cake.”
Myth! A diabetic diet is not really a diet at all. It consists of eating balanced meals at regular times; the same as anyone who is maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Baked sweet potato fries
Love french fries? Try baked sweet potato fries. They are lower in GI than regular white potatoes and loaded with vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
- 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup/125mL olive oil
- 1 tsp/5mL chopped garlic
- Pepper and garlic salt to taste
- Cut sweet potatoes into french-fry-size strips (leave peels on for added texture).
- In a large container or plastic sealable bag, combine sweet potato, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Mix thoroughly and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place potatoes on a flat baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn each piece and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Avocado mayo
The combination of avocado and olive oil make this recipe delicious and high in healthy fats. Try it with the sweet potato fries, but use sparingly if you are watching your weight.
- 2 medium ripe avocados
- Lime juice (1 small lime)
- Pepper and salt to taste
- 2 tbsp/30mL olive oil
- Peel, seed and slice avocado.
- Place avocado, lime juice, pepper and salt in a food processor and blend.
- Drizzle olive oil while blending and blend until creamy.
- Chill for one hour before serving.