Summer is quickly approaching which means fresh fruits, crisp salads, and the delicious smell of barbeque! Summer is a great season for healthier eating, but don’t forget that even good-for-you foods can raise blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrate is the main nutrient that raises blood glucose. Carbohydrate consists of all sugars and starches and is found in all kinds of foods. Healthier foods that contain carbohydrates include:
Fruit (fresh, dried, frozen, canned, and juiced)
Starchy vegetables (like corn, potato, squash, and cassava)
Milk (both cow and soy)
Legumes (like beans, peas, nuts, and lentils)
Grains (like bread, rice, pasta, crackers)
Just because these foods contain carbohydrate does not mean that you should stop eating them! Carbohydrate is a very important nutrient for proper functioning of the body, but like any nutrient, must be eaten in moderate amounts. These foods contain multiple health-promoting nutrients and are therefore a necessary part in a high quality, ultra healthy diet!
So what foods do not have carbohydrates?
Non-starchy vegetables (such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli, bell peppers, and tomatoes)
Poultry, fish, and meat
The trick to keeping blood glucose under control is to be aware of what and how much you are eating.
Before you start to eat do a ‘plate test’. Make sure that at least half of your plate is filled with non-starchy vegetables; just one quarter of your plate has a source of protein; and the remaining quarter is whole grains or starchy vegetables. Finish with a glass of milk and just half a cup of fruit for dessert!
Another summer tip is to be cautious of a summer time favourite: fruity beverages. Remember, beverages contain carbohydrates too! Juice contains natural sugar from fruit and may have added sugar from the manufacturer. As a result, a cup of juice can have up to 30 grams of carbohydrate! Try diluting juice with water or sipping on a glass of club soda with a slice of lemon or lime! For a more decorative drink try adding a few frozen berries to your club soda or water. The berries will act as ice cubes and your drink will give off that summer-time vibe!
When it comes to diabetes choose a can-do attitude! Eating healthier not only can improve your health, but can improve the health of those who eat with you!