Managing diabetes with a fast paced and hectic lifestyle can be quite a task, especially during the late evening hours when you have just arrived from work and are looking for a quick meal to curb those hunger pangs.
However, this is the time when you must be careful of what you eat in order to have balanced blood sugar levels the next morning. More important than knowing what to eat for a diabetic dinner is to be sure of what NOT to eat. Let us take you through the possible mistakes that you may be committing.
- Carbs Overload: Although carbs are not bad for diabetics, eating them in moderation is the key. While simple carbs must be avoided, complex carbs are better as these break down slowly, thereby balancing blood sugars. Carbs overload has been proven to spike blood glucose levels, especially in the morning and can contribute to long term diabetes related complications like heart problems, kidney problems, obesity and diabetes. It is easy to overload on carbs as these are readily available all around us but the catch lies in counting the carbs in your dinner.
- Lack of Planning Ahead: Life is too busy to pay attention to healthy eating right? Well, you may not realise the importance of healthy eating today, but that’s the calories’ way of tricking you into having your favourite dish loaded with carbs and calories for dinner. Plan your dinner for the upcoming week and have a shopping list ready to help you select the best ingredients for a healthy meal. Once you know what you will have for dinner, you won’t be tempted to try any random dish.
- Carb Loaded Beverages: All your carb controlling efforts can go in vain if you resort to consuming milk, juices, soda-pop, sports drinks, coffee drink and energy drinks etc. Since water is the ideal and optimal beverage for glucose control, infuse it with lemon, mint, berries, cucumber etc. for a fresh energy boost.
- Skipping Dinner: More harmful than having a calorie loaded dinner is to skip it altogether. You may have been too full during your lunch to have dinner and end up skipping it. This can have a hugely negative impact on your glucose levels overnight and right after waking up in the morning. Ensure you at least have a light snack or a sandwich or an apple. Never go to bed empty stomach and also keep your lunch light.
- Frequently Eating Out: While you may think this is the easier way out due to lack of time and effort involved, restaurant food plays with your health like nothing else, even if you choose to eat healthy – which one seldom does while eating out. Eating out occasionally is advised and it is good to take half of your restaurant meal home to be eaten later.
- Mindless Eating: Binge eating while watching television, working on an assignment you brought home from work or checking your phone can seriously jeopardise your blood glucose balance. Eat in silence or with your family members, being mindful of what’s there on your plate. This is a proven way to get the most out of every meal. Food is meant to be enjoyed, not shoveled down and this will also help you eat in controlled portions.
Avoid these basic mistakes to have a healthy dinner and wake up feeling light and fresh the morning after. Ensure you keep a close watch on your blood glucose levels using the smartphone glucometer and record all your readings for consultation with your doctor.