Having a healthy eating plan is essential for anyone suffering from diabetes. If you have this disease, you know that the key to managing it is to control your blood sugar levels. And this is where a good meal plan can help you out. By eating a small amount of nutritionally beneficial food regularly, you will be able to control your blood sugar levels, be healthier, and maybe even lose weight. Here are some healthy eating tips you can implement in your life as a diabetic.

Choose Complex Carbs

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to cut out all the sugar from your diet. Instead, you can opt for foods high in slow-releasing carbs, like whole wheat, brown rice, oats, legumes, some vegetables, and fruit. Complex carbs release their glucose (sugar) content in your blood slowly, which means that you won’t have any spikes and drops in your blood glucose levels. More importantly, this will also help keep your insulin levels balanced, something many diabetics struggle to do. Due to its high fiber content, this type of food is also more filling, and you will digest it more slowly, so you will feel sated for a longer time.

Avoid Processed Sugar

Flour made from regular wheat, white rice, sweets, alcoholic drinks, and some soft drinks is full of refined sugar, which only consists of glucose. They are ingested very quickly and fill your bloodstream with glucose right away, which in turn spikes the insulin levels in your body, leading to potentially dangerous consequences. Eating refined sugar can make you feel sick, and even if it doesn’t, it won’t keep you full long enough. Soon you will reach for more food, and because of that, you will consume too many calories and gain weight. To avoid this you can slowly start to cut out refined sugar from your diet entirely and replace it with more nutritious meals.

Have Regular Meals

Nothing can be more harmful to your glucose levels than skipping meals and then overeating to compensate for it. As a diabetic, you should aim to have five small meals throughout the day, set at regular intervals and always at the same time. Adding in more meals instead of taking away the existing ones can be more beneficial than any other diet. Living with diabetes, you probably always struggled to lose weight, whether through dieting or exercise. By having regular meals consisting of healthy foods, you will reduce your weight and improve your health significantly at the same time. And if you remember to include natural ingredients in your diet, you won’t have to starve yourself, even if you are trying to shed some weight.

Eat Healthy Fats

Unsaturated fats, like those found in avocados, olive oil, flax seeds, canola oil, nuts, and fish, can help lower your glucose levels when consumed in moderate amounts. While you shouldn’t go overboard with fats, it can be a good idea to add them to your salad occasionally. Healthy fats also help reduce inflammation throughout your body as well as contribute to the health of your heart and brain, which will easily lead to weight loss as well. Besides counteracting the harmful effects of unhealthy fats, unsaturated fats reduce your chances of craving unhealthy fats and processed food in general. Additionally, eating healthy fats instead of carbs will leave you feeling fuller and give you more energy to exercise.

Watch For Hidden Carbs

Unfortunately, spotting sugars on the ingredient list of a packaged food is getting harder and harder. Besides its natural form, sugar is often used as a food additive in various other forms. Of course, these forms will appear on the label, but hunting for them can be challenging.  Generally, you should aim to avoid food containing corn sweeteners, fructose, maltose, cane juice or crystals, agave nectar, or inverted sugar. And while you might think that these will be easy to spot in sweet foods, it’s not always the case. And to make it even more difficult, these types of ingredients are often added to savory food, as well. This is not only unnecessary but also adds a lot of empty calories to the meal.

As you can see, being a diabetic doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of delicious food or deny yourself the occasional craving. It simply means that you have to find healthier versions of the foods that can spike your blood sugar levels. Whether you are preparing your meals yourself or eating out, these tips could help you make better and healthier choices. Regular exercise will also help to burn off the excess glucose and keep you healthy and fit.