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Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is an important part of managing diabetes. That can sometimes make meal planning and cooking…complicated. One solution? Using a diabetic meal delivery service. Getting your meals delivered—and being able to see the nutrition label right on the package—helps take some of the guesswork out of figuring out how many grams of carbs, sugar, protein, and fats you’re eating, making it that much easier to manage your blood sugar.
As a rule of thumb for eating with diabetes, Sandra Arévalo, R.D.N., a certified diabetes educator, the director of community and patient education at Montefiore Nyack Hospital, and a spokesperson for the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists, suggests following the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines, more or less. That means filling half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with lean protein such as grilled fish or beans, and a quarter with whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or whole wheat bread or tortillas. Being conscious of your intake of sugary foods and refined carbs, like white rice or white bread, which can raise your blood sugar quickly to high levels, is also important. This doesn’t at all mean that people with diabetes can never have these items—that probably wouldn’t be a sustainable (or enjoyable) way to live. It’s possible to incorporate foods you enjoy, even ones with sugar, into your eating habits with diabetes. It will likely just take some planning and preparation to do so in the safest way possible.
For instance, having protein at each meal helps slow the digestion of carbs and will keep your sugar levels under control, Arévalo says. It’s also a good idea to eat snacks that combine protein and carbohydrates in between meals to maintain your blood sugar, she explains. It’s a lot to keep track of, and finding recipes, then preparing breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners each day that adhere to all of these guidelines may seem daunting! Thus, diabetic meal delivery services and other meal delivery services that can be tailored to a diabetic-friendly eating style can make it all a little easier.
“If you are a person who doesn’t like to cook or doesn’t know how to cook balanced meals, having meals delivered is the way to go,” Arévalo says. Plus, diabetic meal delivery has a big advantage over eating out—not only is eating out expensive, but you don’t always know the nutritional composition of everything you’re eating, at least not to the extent that makes it easiest to know how what you’re eating may affect your blood sugar and diabetes symptoms.
An important note before we begin: Before kicking off any meal plan to manage your diabetes, please talk to your doctor or a certified diabetes educator or dietitian about your specific dietary needs and ensure you’re properly caring for your health. Don’t only talk to them about the physical, depending on your needs. It’s possible that a meal delivery service that focuses too much on restriction, calorie- or carb-counting, or diet-related language may be triggering to you. Emotional health is part of healthy eating as well, so be sure to look out for both your body and mind when deciding on something like a diabetic meal delivery service, and to talk about it with your care team if you need help navigating all of this.