The Do’s and Don’ts of Eating for Diabetics

A common trait found among diabetics is that they do not observe regular eating times. The amount of food they eat is also inconsistent. Consistency and regularity are the two important factors in keeping one’s blood sugar normal and tame cravings. If any of these habits become a regular occurrence, health related complications, on top of developing diabetes, will occur later in life.1 

The “Dawn Phenomenon”

At dawn, most Myanmar elders are seen up and about making religious offerings or getting ready to go out to see through errands. But did you know that between 4:00am  to 5:00am, hormones surge, increasing pre-meal glucose levels? This means that the body does not have the right amount of insulin to regulate so that is why blood glucose levels are high. What can a diabetic do to control this? 2, 3

Do’s

  • If you get up early, make sure to eat an early dinner. This will help you regulate the blood glucose raising effect that the carbohydrates have.
  • Get most of your daily carbohydrate requirements in the morning meals and opt for low-carbohydrate, high-fiber dinner such as grilled vegetables or spinach salad minus the traditional chickpea powder.
  • Avoid eating snacks after dinner, but if you have to, opt for unsalted nuts or some pummelo.
  • An early dinner allows you some time after to walk and spend the calories you’ve eaten.
  • Have comfort foods once in a while to avoid overeating and avoid sugar spikes. If it is high in fats and carbs, like the Coconut Chicken Noodle soup, opt for steamed vegetables and grilled fish for dinner.
  • Be mindful of your emotional cues around food and hunger.2, 3

Don’t

  • Never skip meals because you may make up for them with food cravings.
  • Never eat in the car, on the bus, or on-the-go because you will eat what is convenient, not healthy.
  • Avoid speed eating and “quick bites.” Food is meant to be enjoyed and experienced in a mindful manner. 2, 3

Building healthy eating habits may be challenging at the start. Getting your taste buds used to healthy options might take time but adapting is inevitable.

However, if you are feeling like the meal plan you have is not fulfilling, consider the various nutritional drink options. Glucerna is high in protein and contains a multi-blend of vitamins and minerals, helping you meet daily nutritional needs. All Glucerna products have been scientifically formulated with a low glycemic index with slowly digestible carbohydrates that will keep your blood sugar steady.1

Sources & References:

  1. https://glucerna.ca/en/managing-diabetes/eating-dos-donts
  2. https://www.diabetes.ca/managing-my-diabetes/stories/managing-the-dawn-phenomenon
  3. https://www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes/stories/multicultural-comfort-food