For someone living with diabetes, the all-too-common new year’s crash diet isn’t such a good idea. With how important it is to keep your blood sugar in that healthy range, you need to get enough carbs to stay functional without causing blood sugar spikes that can put you in dangerous territory. Fortunately, you have more resources available to you than ever before, so read on to learn some tips and tricks for keeping your blood sugar in check coming into the new year.
Eating too much sugar has negative health consequences for everyone, but diabetics are particularly at risk. By finding sugar product alternatives and other carb substitutions that you enjoy, you can avoid elevated blood sugar levels as well as inflammation, tooth decay, weight gain, organ damage, high blood pressure, and risk of disease. A sugar-free diet plan doesn’t have to be bland or boring, as long as you can find some low-carb substitutions to keep in your pantry to spice things up:
- Sugar replacements come in standard, brown, and powdered varieties
- Dessert mixes without the sugar let you indulge without the dangerous blood sugar spike
- Almond flour is a great low-carb replacement for wheat-based flours in cooking and baking
- Sugar-free varieties of maple syrup, chocolate spread, or peanut butter allow you to add flavor and sweetness to a dish without putting your health at risk
- Having some guilt-free snacks on hand ensures you don’t binge on something sugary that will send your blood sugar out of whack
Your grocery list for diabetics can still be fun and delicious (while keeping you healthy and stable), and all it takes are some minor substitutions.
Ride the Keto Train
While diets, products, and recipes marketed specifically for diabetics might not be all that common, keto diets are gaining in popularity and can have many benefits for people with diabetes. Rather than searching for “diabetes-safe maple syrup,” for instance, you can search for “keto maple syrup” and get many more hits. Keto recipes often meet the needs of people with diabetes and are delicious while doing it.
Make It Work for You
Of course, something that works for a stranger on the internet might not be ideal for your individual needs and personal lifestyle. Try different recipes, meal combinations that balance your carb intake with healthy proteins and fats, and timing your meals to give you the necessary energy and health to get through your daily tasks.
For breakfasts, many people like to stick to a routine and take the thinking out of it. Then, if you crave variety, you can switch up your lunches/dinners. Start your day off by regulating your blood sugar, making sure you get enough carbs balanced with protein and fats that are slower to digest. There are many diabetic breakfast recipes and combinations you can experiment with, such as:
- 1.5 cups bran/rice cereal with 1 cup of milk and a side of ¾ cup Greek yogurt with added fruit (quantities can be adjusted to match your individual metabolism profile)
- Low-carb banana nut muffins or coconut peanut butter protein bites with a side of eggs and fruit
Before (or even during) a workout, your carbohydrate needs may be elevated. It’s important to choose healthy, easy to digest sources of carbs for high intensity exercise, such as fruit or juice. Work with your doctor if you need help finding the right combination and quantities for your needs.
If you live with diabetes, you don’t have to sacrifice eating delicious, fulfilling foods this year just to keep your sugars down. By choosing sugar-free substitutes and searching out low-carb recipes, you can maintain your health in an enjoyable way.