Diagnosis diabetes

Diagnosis diabetes

It can feel daunting to be faced with the need to make a major lifestyle change. You enjoy food, and you should. At Reader’s Digest, we like to think nature designed nutrition to taste delicious so it can be a source of pleasure in your day that’s fun to look forward to.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, this diagnosis doesn’t have to take over your whole identity and all the things that bring you joy. There are ways to adapt some of your favourite foods so you can still have them!

Registered dietitian Jackie Newgent lists interesting meal swaps you can make so that classic dishes can be healthier, while still plenty pleasurable.

With some wisdom and dedication, it can be possible to turn your condition around and feel great for good.


Pair starchy with non-starchy veggies

Pair starchy with non-starchy veggies

Instead of: one kilo potatoes

Buy: 500g kilo potatoes plus 500g cauliflower

This mashed potato hack keeps your total carbs in check without forgoing flavour. Whip equal parts boiled potatoes together with roasted or boiled cauliflower. The results of this dynamic duo may help you better manage your blood glucose, since they’re carb-friendlier than a huge bowl of mashed potatoes alone: 100 grams of cooked potatoes without skin provides 22 grams of total carbohydrates, versus 13 grams total carbohydrate in the 100 gram combination of cooked potatoes and cauliflower.

Here are 15 low carb dieting tips.

Pick fruit you can chew

Pick fruit you can chew

Instead of: one litre apple juice

Buy: one bag of apples

Enjoy whole fruit rather than just the juice whenever possible to get all the fibre of the naturally sweet fruit with its edible peel…plus chewing satisfaction. One medium apple contains 4.4 grams of fibre while a 200ml glass or juice box of 100-percent apple juice has 0.4 grams of fibre. The soluble fibre in apples can help slow down absorption of sugars. Polyphenols in apples may have powerful antioxidant properties.

Grill a better burger

Grill a better burger

Instead of: 500g 85% lean ground beef patties

Buy: 500g ground chicken breast

Gram for gram, chicken breast has significantly less saturated fat than the marbly beef of classic burgers. Specifically, an 85g cooked 85% lean ground beef patty has five grams of saturated fat compared to 0.6 grams of saturated fat for a cooked patty made from 85g of chicken breast meat.

Keeping saturated fat intake low is especially important when you have diabetes to help keep your heart healthy. Pro-tip: make chicken burgers juicier and tastier by combining ground chicken breast with a little plain yogurt, rolled oats, and herbs and spices before cooking.

Here are 20 food facts that will change how you eat.

Look for live cultures in the dairy section

Look for live cultures in the dairy section

Instead of: one container regular cottage cheese

Buy: one container plain low-fat Greek yogurt or cultured cottage cheese

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help keep your gut healthy. For people with type 2 diabetes, research published in Advances in Nutrition suggested that probiotics may also have glucose-lowering potential. So, pop products with live active cultures (probiotics) into your cart while strolling by the dairy aisle. Choose plain low-fat Greek yogurt or cultured cottage cheese.

Be sure to read the nutrition labels, since probiotics aren’t in all dairy foods. And, for the lower-sodium pick, stick with yogurt.

Learn more about the benefits of probiotics.

Choose healthier-sized grain portions

Choose healthier-sized grain portions

Instead of: 1/2 dozen bakery-style plain bagels

Buy: one package of wholegrain English muffins

Swapping wholegrain in place of refined grain products helps kick up fibre and other plant nutrients. Studies suggests this is linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, opting for healthier-sized varieties, such as wholegrain English muffins rather than big bakery-style plain bagels helps cut kilojoules (and carbs) – not enjoyment – while promoting a healthier weight. In fact, you’ll slash over 1000 kilojoules by enjoying a whole-wheat English muffin instead of that oversized 140g bagel.

Get your munchies with benefits

Get your munchies with benefits

Instead of: one bag of potato chips

Buy: one jar or bulk-bin container of roasted peanuts

It’s a no-brainer: a small handful of nuts is a better bet than potato chips. Peanuts, for instance, offer a triple whammy of dietary fibre, plant protein and healthy fat, which can boost satiety. Greater satisfaction means a greater chance you’ll keep mealtime portions right-sized.

When peanuts or other nuts are eaten along with carb-rich foods, they can help slow down the blood sugar response. Plus, a Mediterranean study found that higher nut consumption may be associated with better metabolic status.

These are the 5 healthiest nuts you can eat.

Dress a salad smartly

Dress a salad smartly
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Instead of: one bottle of fat-free salad dressing

Buy: one small bottle olive oil plus one small bottle balsamic or red wine vinegar

Some bottled salad dressings can trick you. For instance, “fat-free” salad dressing may be loaded with added sugars. (For reference: four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.)

So, read salad dressing labels carefully for sneaky ingredients, especially excess salt (over 250 milligrams of sodium per two-tablespoon serving) or added sugars (more than five grams added sugars per two-tablespoon serving). Better yet, keep it simple and make your own vinaigrette using 2-3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.

Discover 9 surprising foods that can wreak havoc on your blood sugar.

Select less salty soup

Select less salty soup

Instead of: one can/carton of vegetable- or bean-based soup

Buy: one can/carton of low-sodium vegetable- or bean-based soup

When compared to people without diabetes, sodium levels were higher in patients with type 2 diabetes, based on a meta-analysis published in European Journal of Nutrition. Curbing sodium intake is beneficial for people with diabetes since too much may increase your risk for high blood pressure.

So, slurp up soup that’s low in sodium. And kick up flavour with a splash of cider vinegar, grated citrus zest, herbs, spices, or a dash of hot sauce.

Here are 7 clear signs you’re eating too much salt.

Go for “naked” fish

Go for “naked” fish
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Instead of: Breaded fish sticks

Buy: Frozen salmon fillets

Cut salmon into large cubes, season, and grill on skewers. Or make fish sticks by simply cutting into skinny fillets, season and roast. Why? Research published in Diabetes Care finds that eating oily fish may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Non-oily fish, like the whitefish in fish sticks, didn’t show this link.

Salmon is an oily fish and a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, a heart-friendly fat. Plus: when you make your own salmon skewers or sticks, you won’t have extra carbs from breading.

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