Mindfully managing diabetes means more than just monitoring blood sugar levels. It also means making prudent choices in your diet to address the risk factors of common diseases associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, making this a good time to work with your physician and a dietician to create a meal plan that best suits your needs if you are at risk for diabetes. Research has shown that several nutritional elements may be helpful in managing diabetes-related issues:
- Eat more magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, tofu, almonds, broccoli, lentils, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
- Increase intake of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially cold-water oily fish such as wild Alaskan salmon. While providing much less omega 3s than fish, vegetarian sources such as walnuts and freshly ground flaxseed are also good choices
- Choose foods that are lower on the glycemic index and have a low glycemic load, such as beans, lentils and true whole-grains (that is, grains such as brown rice or bulgur wheat that are intact or in large pieces, not ground into flour).
More detail on managing diabetes through diet.