Everyone loves easy. The easier something is, the more likely you are going to do it, right? Trust me, I’m right. In the spirit of easy and diabetes awareness, today I’m sharing easy changes you can make to prevent diabetes.
These five tips involve slashing sugar, saturated and trans fats, and cutting back on calories so you can lose weight and better control your blood sugar levels.
1. Swap water for calorie beverages. Water has zero calories, that’s the bottom line. Used to sodas? Try sparkling water with a twist of lime. Need more flavor? Add some mint or unsweetened iced tea. I love using herbal teas! You’ll save 17 teaspoons of sugar for each 20-ounce soda.
2. Swap a coffee beverage with a small skim milk latte. A small pumpkin spice latte made with 2% milk has almost 40 grams of sugar (about 10 teaspoons – a day’s worth of added sugar), whereas a small, fat-free latte has only 16 grams sugar and that comes from the milk! If you would like, you can always “split the difference” and ask for one pump of pumpkin spice. That’s about 10 grams of added sugar – just under three teaspoons. Sure beats 10, doesn’t it?
3. Swap a hamburger with a portobello mushroom burger. If you’ve never had a grilled portobello mushroom you have no idea what you are missing. This large vegetable has a thick “meaty” texture. The saturated fat is no comparison. You’ll save grams of saturated fat.
4. Swap “partially hydrogenated” on packaged foods with whole or packaged foods without. If you can avoid packaged and fried foods altogether then you can avoid most of the world’s trans fat. That’s not realistic for a lot of people, so the next best thing is to cut down on the amount and frequency of those kinds of foods. Look at an ingredients list for the words “partially hydrogenated” and rethink your purchase. The good news is that most companies have taken it out of foods.
5. Swap full-fat cheese for lighter. I love cheese, but the saturated fat in that tiny thumb-sized portion is enough to make your arteries clog in sheer terror! OK, not exactly, but even so, just remember full-fat dairy products are mostly saturated fat. I like to use low-fat cottage cheese for a “most of the time” food. I also like the reduced-fat mozzarella and cheddar cheeses in the store. Up to 50% reduced fat of a good brand will slash the saturated fat in half, but you don’t notice a taste difference. I also like goat and feta cheese because they are strong. A little goes a long way and their “softness” means more water and guess what, less saturated fat per serving.
Hopefully you can choose at least one of these tips today to work on!