If you have diabetes, you know firsthand the challenges that come with ensuring your blood sugars stay stable and that you stay healthy.
You also know that food plays a huge role in how your sugar levels fluctuate during the day, which impacts your energy levels and overall well-being.
It can be a big task keeping track of what you eat, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and finding diabetes-friendly meals that you actually enjoy eating. So, today I wanted to offer some food swaps that will hopefully make mealtime less of a chore for you.
Give the following food swaps a try…
Eat Paleo Bread Crumbs, Not Regular Bread Crumbs
In many popular diabetes food swap articles, you’ll see a trend of people switching out “fatty foods” with low-fat options.
However, contrary to popular belief, it’s not fat that is the biggest issue for people with diabetes. It’s carbohydrates that break down and cause sugar level to spike.
For that reason, I recommend using Paleo bread crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs.
Paleo bread crumbs use ingredients like almond flour and coconut and are by far a healthier option for people with and without diabetes.
You can find Paleo bread crumbs at most grocery or health food stores.
They are also easy to make at home.If you prefer to make your own, check out this simple recipe!
Eat Veggies, Not Potatoes
Meat and potatoes is a staple diet for many Americans. However, it’s not the best choice of meal plans…especially for those with diabetes.
Potatoes are a starch and are filled with sugars and carbs. Just one potato is enough to max out the amount of sugar and carbs a diabetic is allowed to have in a day.
For that reason, I suggest you replace your meat and potato diet with a meat and veggie diet.
Instead of potatoes, cook up some green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, or your favorite veggie choice.
This simple substitution is easy and will go a long way in helping you manage your sugar levels.
Use Full Heavy Cream, Not Skim Milk
For years diabetics have been told to cut down on fats and use the fat-free, skim versions of foods and dairy products. So, it’s possible that you just read this food swap and thought to yourself, “That makes no sense at all.”
However, the concept that anyone (even someone without diabetes) should cut fat out of his or her diet is downright nonsense. In fact, I prefer my patients to use the full-fat versions of things like yogurt and other milk products.
The reason: Fat acts as a buffer for carbohydrates and lowers your insulin requirement.
In a nutshell, fat helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. When fat helps reduce sugar spikes, your body isn’t required to produce a surge of insulin.
This gives your pancreas a break and helps maintain steady sugar levels.
For that reason, I encourage you to use full heavy cream instead of skim milk. I also advise you to choose full-fat yogurt over fat-free and whole milk over skim milk.
That being said, it is still important to keep track of the amount of fat you’re putting into your body. While fat is good, too much fat can cause other health issues. So, just be careful and be sure to talk with your doctor if weight gain or other issues are becoming a problem for you.
Eat Shredded Coconut, Ground Flax Seeds, and Nuts, Not Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast option because it’s easy to make, fast, and filling. However, traditional oatmeal is also filled with carbs and sugar that are not good for those with diabetes.
Instead of whipping up a bowl of regular oatmeal, I suggest that you try an oatmeal replacement recipe that’s filled with healthier alternatives like shredded coconut, flax seeds, and nuts.
This oatmeal alternative is just as delicious and filling as normal oatmeal, but is much healthier and will help you maintain balanced sugar levels.
Use Lettuce or Cabbage Leaves, Not Bread
By now, it should be clear that avoiding carbs is key for those who have diabetes.
But, this can seem like a major challenge, especially if you’re someone who uses a lot of bread for sandwiches or tortillas for wraps. After all, what will you use to make the sandwiches you bring to work every day?
The answer: Use lettuce or cabbage leaves.
Lettuce and cabbage work really well as a bread substitute, contain zero carbs and sugar, and are essentially tasteless.
You’ll get all the benefits of having a “wrap” to hold your food, without any negative consequences of spiked blood sugar levels. Give it a try!
Looking for more diabetes food choices that will support your health and well-being? Check out my article on 4 Diabetes Superfoods to Incorporate in Your Diet Today.