Make sure to eat meals and snacks with carbohydrates throughout the day for blood sugar stabilization. Eating too many carbohydrates at one time can cause blood sugar to rise too much
Combine carbohydrates with protein and heart healthy fat. Combining foods containing protein and healthy fats at meals and snacks help slow carbohydrate absorption. For example, having nut butter with a banana for a snack instead of just the fruit or having tomato sauce with turkey meatballs on pasta instead of plain pasta with butter
Eat a breakfast that is rich in protein and fiber
Choose higher fiber whole-grain carbohydrates. Whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta (or chick pea pasta with a higher protein/fiber content). They are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates
Include non-starchy vegetables such as tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, spinach, carrots as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Aim for at least 3 – 5 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. Choose fresh or frozen varieties with no added sauces or salt
Choose whole fruits instead of juices as they provide us with more fiber and less added sugar. For fruits - one serving is equivalent to 1 medium piece of fresh fruit such as an apple or orange or 1/2 cup canned fruit – make sure to drain and rinse if in syrup
Dairy also contains carbohydrates. Choose low-fat or fat free milk or yogurt. Opt for yogurt that has higher protein and fewer grams of sugar
Ensure you have a protein source at all meals. Protein helps to stabilize blood sugar. This may include skinless turkey or chicken, fish (check fish that is appropriate for pregnancy), lean meat, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, or nut butter
Limit portion sizes of sweets and sugar sweetened beverages. Split desserts if out to eat. Watch portion size if at home
Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat including full fat dairy, meat, and butter. Limit portions of starchy foods including white potatoes, bread, pasta, and rice
For a large plate of pasta with warm sauce, try chick pea or lentil pasta which is high in protein and fiber. Add in Trader Joe’s frozen carrot spirals (already spiraled!) which adds fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Just add tomato sauce and enjoy!
Are you looking to add more healthy fat into your daily diet?
Here are five Dietitian approved ways:
1)Oils - Use olive or walnut oil as salad dressing. Add slivered or chopped nuts to your salad.
2)Avocado - Prepare avocado toast, add sliced avocado to sandwiches, wraps, or salads.
3)Flax seed - Sprinkle flax seed onto oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, or in smoothies
4)Nuts & nut butter - Snack on nuts such as walnuts, almonds, or pistachios. Or, spread nut butter on toast.
5)Fatty fish - Enjoy fatty fish like tuna or salmon for dinner tonight!
Guest post contributed by Dietetic Intern Emily Rex
In recent years, there has been a surge of research and talk about plant-based diets. When defining a food or diet that is plant based, it simply means that there is nothing that comes from an animal within that meal or daily diet. Within the realm of this post, plant based will be the term used to define a diet without any animal products but with an emphasis on whole plant-based foods.
Plant based diets have become increasingly popular, even if it means having one day per week or one meal dedicated to eating meatless or plant based. Plant based diets cut down on the resources needed to produce food, which makes them an environmentally friendly and sustainable choice. For example, instead of a farm growing grain to feed to a cow to eventually use for dairy or meat, the grain can be used directly to feed humans.
If you choose to follow a plant based diet, ensure your meals are balanced and contain adequate amounts of protein and healthy fats. Healthy fats may include olive oil, chia seeds or flaxseeds, nuts, nut butter, and avocado. For protein sources, you may consider incorporating tempeh, tofu, nuts, seeds, nut butters, eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese.
An important point to remember is that if you eliminate meat and poultry from your diet, your diet will not automatically be a healthy diet if the focus is not to create balanced meals from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and plant based sources of protein. Any lifestyle modification does not happen easily overnight, so small steps of adding more plant based foods and recipes your diet can be helpful.
Guest post contributed by Dietetic Intern Emily Rex
“Are eggs healthy”? This question has been a reoccurring topic - are they beneficial or harmful to our health? The question stems from the assumption that dietary cholesterol is directly related to blood cholesterol, which causes fatty deposits and plaque buildup within our arteries, possibly leading to heart disease or stroke. We now know that dietary cholesterol is not the culprit of plaque buildup but rather saturated fats are of greater concern. Saturated fats, which are fats that remain solid at room temperature such as butter or cheese, play a more significant role in the production of cholesterol in the body than the dietary cholesterol that we would consume from an egg. Eggs are a source of protein and contain no carbohydrates or sugar.
Eggs can certainly have their place in a balanced diet, but proceed with caution if trying to lower your cholesterol. When looking to lower LDL cholesterol or the “lousy” cholesterol and raise HDL or the cholesterol we want to keep “high”, choose high fiber foods paired with your egg such as whole grain toast and healthy fat such as avocado. Consider trying egg whites as an alternative which contain zero milligrams of cholesterol and saturated fat.