HEALTH | Pre-Diabetic Meal Planning

A few family members and dear friends (who are family)  are dealing with a pre-diabetic diagnosis. I was asked to do a little research on controlling this “condition” with diet, that is to say, food. Here are my findings…

Taking Control of your Daily Dietary Intake

Portion control.  My research points to portion control being the main factor in controlling and/or reversing a pre diabetic diagnosis.  Use portion control to keep track of and divide your intake per meal. Along with portion control, it’s important to:
  • Know how to Read Labels
  • Know your ideal calorie intake [for this you’ll consult your doctor/health care provider]
  • Learn techniques to watch what you eat & eat healthier.

→Watch your calorie intake,  consume less sugar & sodium, and consume fewer fat grams and carbohydrates.

  • Don’t starve yourself. The key is balance – this isn’t a fast.
  • Allow yourself a treat of your choosing – as long as it’s included in your daily intake for that day.
  • Get help pulling together meal ideas from a friend or associate who has already been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, they more than likely will have some great meal suggestions.
  • Use apps & on-line resources to help meal plan

On-line Resources to assist with learning healthy eating habits, portion control & meal planning:

BCBS has an “Improving Nutrition Course” that you can take on-line. According to the BCBS of Tennessee website, ” This course will help you understand your reasons for wanting to eat healthy and teach you how to do it.”  It is part of the “Wellness Portal” on the bcbst.com website.

You also record your daily intake of fruits veggies, dairy (if you consume), whole grains, and protein foods in order to record your progress.
Be sure to check the Blue Cross Blue Shield in your area for accurate information, website information may vary according to state. Find your local Blue Cross Blue Shield at: BCBS.com just enter your zip code where you’re prompted.

There are a number of diabetic recipe apps in the Google Play Story, and I’m sure in the iPhone Apps store – as well. The Epicurious App and website has a dietary considerations option when searching for recipes. You can select low carb, low sugar, high fiber. Or vegetarian or vegan, etc. Visit Epicurious.com.

Also, emeals.com has a subscription based meal planning program ($58 a year) for diabetics: emeals.com/meal-plans/diabetic/. For pre-diabetics utilizing portion control, there is a meal planning program – as well, emeals.com/meal-plans/portion-control/.  Visit: Emeals.com/meal-plans too see all the meal planning options they offer (remember, by subscription).

Note: You can pick your grocery store & save money.

Dietary suggestions & tips:

 Vegetarianism
Several published reports show that vegetarians also have a lower risk of obesity, hypertension, and of developing diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.

According to a position paper by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2009, vegetarian diets “are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” In addition, several studies have examined vegetarian diets in conjunction with the rate of certain diseases, like heart disease or certain cancers. Overall, improved health is one of the major benefits of a vegetarian diet.

Source: BCBST.com http://www.bcbst.com/health-wellness/health-wellness-library/food-and-nutrition/benefits-of-a-vegetarian-diet.page

Types of Vegetarians:
Quick primmer. There are several vegetarian diets:
  • Vegans eat no animal products at all: no dairy, no eggs, nothing that comes from an animal.
  • Lacto-vegetarians also eat dairy products, like cheese, milk, butter, and yogurt.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians also eat eggs.
  • Flexitarians eat mostly a vegetarian diet but sometimes eat meat in small quantities.

Source:  bcbst.com

With that in mind: dietary suggestions…

Super Foods List:

Add these diabetes super foods to your diet.

[Courtesy: American Diabetes Association]

As with all foods, you need to work the diabetes super-foods into your individualized meal plan in appropriate portions.
All of the foods in our list have a low glycemic index or GI and provide key nutrients that are lacking in the typical western diet such as:

* calcium
* potassium
* fiber (helps lower blood-cholesterol and stabilizes blood-sugar)*
* magnesium
* vitamins A (as carotenoids), C, and E.

Beans (controls insulin blood-sugar)* Dark Leafy Veggies
Citrus Fruit Sweet Potatos
Berries Tomatoes
Fish high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids Whole grains
Nuts Fat-free milk yogurt (if dairy is consumed)

Source: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/diabetes-superfoods.html

Note: research has shown that canned beans cause higher levels of blood sugar & should be avoided by all diabetics. (p.52 – Prescription for Cooking & Dietary Wellness – The Wellness Book of the 90’s by Phyllis A Balch, CNC & James F. Blach, MD).

Something to think about → coconut oil:

Oil pulling had been reported as a cure for diabetes (Source: Health and Healing Info – http://www.dwattsrejuv-a-nation.com/oil-pulling-therapy/).  Coconut oil,  taken orally, has been shown to lower blood sugar levels naturally (Source: Health Impact News Daily – http://healthimpactnews.com/2012/virgin-coconut-oil-effective-in-treating-diabetes/).

 Things to remember:

  • Work closely w/your HCP when adjusting your dietary plan
  • When adjusting your diet, look at your previous eating habits & make changes. Cut down on soda, for example.
  • Include: protein, fruits & veggies, fiber and vitamins & minerals in your daily meal planning
  • Learn portions and follow them – graze, which means eat small meals through out the day (5 to 6 small meals).

Final note: ADA also has a portion control section on their website: www.shopdiabetes.org/meal-planning. They sell portion containers & plates, cookbooks and other meal planning tools.

Disclaimer: Please remember that these tips & suggestions are based on my personal research or experience and are not meant to replace medical &/or dietary advice from a licensed health care practitioner/provider.

Enjoy Life | Cynthia.

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