Reading food labels before eating is essential for people with diabetes. Food labels are a resource for better health. Impulse buying leads to poor eating habits and irregular blood sugar levels. Take a few moments to read food labels to choose the right products and still enjoy eating.
- Food labels always refer to an adult diet based on 2,000 calories per day. This is the basic criteria for the percentages shown on food labels.
- Always note the serving size on food labels. People tend to eat more than the recommended serving size. For example, doubling the designated serving size means doubling the intake of calories, sodium, etc.
- Calorie control is essential to maintain the proper weight. Achieving the right weight helps control blood sugar levels. It also reduces the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Food labels provide the number of calories per serving. Consume fewer calories to lose weight.
- Search carefully for trans-fats listed on food labels. Trans-fats raise the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body and lower good cholesterol (HDL). This can cause serious health problems. Diabetic foods should never contain trans-fats.
- Everybody needs sodium but not as much as the average person tends to consume. People with diabetes should not consume more than 1500mg of sodium daily. Check food labels to break down sodium intake to 500mg per meal.
- Carbohydrate counting helps control blood sugar levels. If a food label shows the product has more than 5gms of fiber, subtract half the fiber grams from the total carbohydrate count to estimate the carb content. People with diabetes need to eat approximately 135-180 grams of carbohydrates daily. Each patient is different and should verify carb levels with a physician.
- Read food labels carefully to choose products with 5gms of sugar per serving or less. Lowering sugar intake helps people with diabetes maintain their weight and blood sugar levels. Diabetic snacks are specially formulated to be an easy choice. A tasty ExtendBar wards off hunger between meals and helps prevent high or low blood sugar.
- Food labels list ingredients in the order of most to least. If sugar or sodium are listed near the top, it is likely people with diabetes should avoid the product.
- Never skip meals as it causes irregular blood sugar levels. Glucerna products are ideal for people with diabetes on-the-go. These satisfying nutritional bars can be used occasionally to replace a meal.
Food labels are like having a road map to better living. Reading food labels helps people with diabetes maintain proper blood sugar levels and optimum health.