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Moving to Central Florida has its challenges but eating well doesn’t have to be one. Florida agriculture raises amazing, farm-fresh foods that make for delicious, nutritious meals. Proper nutrition is a crucial element in your whole health, and we’re here to provide you with these seven easy-to-follow guidelines and five tasty recipes from the AdventHealth Diabetes Institute’s Cookbook.
Seven Tips for Eating Right
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects millions of Americans, but it can be avoided, and even reversed sometimes, through proper eating habits. Eating well and maintaining healthy habits may seem like a challenge, but here are a few key rules to live by.
- Proper Hydration
Staying properly hydrated is crucial to regulating your whole health as well as your metabolism and diet. For good hydration, try to drink between six and eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day — but if you’re exercising or out in the Florida heat, you’ll likely need more.
Water is always the best choice for proper hydration because it’s calorie-free and essential to life. But if you find yourself getting bored, try sparkling water or adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to it. Unsweetened teas are another good way to stay hydrated, but avoid sweetened teas and sugary drinks of all kinds, especially sodas, as they contain carbohydrates and calories that have no nutritional value.
- Three Squares
Eating at least three meals a day is important for regulating your metabolism. You’ve likely heard the adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s true. Always be sure to have a good breakfast to start your day and get your metabolism on the right track. By eating three meals a day and not skipping any, you’ll regulate your glucose levels and keep yourself from getting too hungry and then overeating at the next meal.
- Portion Control
Eating the right amount of food is just as important as eating the right kinds of food. Try to eat the same amount of carbohydrates each meal in order to regulate your glucose levels and keep your blood sugar stable. Each meal should generally be about 600 calories if you’re eating three meals a day and snacking in between.
A balanced diet is essential to whole heath and proper dietary nutrition. Your meals should have a good balance of carbs, protein, fats and dietary fiber. Whole foods are always better than processed or refined foods that don’t have the nutritional content of fresh fruit, vegetables, grains and meats.
Each of your meals should be spaced out by four to five hours in order to maintain glucose levels and avoid low blood sugar. If you take diabetes medicine, this will also help maintain a good balance between food and medicine levels. By eating every four to five hours, you’ll also keep your metabolism regulated and not be tempted to overeat from being too hungry.
- Not Too Much Space
Avoid fasting for periods of time longer than 12 hours, if possible. Fasting is defined as not eating or taking in any calories for eight hours or more. Fasting will lead to low blood sugar levels that can be dangerous, especially for diabetics.
- Snack Time
If you find yourself going six or more hours without a meal, be sure to have a snack containing carbohydrates to bring your blood sugar levels back up and keep your metabolism regulated. Use snacks as part of your meal plan but be sure to limit their size to one or two servings of carbs and balance them with fats and proteins.
Five Easy and Tasty Recipes
Use what you’ve learned to start eating well by downloading these five free, tasty recipes taken from the AdventHealth Diabetes Institute’s Simply Healthy: The Art of Eating Well – Diabetes Edition and get cooking. You can also purchase the entire cookbook on Amazon by clicking here.