For people with diabetes, keeping close tabs on their blood-sugar levels is essential, and that means keeping close tabs on their diet. We asked Vandana Sheth, a registered dietitian-nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to weigh in on some of the best eating practices for people with diabetes. Sheth owns a nutrition consulting business in Los Angeles and has been a dietitian for over 20 years.
According to Sheth, "The key to maintaining good blood-sugar control is to enjoy regular meals/snacks throughout the day, be mindful of your portions, and enjoy a wide variety of foods to adequately meet your nutritional needs." She recommends eating a diet rich in whole grains and heart-healthy fats, a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. At the same time, limiting "red meat and especially processed fatty foods such as hot dogs, bacon, etc." is a top priority. Sheth is clear that "there is no specific food that needs to be banned from your diet even if you have diabetes," and that with attention paid to portions and timing, an occasional treat can be part of a healthy lifestyle. But be sure to discuss any dietary changes with your doctor.