5 Key Things to Understand When Following a Healthy Eating Plan for Diabetics

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By Karmen

A healthy diet is important for a healthy life, and protects against many diseases. Everyone knows this, but not everyone practices it. When you’re tired or busy, it’s so easy …

Following A Healthy Eating Plan For Diabetics

A healthy diet is important for a healthy life, and protects against many diseases. Everyone knows this, but not everyone practices it.

When you’re tired or busy, it’s so easy sometimes to turn to the convenience of processed foods or the temptation of high-fat, high-sugar meals.

Now, giving in to treats every now and then may not be harmful, but if you’re diabetic, it’s a different story.

Living with Diabetes

Diabetics have to be more mindful about their activities in order to maintain their blood sugar at normal levels.

A part of keeping blood sugar under control is using insulin or other types of diabetes medications. Equally important is maintaining a healthy lifestyle through specific diets and exercise programs.

Diabetics can turn to fitness and wellness coaches to get help with maintaining their health, as well as use diabetes weight loss plans, which combine different strategies to help with both managing their diabetes and moving their weight into a healthier range.

The next sections of this article take a closer look at how to eat healthy when living with diabetes.

Healthy Eating Tips for People with Diabetes

When following a healthy eating plan for diabetes, it is important to remember the following things:

Avoid Crash Diets

When you have diabetes, the body has a problem with producing or processing the hormone insulin. Insulin is responsible for maintaining blood glucose, the body’s main source of energy.

Since eating is the only way for humans to gain energy, you can see how a proper diet means a lot for diabetics.

Crash diets are harmful because they are built on strict restrictions – the effects are not only rapid weight loss but bring along energy dips and nutrient deficiencies. 

Also, crash diets are not sustainable for very long, which makes it harder for diabetics who need a good long-term diet plan.

Focus on Healthy Eating Habits

A diabetic’s diet is mostly about a healthy eating pattern that can be maintained easily, or else every meal and every day can be a struggle.

Setting yourself up for success means taking steps to not only make sure you are eating the right foods, but also ensuring that you can do it comfortably every time. This helps you avoid resorting to unhealthy eating habits because of convenience or binge-eating due to feelings of frustration.

Tips for eating healthy include prepping meals ahead of time, stocking up on healthy options, scheduling your meals mindfully, and making healthy swaps in your diet.

Practice Mindful Eating

Maintaining a healthy diet as a diabetic is not just about deciding what to eat, but also includes how you eat. For example, both skipping meals and binge-eating after a period of restriction can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels.

Unhealthy eating habits, such as distracted eating, emotional eating, and overeating can lead to weight gain and obesity which are risk factors for diabetes and diabetic complications.

Mindfulness while eating is having an intentional focus on your food, and has been associated with more feelings of satisfaction, higher diet quality, decreased sugar intake, and reducing unhealthy eating behaviors.

Go for Greens

Plant-based diets bring benefits such as a stronger immune system, better cardiovascular health, more effective weight management, and lowered cancer risk.

At the same time, eating more green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables has been shown to help lower the risk for diabetes type 2, and help improve blood glucose levels.

While you don’t have to necessarily go vegetarian or vegan, making sure you eat more plants is an easy way to boost your nutrition.

Look Outside Your Diet

While healthy meals play a great part in your overall well-being, maximizing the effects of healthy eating habits involves other factors, including physical activity.

In fact, exercise is recommended and a requirement in diabetic management programs alongside medication and a healthy diet.

Making sure that you build in time for regular exercise not only helps you reap the benefits of healthy eating for your diabetes, but also maintain your weight, increase mindfulness, and boost your self-esteem.

Final Thoughts

Although managing diabetes is a long-term endeavor, following a healthy eating plan can help you be more prepared and make it easier for you to achieve your health goals.

If you feel like you need extra help in planning healthy meals, you can go to your medical professionals for recommendations and programs which will be best suited for you. 


Karmen is a health and wellness enthusiast from Tartu, Estonia who loves to write about food and nutrition. She got her nutrition counseling certificate in 2016. Karmen shares her partner's passion for cooking and is always looking for ways to make recipes healthier (and meat-free). She's also interested in leading a natural lifestyle and is taking baby steps to a cleaner and more eco-friendly life.

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