This is a continuation of last week’s discussion on meal planning with type 2 diabetes.
Fatty cuts of meat – While meat will not interact with your blood sugar levels it can increase your cholesterol and promote inflammation in the body. This means that an individual with diabetes is at greater risk of heart disease. Opt for lean protein choices like fish, turkey, chicken, pork, and even lean beef. Always trim any visible excess fat from meat and don’t eat more than two portions of red meat in a week.
Processed and pre-packed foods – Apart from the high levels of sugar that foods like packaged snacks, baked goods, and white flour products etc. have, they also contain trans-fats. Trans-fats increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower you HDL (good) cholesterol thus increasing risk of heart disease. These trans-fats are much more detrimental than saturated fat for an individual with diabetes. There is no level of trans-fats deemed safe to consume but thankfully under EU legislation trans-fats now need to be shown on the food label, so identifying them is much easier. Checking your food label is vital; keep an eye out for hydrogenated oils on ingredients labels as they are a major source of trans-fats. Stay with your healthy fats from oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado and oils like canola, flax and olive.
Fried food – Fried foods are soaked in fat and oil which offer no nutritional benefit; only additional calories. Over-consumption of these types of foods means you are ingesting hydrogenated oils and trans-fats, rising LDL cholesterol.
Plan your meals
By weighing your food you make meal planning and potion control easier. By planning meals, it means you are less likely to over indulge in food which can increase you blood sugars.
- ½ of your plate should be vegetables and a small amount of fruit if you wish. Ensure to vary the colours and varieties of fruit and veg aiming for at least 2 portions. By having half your plate full of delicious vegetables you are increasing your health and reducing the likelihood of diseases.
- ¼ of your plate should be dedicated to carbohydrates. Choose wholegrain where possible (brown rice, brown pasta, leave skins on potatoes, quinoa).
- Protein should be the size of the palm of your hand. Protein source can be from animals: chicken, turkey, fish, meat and eggs or vegetables (eg) nuts, seeds, beans, lentil and tofu. Throughout your day (not only at dinner) aim to get a good balance between animal and vegetable protein.
To be continued… Next week I will discuss foods which help to stabilise blood sugars.
Whelehans Nutrition Service
Whelehans nutritional service is a private one to one advice service with our nutritionist Aisling Murray. Aisling’s areas of interest include weight loss management, nutrition education and food intolerance. Our nutrition service offers you the chance to change your life in a positive way by focusing on your overall wellbeing as well as the chance to follow up on your progress.
Aisling Murray has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and offers a one to one specialist nutrition service at Whelehans Pharmacy. Call Whelehans at 04493 34591 for an appointment. Aisling’s Nutriton Clinic costs only €10 per week.