8 Steps for Building a Healthy and Sustainable Diet for Diabetics
When you live with diabetes, one thing that you need to keep in check for is your diet. After all, maintaining your weight is vital not to increase the risks that come with your disease.
However, if you’re an eco-conscious person, you might also be aware of how your every action can impact the environment. And this includes our diet.
So, if you want to embark on a sustainable yet diabetic-friendly diet, here are some helpful and healthy ways you can do so:
We all know how eating more fruits and vegetables keeps us healthy. However, you may not know that it’s also sustainable and has a significantly lesser impact on the environment.
Out of all food groups, fruits and vegetables fill up the majority of our supply. But the problem is, fewer people eat them regularly, which results in food waste. And when you don’t consume more vegetables, farmers, eventually, won’t have any source of income to live comfortably.
It’s also highly recommended to choose whole grains over processed and refined cereals. Any processed foods, even cereals, use up lots of resources and are better if consumed less.
On the other hand, non-refined cereals like whole grains, wheat, quinoa, and brown rice require fewer resources. They are also deemed better for your overall health. These products are said to help with diabetes, heart problems, and many more.
Water is undeniably your healthiest beverage option to stay healthy. The best part, they’re available everywhere and require minimal resources to get filtered for safe human consumption.
The next healthy option for you would be unsweetened tea and coffee. These drinks provide numerous health benefits, including:
- Weight loss
- Healthier heart
- Reduced stress
- Fights cancer
- Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
In contrast, drinking artificially sweetened drinks like fruit juice, milk, alcohol, and sodas can lead to obesity and a high risk of diabetes. Plus, they use up lots of resources to make them.
It’s also recommended to eat locally grown and in-season produce. This would include fruits and vegetables, grains, fish, and a whole lot more.
When produce is grown locally and in season, there are very few resources used up for storage, shipping, packaging, and a lot more. At the same time, when food is produced in your area, there’s a greater chance that they are organic and won’t include any preservatives. That’s because they are most likely consumed immediately after harvest.
It’s also easier for you to access foods grown in your local town, minimizing the effort on your part, too. Plus, because it’s organic, it keeps you more healthy.
Speaking of watching the food you eat, you should be smart with snacks.
Snacks don’t mean grabbing a bag of crisps or chips, ordering pizza, snacking on biscuits, or just eating a whole lot of junk food. Aside from not being healthy, these products also undergo a lot of processing in the factory, making them not sustainable.
So, go for healthier and more sustainable snacks like unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. You can still have yogurts but consume them in moderation. And when you need a drink, grab yourself a glass of water.
Because you have to cut down on your carbohydrate intake, it’s tempting to have more significant portions of meat or protein to fill you up.
However, it’s not recommended to eat lots of red and processed meat like bacon, sausages, ham, lamb, or beef. That’s because it may increase your risk of getting heart problems and cancers.
Instead, if you need that protein, try going for the healthier options. For example, you can go for beans, eggs, poultry, fish, and unsalted nuts. These are healthier and get you more nutrients than red and processed meats.
Most dairy products have always been associated with healthy food options, especially low-fat ones. They are believed to help maintain and build strong bones. They also provide essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and protein.
However, just like with many processed foods, dairy products undergo many processes to be made. Thus, they’re not a very sustainable option as everyday food or snacks.
So, you don’t have to stop consuming them as you can still get health benefits from them. But it is highly recommended to minimize your consumption to limit your environmental impact.
When you have diabetes, it’s essential to be very careful of what you eat and how much you eat. That’s because obesity can increase the risk of you developing more fatal diseases. But aside from the fact that eating only enough helps keep your weight in check, it also has a positive environmental impact.
If you don’t consume more than what’s needed, production will decrease, thus lessening the food waste.
After all, if you fill your home with groceries just because you’re overeating, more food would most likely spoil and have to be thrown away.
So, watch your portion sizes. Or as much as possible, eat frequently but in lesser amounts.
We think that the dietary tips listed above can help you monitor what you eat. Doing so can help you stay healthy while doing your part in saving the environment.
Nonetheless, living with diabetes requires regular check with your doctors and a clinic visit like Maayo Well. You can’t just simply head on a diet and expect to be 100% healthy without regular check up or consultation with a health professional.