Ask the RD
Q: Can eating healthier foods help my blood sugar control? I feel like I spend a lot of time focusing on the carbohydrates in my diet, and I just wonder if I’m missing something.
A: An excellent (and popular!) question. It is certainly true that most of your time is likely spent counting your carbohydrates, in order to keep blood sugars where you want them to be. However, as you point out, carbohydrates and the foods that they are found in aren’t the only things that we eat.
Choosing to eat a healthy diet filled with good quality, complex carbohydrates, lean protein options, plenty of vegetables, and a small amount of healthy fat choices, can have a big impact on blood sugar control. Sometimes this can be a direct effect because we’re choosing healthier carbohydrates that don’t spike blood sugars as much as the not-so-healthy kind. It may also be that following a healthier diet gives you more energy to be active, or more motivation to take good care of your health in other ways, like remembering your insulin doses and checking your blood sugars more often.
We can often make small changes to our diet to incorporate healthier habits. For breakfast, which tends to be carb-heavy for most people, balancing your meal with a source of protein (eggs, egg whites, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, lean meat, tuna) can keep you feeling fuller longer, and improve any post-meal blood sugar spikes that may be happening. If you often grab a sandwich for lunch, consider choosing wraps instead (whole-wheat or whole-grain!) and loading it full of fresh vegetables to boost your vegetable intake without changing too much.
Have a question for the Registered Dietitian team at Diabetes Source? Post your question in the comment section below or head over to www.DiabetesSource.ca and click on Ask the RD – your question may be featured on the JDRF blog in the future or answered on the Diabetes Source site!
Diabetes Source has a free Ask the RD service where you can submit questions about living with diabetes directly on their website. It will be answered by the team of Registered Dietitians at LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology, who are also Certified Diabetes Educators as well as Certified Product Trainers on the insulin pumps available in Canada. LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology is the largest community-based adult diabetes centre in Canada, with offices in three provinces. Their dynamic team of diabetes educators and endocrinologists provide expert care to any person living with diabetes. They focus on empowerment and self-management through individual counseling and interactive workshops. LMC also has an innovate research program that keeps them a step ahead, advancing diabetes care worldwide.