Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.
We're hearing more and more that we should be limiting or removing processed foods from our diet. That’s a good thing, but that doesn't mean it’s easy to do. Check out the following tips for removing or replacing processed foods in your daily diet.
Breakfast meals often include a lot of carbs, which can make it difficult for those with diabetes to control their blood glucose. One simple way to limit processed food and add whole grains is to replace boxed cereals with oatmeal. Aim for plain oats, not those in the little packets—they contain lots of salt and added sugars. Plain oats contain soluble fiber which may help control cholesterol. As with any other food, test your blood glucose after eating oatmeal to be sure your body can tolerate the carbs.
Salad for lunch is an awesome idea, but if you're adding croutons then you are adding processed foods. Replace those croutons with a sprinkle of nuts. They're full of healthy fats and some fiber as well.
Bottled salad dressings are also a "processed" food. Make your own from scratch with a few ingredients or simply try some oil and vinegar or lemon juice.
Processed foods can sneak into your dinner plans so easily. After all, we're all busy and tired at the end of the day, so we want dinner to be simple and tasty. Limit the processed foods by making soup. Canned soup is packed with sodium and a long list of ingredients that you can't even pronounce. Homemade soup is relatively simple, especially if you use low-sodium broth.
Homemade pizza or a simple stir fry are other ways to limit the processed foods in your dinner plans. Here is a great recipe for a Chicken Pesto Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust.
A few parting thoughts
Not all foods that come in a bag or box are bad. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as good for you as fresh ones as long as you avoid those with added sauces. Try picking up a bag of dried beans or salad. Natural peanut butters and canned salmon are also good choices (But not when eaten together!).
Pay attention on your next trip to the grocery store to limit the processed foods you eat and start incorporating healthy and delicious real foods into your diet.