When it comes to diet, it’s all about the choices we make. Grilled chicken or fried? Fruit cup or pudding cup? Each choice we make either gets a step closer to a healthier life or further away. Use these ideas to keep your diabetes in check when you cook and use them as guides when you dine-out.

Lean salmon, fruits and vegetables

1) Substitute GOOD fats for some of your carbs.

Adding good fats to your meal have a whole slew of benefits for your body including making you feel full faster. Monounsaturated fats – – nuts, avocados, and olive oil – – can help lower your blood sugar. You can cook with these ingredients, add them to other meals, or eat many of them on their own. Just be careful to avoid huge portions of foods high in good fats. Fats contain twice as many calories as carbs.

2) Think whole!

Swap refined or processed carb sources with their whole grain or unprocessed counterparts. For example, choose brown rice over white, or whole wheat pasta.

3) Rethink your drink.

Flavored drinks, sodas, and even sports drinks are loaded with sugar. A 20-ounce Gatorade has 34 grams of sugar and a 12-ounce can of Coke has 39 grams. Typical fruit juices aren’t much better. A cup of grape juice can have as much as 36 grams of sugar, while a cup of orange juice has 21 grams. Eliminating sweet beverages, or even just reducing how often you drink them can work wonders for your health. Substitute these drinks for unsweetened teas or sparkling water.

4) Increase your fiber intake.

In truth, we should all be eating more fiber. Fiber helps manage your blood sugar, keeps you feeling full, and is good for heart health. Food like apples, sweet potatoes, peas, and broccoli are great sources of fiber. Try and get at least 8 grams of fiber per meal.

5) Go lean!

Not all fats are created equal. For this tip, we’re recommending you avoid or reduce saturated fats. Skip the creamy pasta and incorporate leaner cuts of meat to help cut back on the saturated fats.

6) Check the fine print.

Read the nutrition label and skip boxed meals. This will help you avoid any extra sugars, fats, and other ingredients that don’t promote a healthy diet.

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