New Nutritional Recommendations Released

Yesterday, the American Diabetes Association published a new set of nutrition recommendationsiStock_000002106885XSmall for how to manage diabetes. Every few years, we gather a group of experts to review new research that has been published and to modify our nutrition recommendations based on the new research.

What does it mean for you?

The biggest emphasis of the new guidelines is to follow an eating plan that works for you.  Something you can follow and fits into your individual preferences, cultural or religious beliefs, traditions and whether you are trying to lose weight or keep from gaining weight.  Research shows that there are many ways to manage diabetes from a lower carbohydrate to a Mediterranean style of eating. There is not one way of eating that works for everyone and finding something that suits your lifestyle is important.

Regardless of what type of eating plan you want to follow, put your focus on eating nutrient-dense whole foods. What is a nutrient dense whole food? It is food that is not processed or has as little processing as possible. Nutrient dense whole foods are those that do not have added salt, sugar or fat and naturally contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber. An example is comparing steel cut oats and a sugary cereal. Both foods are grain products. The steel cut oatmeal is less processed and better for you than the sugary cereal. Nutrient dense, whole foods give you more of the good stuff (vitamins, minerals, fiber) and less of the bad (added sugar and salt).

Here are some specific tips from the new recommendations to keep in mind when you plan your next meal:

– Avoid sugary drinks.

  • Avoid regular soda, sweet tea, fruit punch and sports or energy drinks. Stick to healthy drinks like water and low calorie, sugar free drinks instead.

– When you eat carbohydrates, make it count!

  • Choose foods like veggies, fruit, whole grains, beans and low-fat dairy instead of sweets and processed snack foods.
  • Avoid prepackaged foods with added sugar, salt and fat if you can.
  • Canned vegetables and fruit can cost less and keep longer on the shelf.  You can drain off the liquid to get rid of most of the added sugar and salt.

– Serve up smaller portions and fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables.

– Include healthy fats.

  • Include mono and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
  • Include foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids like fish, walnuts, flax and tofu.

– Get your nutrients from eating whole foods instead of taking supplements.

– Spice up your foods without salt by using herbs and spices to add flavor.

For more information on healthful living, shopping tips and recipes, visit diabetes.org/recipes and sign up for Recipes for Healthy Living.

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12 Responses to New Nutritional Recommendations Released

  1. Dennise Fields says:

    How can you list sugar free drinks as healthy? Artificial sweeteners are NOT healthy. There ARE a few drinks out there sweetened with natural low calorie products.
    Recommending whole foods then saying it’s ok to drink diet pop is wrong!

    • Kathy Paskus says:

      Agreed all three major news stations in this country reported that sugar free soda makes you addicted and crave food. Come on…where are they getting their information, COKE?

  2. Lynda Dennehy says:

    Wonderful update. I have ready “Body Confidence” by Mark Macdonald who believes in this type of eating to Control Blood sugar! Glad to see you are basically saying the same thing! He also believes we should eat smaller portions 5-6 times per day! I have lost 17 pounds as a type 1 diabetic doing this! I love his plan!

  3. Tonya says:

    These recommendations look to me to be the same as before. All very sensible recommendations and the way we should be eating all the time regularly.

  4. Kathy Paskus says:

    I agree with the first comment, sugar free pops are reported to make you crave eating more and are highly addictive as reported on all 3 major news stations in the US how do you guys get it so wrong!
    Whole grains are pushed by the grain industry. Get smart go gluten free! NO grains with wheat!
    My husband has been a type 1 diabetic for over 20 years. When he would eat a single egg, a whole grain piece of toast his blood sugar rose sharply. Now with Gluten free bread he can have two large pieces, an egg and two slices of turkey bacon and his blood sugar is 110. Not 330!!! Now, he can also
    have 3 good sized 6 inch gluten free pancakes with real maple syrup and his blood sugar is 120.
    If he ate whole wheat pancakes, smaller discs, Agave syrup his blood sugar could reach 400 quickly.
    I’m sorry for all years we follow what this agency or organization recommended. NO MORE

  5. Pingback: Diabetes Association RevisesNutritional Guidelines | You, Me and Medicine

  6. RD2B says:

    Hello! Do you have any information in regards to when and for whom HS snack are necessary? I would love to get any related articles if possible!

  7. Janet Blohowiak says:

    I agree with Kathy, gluten free helps in diabetes, but only if the diabetic is sensitive to gluten. If they are gluten will rise the blood sugar. My husband is diabetic and had celiac disease. his celiac disease would cause his sugars to rise but only because the gluten was interfering with the absorption of his insulin.The only thing that sucks about this is that eating gluten free is very expensive.

  8. Pingback: A Health Educator's Confession: Going Nerdy Over Nutrition : DiabetesMine: the all things diabetes blog

  9. Warren T says:

    I love adding Cayenne pepper to most of the foods I eat. A particular favorite is avocado on toast with cayenne sprinkled on top (how much depends on how hot you like it). As a type 2 diabetic, I have learned over the years to know my body. Even though rice and pasta are recommended for their general low GI value, I find if I have rice or pasta (which I actually love) then I know my blood sugars go way out of control (moreso than when I eat chocolate oddly enough)

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