Heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death in America. It is also the number one killing cause among people with diabetes.
Despite the origin of each disease, following a healthful diet can reduce the opportunity for diabetes and heart disease development. If either disease already exists, smart choices can further control or lessen the advancement of the condition.
What’s more, not managing diabetes can lead to consistently high blood sugars. This increases the risk of serious and numerous health complications and conditions, including nerve damage, heart disease, and kidney failure.
Luckily, a diabetic diet and lifestyle makeover has shown to manage weight, control blood sugars, and even reverse its presence!
What is a Heart-Healthy Diabetic Diet?
According to the American Diabetes Association (AHA), a healthy diet reduces the risks of heart disease and stroke. Though diets are individualized based on the condition status and consists of healthy food choices, there are comprehensive recommendations.
A heart-healthy diabetic diet emphasizes whole, nutrient-rich foods. Nourishing foods include whole grains, fresh produce, lean proteins, low-fat milk and dairy products, and healthy fat sources. It encourages limited intake of highly-processed foods rich in refined flour, sugar, oil, and salt.
Ultimately, a healthy diet for diabetics is one naturally low in calorie and fat. It is also controlled in carbohydrate with a reduction in sodium. Meal timing and frequency is considered, too.
Following a Heart-Healthy Diabetes Diet Menu
Following a heart-healthy diabetes does not have to be a feat. Use these tips to help manage blood sugars and support heart health.
Control Carbohydrate Intake
Oftentimes, individuals think of a "diabetic diet" as a "carb-free" diet. However, the body does need carbohydrate sources at consistent times for blood sugar regulation.
Best carbohydrate choices to keep glucose levels from extreme fluctuations involve whole grains, veggies and fruits, and dairy products. These varieties tend to be low to moderate on the glycemic index scale and will not rapidly spike blood sugar levels.
Meals are advised to contain no more than 60 grams of carbohydrate, or four carb exchange. Snacks should be limited to about 15 grams, or one carb exchange.
Plating sensibly helps control calories, carbohydrates, and portion sizes. It also ensures adequate nutrients to satiate and satisfy the body.
Follow these guidelines when it comes to plating sensibly:
• Fill half the meal plate with non-starchy veggies, including salad greens or roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
• Fill one quarter of with 3 to 4 ounces of lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, and sirloin. Use skinless and lean cuts to lower overall fat and calorie content.
• Fill the remaining quarter with a starch and complex carb. Examples include brown rice, sweet potato, or slice of whole grain bread.
• Complement the meal with a healthy fat source. For instance, drizzle with olive oil or add avocado.
• Also feel free to add a small serving of fruit, including chopped apple atop salad greens and grilled chicken. A glass of milk or dairy product can also fit into a balanced meal.
Ultimately, carbohydrate is the top instigator of blood sugar levels. But pairing carb with protein and fat can lower the risk of blood sugar spikes.
Consider Meal Timing
Along with the meal composition, patterns and timing is also stressed in diabetes meal plans. Eating throughout the day, or about every 3 to 4 hours can allow for tighter blood glucose control.
Meal timings and patterns vary based on individualized needs and schedules. However, meal frequency may include 3 balanced meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with 2 to 3 protein-rich snacks.
Also worth mentioning, the advice of consistent eating patterns is not granting the go ahead to eat consistently large meals. The practice of moderated portions of meals and snacks still complies.
Limit Liquid Calories
Drinking sweetened beverages packs on excess calories from sugar without supplying significant nutrients. What’s more, one 12-ounce regular soda supplies a whopping average of 35 to 40 grams of sugar.
To put this in perspective, the AHA recommends men limit added sugar intake to 36 grams daily. Women should limit added sugar to no more than 25 grams per day.
Limit liquid calories with these tips:
• Increase water intake, as water will always be the superior source for good hydration. Drink more water by using larger cups and flavor enhancers. Making water readily available and ordering at restaurants also ensures adequate hydration.
• Swap fruit juice with a whole piece of fruit. A greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
• Know the healthiest and unhealthiest Starbucks drinks. Also healthify your coffee cup by choosing black coffee and going for “light” options.
• Break up with favored sweet drinks slowly. For instance, five sodas are consumed per day, try initially dropping to four. Although soda is still being consumed, it is still a major accomplishment to find pride in. Successful reduction can be motivating and create a healthier, more positive mindset.
Eat More Healthy Fat
Diets rich in saturated and trans fat can increase cholesterol in the body. Too much cholesterol increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The AHA recommends limiting saturated fat intake to 7 percent of total calorie intake. Also limit trans fat consumption to no more than 1 percent of total daily calories.
Nutrition experts encourage swapping out saturated and trans fats with healthier fat sources. Healthier fats include monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and omega-3 fatty acids. Constant research suggest omega-3s can reduce inflammation, triglycerides, the risk of heart disease.
Healthy fat sources include fatty fish, avocados, nuts and seeds. Use vegetable oil when possible, including canola and olive oils. In addition to offering healthy fat, olive oil shows to reduce after-meal blood sugar levels.
Season for the Heart
Though not a macronutrient, salt intake is also important. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium to more than 2,300 mg (milligrams) per day. They further encourage most adults to move toward an ideal limit of 1,500 mg daily.
Sodium can naturally be reduced by choosing fresh produce and protein sources over prepackaged, processed foods. Salt consumption can be further decreased by rinsing off canned products before use. Also stay cautious of dressings, condiments, and sauces, as they often house and hide a tremendous amount of salt.
Say goodbye to the salt shaker at the dinner table, too. Spice it up in the kitchen with favorite herbs and seasonings to naturally avoid sodium while amplifying favor.
Consider a Meal Delivery Service
Whether time is crunched or desiring simplicity, a meal delivery service has you covered. BistroMD offers well-balanced meals right to doorsteps.
This means no meal preparation, no ingredient assembly, no kitchen clean-up, no worries or concerns!
Diabetes Diet Menu from BistroMD
BistroMD offers a diabetic diet menu that accelerates health goals while maintaining blood glucose control and enhancing heart health. A heart-healthy diabetic menu online also allows individuals to manage health in the comfort of their own home.
BistroMD combines the nutritional requirements of a diabetic diet with the delicious flavors of top-notch cuisine. A team of seasoned chefs and health experts create flavorful meals while keeping carb content moderated.
With the bistroMD diabetic program, meals supply 25 net grams of carbs or less and snacks supply 15 or less. Meals and snacks also deliver adequate protein. Eating these meals and snacks every 3 to 4 hours helps control blood sugars. It also helps prevent metabolism from slowing down and keep hunger stable.
Desiring heart-healthy meals, too? No problem! Heart-healthy menu items fall at or below the AHA’s recommendations for calories, sodium, total fat, and saturated fat.
And heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly foods have never tasted so good! Options include apple cinnamon oatmeal with scrambled eggs, southwest bison meatloaf, and eggplant lasagna casserole just to name a few!