Health trends come and go, rising and falling as quickly and easily as the ocean tide. Diabetes patients might be tempted to jump on these bandwagons, but careful, thorough blood sugar management requires careful, consistent practice, rather than bursts of pseudo-healthy habits. Avoid the trappings of trendy health in favor of proven, scientific health advice.
#1. Meal Replacements—of Any Kind
There are numerous healthy meal replacement options on the market. Smoothies, protein bars, and protein shakes are all marketed as suitable meal replacements. For a patient with diabetes, however, meal replacements are a terrible idea.
The merits of meal replacements are dubious for people without diabetes, but a shake, smoothie, or bar do not provide the well-rounded source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients important for diabetics. You do not have to eat a massive plate of salad with protein, carbs, and sugars at every single meal, but most meals should include a serving of each food group whenever possible.
#2. Tossing Back Numerous Supplements
Supplements adorn every single supermarket and grocery store’s aisles. Most of these supplements are untested and unregulated, promoting solutions they may not be capable of delivering. These supplements may be harmless, but they can create a false sense of security, and they can interact with your medication.
Before adding a new supplement to your daily medication routine, consult your doctor, and always heed your physicians’ advice. Ideally, the bulk of your nutrients will come from your diet. Instead of browsing aisles for the latest supplement craze, look to your diet for your body’s vitamin and mineral needs.
#3. Avoiding Protein-Heavy Foods
Although there is some evidence to support the notion of foregoing meat altogether, this often turns into eliminating your body’s greatest sources of protein. Diabetes requires a good amount of protein to regulate blood sugar effectively, and skimping on protein foods can be dangerous.
Either continue adding meat to your diet, or make sure you add meatless protein substitutes, such as beans. Protein might be harder to come by without meat, but should never be excluded from your diet altogether.
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#4. Swapping Sugar for Sugar Substitutes
It may seem like a good idea to change your sugar consumption to sugar-free alternatives, these can be just as problematic as high-sugar foods. Using sugar alternatives may seem the healthier choice, but keeping sugar within healthy limits is the superior option.
Rather than opting for a Splenda-sweetened drink, or tossing back some cake sweetened with Stevia, drink fruit-infused water, or simply slash the serving size of your cake. Both can keep your sugars within normal levels without using potentially hazardous, lab-made chemical compounds.
One of the best ways to maintain healthy blood sugar levels is to retrain your body’s response to food. Instead of adopting these so-called healthy habits, aim to alter your taste buds to prefer a wide range of textures and flavors, and watch your diabetes symptoms lessen consistently over time.