5 diet tips for potential diabetics
If you or someone you know is diabetic, it's important to monitor what you eat and favor certain food groups.
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Diabetes is a chronic condition that develops when the body is no longer able to break down blood sugar for processing in bodily systems. Insulin may be required through injection or pills to keep a person healthy and protect the body from damage like vision loss or heart problems.

One of the chief ways to prevent or control diabetes is through diet. The American Diabetes Association publishes a sensible nutrition plan that everyone should follow, regardless of whether they have diabetes or not. If this condition runs in your family and you have some of the risk factors, like being overweight, over forty, and high blood pressure, you should seriously consider following the diet plan.

Whatever nutritional program you adopt, it should include guidelines like the following, which are geared toward those with the potential for becoming diabetics:

1. Low-fat foods. Everyone can benefit from avoiding high-fat foods like butter, sweets and desserts, and chips or other low-nutrition items. Food prepared in grease tastes good, which keeps us coming back for more. Think of warm French fries, corn chips in cheese dip, creamy salad dressings, and so on. The good news is that most of these foods can be prepared in a low-fat way to remove the unhealthy problems associated with the traditional preparation. Fries and chips can be baked rather than deep-fried. Delicious low-fat salad dressings are available at most stores. Shop for low-fat options and you won't be able to taste the difference.

2. Less red meat. Consuming a pound of beef steak places a significant strain on the heart, stomach, and other organs. With a potentially high-fat content, preparation carcinogens, and other problems associated with this dietary staple, it is a good idea to reduce red meat to one or two weekly servings. If you must have it, use chopped steak in low-fat spaghetti or chili instead of eating an entire steak or large servings of roast beef.

3. More fruits and vegetables. Aim for five a day minimum, up to nine a day if possible. Fruits and veggies are loaded with antioxidants that not only fill you up, not out, and taste good, they also hunt down and destroy free radicals that can cause health problems like diabetes. Check the sugar content of some fruits like apples or bananas to be sure they fit with your daily intake plan.

4. Limited processed grains. Bakery or commercial breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, and pies can have a detrimental effect on a healthy diet or a diseased body. Sugar feeds bad cells as well as good ones, so filling up on sugary products can help to "grow" a condition like diabetes. If nothing more, however, eating processed carbohydrates like these will fill you up with empty calories to keep you from eating nutrient-dense foods that your body needs to stay healthy.

5. More fiber and whole grains. Indulge your craving for carbohydrates by having whole wheat bread or other grains like rye, corn, and oats. Some of these make great flours that can be substituted for bleached wheat when you make homemade goodies. Look for whole wheat or other grain pastas instead of the processed kind, which will provide the benefits of more fiber in your system that helps to process sugary substances and regulate elimination.

It's not hard to find healthy substitutes for the foods you love. Taking a little time to plan a healthy diet can add years to your life.