(Ahdath Net / Rania Al Ahmadi)
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes high blood sugar levels and causes unpleasant symptoms — but how can you reduce your risk of developing this debilitating disease?
Diabetes affects more than 3.9 million people in the UK alone, and most type 2 diagnoses result from poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. A healthy diet is essential to keeping everything from your bones to your skin healthy, and it can also lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Choosing healthy alternatives to your favorite foods is an easy way to improve your diet—and these are seven of the best food swaps you should make.
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Swap ready-to-use at home Preparing meals by yourself means that you are in complete control of the contents of your food.
Prepared meals and prepackaged foods can be loaded with salt (sodium) and added sugars, as well as a host of little-known preservatives that can be harmful to your health.
Time is no excuse when it comes to avoiding prepping your own food, so be prepared with meal plans and meal prep for the week ahead in order to maintain a fresh and healthy diet during your working days.
Use fresh fruits and vegetables, whole foods like legumes, whole grains, carbohydrates, and fresh herbs or spices to keep your meals healthy and nourish your body.
Some of the top tips for mastering homemade meals include:
Cook in Bulk – Create breakout bulk meals for the week Prepare your proteins – Boil eggs, poach chicken breasts, and have a bowl of mixed beans on hand for quick meals.
Replace Refined Carbs with Whole Grains Refined grains are the primary ingredient in white flour that has been stripped of the naturally occurring bran and germ – the healthiest components of the grain.
Replace white flour foods like bread and oats with whole grain alternatives to reap the benefits of fiber, vitamins and essential fatty acids from every part of the grain.
Replace dry carbs with vegetables, spaghetti, rice and pasta are all staples in most people’s diet and can be part of a balanced diet when eaten in moderation.
Replace dry carbs with vegan alternatives like zucchini spiralizer and cauliflower rice.
Replace ground meat with chopped vegetables Get smart about chopping methods when working on a healthy meal plan by substituting ground meat like beef or turkey for finely chopped mushrooms.
This is a great way to get extra vegetables in meals like chili or bolognese while reducing the intake of fatty, rich meats and reducing the need for extra oil.
For high-protein meat alternatives, try 50/50 beans or lentils and ground meat instead of 100% meat recipes.
Low-sugar Swaps Satisfy your sweet tooth with low-sugar snacks like relish mix and fresh fruits or vegetables.
Rice cakes with banana and honey or nut butter are a sweet, protein-rich snack, while fresh fruit or frozen fruit juices quench your thirst and hunger.
Bake, do not fry fried foods are full of extra calories and high in fat due to the oil content and by-products of high-heat cooking.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) form when fatty foods are cooked to very high heat and have been linked to the development of cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes.
Cook your meals on a low, moist heat for short periods of time and replace fried foods with bread, boiled, roasted, fried or grilled foods to avoid consuming excess fat, calories and harmful ages.
Choose the Right Proteins Protein is well known for its muscle repair and tonic properties, but be careful where this essential food group comes from.
Processed meats such as sausage, ham, bacon, and cooked chicken are all very high in sodium and saturated fats that can contribute to poor cardiovascular health.
Eat more fresh and frozen fish and non-animal proteins such as pulses and legumes.
Lentils, beans, tofu, pea protein, chickpeas, and salmon are all good sources of healthy, fibrous protein.
When it comes to meat and poultry, choose lean proteins that are low in fat or skinless and boil or bake the chicken rather than frying it in oil.
Is there an ideal diet for type 2 diabetes? There is no need to exclude whole food groups such as carbohydrates from your diet in order to lead a healthier lifestyle.
If you are living with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, there are a few key things to keep in your diet to keep your symptoms to a minimum.
The medically approved website Everyday Health insists that following a type 2 diabetes diet doesn’t mean you have to give up all the things you love, but instead consider it as a balancing act. Consuming a variety of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats is one of the critical components of a type 2 diabetes diet.
Choose foods that are naturally rich in nutrients rather than fortified or processed products.
Nutrient-rich foods help keep your blood sugar stable to avoid extreme fluctuations that can cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and mood changes — known as hypoglycemia.
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