Don’t Drink Your Calories“Liquids cause the biggest jump in blood sugar,” said Anderson. “Smoothies, juice, other sweet drinks — including sweet mixed alcohol drinks and flavored creamers — can all skyrocket blood sugar in a hurry and cause weight gain.”
Limit High Glycemic FoodsWhite rice, potatoes, dried fruit, white bread, granola, pasta and bagels all have a high glycemic load and can raise blood sugar levels more quickly.
Increase High Fiber FoodsWheat bread, brown rice and whole wheat pasta all have more fiber than their refined counterparts, which slows digestion and aids in absorbing important nutrients. Anderson recommends adding vegetables and salads to meals to help increase the fiber content.
Eat More Omega-3 Fats & Other Healthy FatsOlive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds and avocados all have monounsaturated fats, which decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol and preserve “good” HDL cholesterol. The best source of omega-3 fats, which improve heart health, is fish, although a small amount is also in flaxseed and walnuts.
Limit Saturated FatRed meat and full fat dairy products all raise “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower “good” HDL cholesterol. Although coconut oil has had many recent health claims, it is a saturated fat and should also be limited. “Coconut oil may actually lower total cholesterol and increase HDL but will also increase LDL with risk of ‘hardening of the arteries,’” said Anderson. “Research is still ongoing, and the final word is not in on how good coconut oil is for you. Liquid vegetable oils are still the preferred choice.”
Eat a Variety of Foods“We don’t always know which foods are the best or the worst, so the best idea is to eat a variety,” said Anderson. “Japanese food guides recommend eating 20 different foods a day and Korean food guides recommend 30. To pick one kind of ‘super food’ and eat it all the time is way too extreme.”
Enjoy!Anderson recommends choosing some of the seasonal foods that only come once a year and really enjoying them. Just keep track of your portion sizes and be sure it is part of a balanced meal.
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