If you are living with diabetes, maintaining a balanced diet is an important aspect of your treatment and management plan. While you might know what food you are consuming, do you know what is contained in the products? From the specific calorie count to the total sugar, reading food labels properly can help you to make wise choices.
Checking the List of Ingredients
When inspecting food labels, you should always look at the list of ingredients. Usually, the main ingredients will be stated first, followed by subsequent ingredients in decreasing order of amounts. It is crucial to opt for heart-healthy foods like monounsaturated fats and unprocessed products. Be sure to avoid ingredients that are high in salt, sugar, saturated fats, or hydrogenated oils.
What is the Serving Size?
Next, consider the serving sizes listed. How much food would you consume in a single serving? You will need to adjust the nutritional values based on the serving sizes because it is based on what is displayed. For example, in a food package that has four servings, you will consume four times the quantity of sugar, calories, and everything else shown on the label. Do not mix up portion size and serving size. A portion is any amount of food that you choose to consume; there are no defined measurements for this.
Counting the Ingredients
Food labels become an indispensable tool if your meal strategy is focused on carbohydrate count. Rather than just the grams of sugar, consider the grams of total carbs, which comprises ingredients such as complex carbohydrates, fiber, and added sugars. However, try to consider the total carbohydrates rather than just sugar count. If you only consider the sugar content, you may overlook healthful foods that contain natural sugar like fruit and milk.
Foods with sugar-free labels do not necessarily mean that they do not have sugar. It usually indicates that one serving contains no more than half a gram of sugar. Before jumping to a conclusion that sugar-free foods are better than the standard product, compare the differences in their food labels. While no sugar is added during the manufacturing process, it may still be rich in carbohydrates.
Beware of Products with Fat-free Labels
Fat-free foods can include more carbohydrates and roughly the same number of calories as the regular version of the same dish. Please keep in mind that the total fat content mentioned on a food label does not always reveal the whole story. Check for a breakdown of fat kinds and choose healthier fats. Although still rich in calories, fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are healthier alternatives since they can decrease cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart ailments. On the other side, you should restrict your intake of saturated and trans fat.
Aside from reading your labels, regular blood glucose monitoring is an important element of proper diabetic care. The OKRA Care diabetic test kit includes all of the supplies you will need for your regular blood sugar level monitoring at an affordable price. If you are concerned about the jump in costs of purchasing test strips from the pharmacy, OKRA Care diabetic test refill kit is the perfect solution.