If you are diabetic selecting the correct foods can seem to be a challenge on occasions, however with a proper meal plan and some practice this will become second nature to you.

Your meal plan is your guide to healthy eating. A registered dietician or your diabetic health worker/nurse should be able to assist you in your diet plan.

Before you go to the supermarket write down your list of healthy foods that you require for the week. Select some or all of the following, whole grains, fresh,frozen and canned fruit and vegetables. If you select fruit in cans make sure they are packed in water or fruit juice, and that your vegetables are without added salt or sauces.

Select lean cuts of meat, skinless poultry or remove the skin yourself, use fat free/semi skimmed milk, plain yoghurt, and reduced or low fat cheese. Check all labels for the nutritional value, fat, sugar and salt content of your purchases, consider health options before taste.

Only buy light or fat free mayonnaise or salad cream, and if you are trying to lose weight don’t forget that fat and sugar free foods still contain calories. If time is an issue most supermarkets stock foods which are suitable for diabetics just ask, and check out the ready prepared meals from weight watchers and other weight loss groups.

Where possible bake,steam, grill and boil your foods, try to keep using lard/butter in your cooking to a minimum. If you must use a sweetener avoid sugar and use a low calorie sweetener that’s suitable for baking.

Read recipe books on meals for diabetics and learn a few insider methods for example: when mashing potatoes use skimmed milk and a brand of “light” margarine in place of ordinary milk and butter. For a change use mashed cauliflower in place of potatoes. How about having a light snack say 90 or 60 minutes before your meal so you don’t require as much to eat, say an apple with a slice of low fat cheese, or a couple of cream crackers with perhaps a little boiled ham on them. Keep to your plan stay within the calorie/carbohydrates guidelines you will lose weight and remain healthy.

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