Canadian Diabetes Association provides nutrition tips for people with diabetes
TORONTO, ONTARIO (March 7, 2012) -March is Nutrition Month and the Canadian Diabetes Association is taking the opportunity this month to bring awareness about healthy living for people with diabetes. Healthy eating and regular physical activity are needed all year round, but many of us need a friendly reminder to get ourselves back on track. Eating healthy is important for all Canadians and one of the cornerstones of diabetes management.
“Placing the focus on nutrition and healthy living does not have to be a complete overhaul of your daily habits,” says Sharon Zeiler, Senior Manager, Diabetes Education and Nutrition, Canadian Diabetes Association. “A few simple meal planning and preparation tips will help you to produce healthy and delicious food.”
Preparing food that both tastes good and is good for you can be simple. Here are some tips to help you get started:
• Take a few minutes each week to plan your menus
This will allow you the time to schedule quick and easy meals during busy periods and ensure your favourites are served more often.
• Cruise the grocery store with a list
A grocery list will ensure that you bring home everything you need to prepare the tasty and nutritious meals you planned.
• Choose seasonal produce and pick the brightest colours that you can
In general, the brighter the colour, the higher the nutrients (i.e. bright red peppers, or dark green broccoli).
• Equip your kitchen for low fat food preparation
This needn’t be expensive and you can gather the pieces one at a time. A steamer for vegetables helps retain their flavour and nutrients without added fat. A pan with a rack allows the fat to drip away from meat to help you achieve low fat, flavourful cooking. Sharp knives allow you to remove fat easily and slice meat thinly. Non-stick cookware lets you to brown or sauté without added fats or oils.
• Learn to use spices and herbs to kick up the flavour
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme are classic herbs that you will savour. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg will add a new taste to traditional dishes. Many cookbooks and recipes online offer advice on using spices and herbs and introduce new tastes.
• Go vegetarian for a night
Canada is a multi-cultural country and many cultures feature a wide variety of meatless dishes. Try tofu in a stir-fry, or vegetarian chili; try Indian style dahl (lentils) or marinated bean salads; use lentils and kidney beans in your favourite soups. Your creativity will help you to see lots of possibilities.
• To keep control of your portions, think of the “space on your plate”
A well-balanced plate will consist of ¼ protein (e.g. chicken or fish), ¼ starch (e.g. rice, pasta, couscous) and ½ vegetables. Add milk as a drink and fresh fruit for dessert and you are well nourished at a moderate calorie expense.
• Double check your serving size
Most of us are victims of the supersize phenomenon. Eat your dinner on a smaller luncheon plate-your serving will look larger. If you want to “splurge” on a treat, as we all do from time-to-time, think single servings! Instead of a whole chocolate bar, buy the mini size (i.e. not a 200g bag of potato chips, but a 43g size). This will give you the indulgence of a treat that you want, but allow you to stop while the calorie count is still low.
“In addition to healthy eating, it’s also important to ensure you take part in regular physical activity. Speak with your healthcare team, including your dietitian and fitness expert, if you have questions,” adds Zeiler.
Visit diabetes.ca for more helpful nutrition tips, resources and information.
About the Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure. Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Manager, National Media Relations & External Communications
Canadian Diabetes Association
Tel: (416) 408-7071