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5 Healthy Eating Tips from People Living with Diabetes

Learn tips and tricks to boost your healthy eating habits from five Know Diabetes by Heart ambassadors living with Type 2 diabetes.

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Here are a few healthy eating tips from people who eat like their lives depend on it, because they actually do. Five American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association Know Diabetes by Heart ambassadors who live with Type 2 diabetes are sharing their stories, tips, and tricks to thrive with diabetes and prevent heart disease and strokes. Even if you don’t have diabetes, read on, because good nutrition is an important key to a longer, healthier life for everyone.

1. Out of sight, out of mind

“Whatever I bring in the house is what I eat. If I shouldn’t be eating it, I don’t buy it. Then I only have to say no once, instead of every time I walk by the kitchen,” says Annette Lartigue of Trenton, NJ.

2. Be prepared

“I prepare healthy snacks, like fruit and raw vegetables, and keep them accessible. That way if I have a craving for a snack, the healthy choice is the easy choice,” explains Jane DeMeis of Fairport, NY.

3. Strategic shopping

“I go for the old trick of shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store,” says Lupe Barraza of Plano, TX. “In addition to being full of better-for-you food like fruits, vegetables, nuts, I get in some extra walking steps. Every little bit helps!”


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4. Restaurant planning

“When I go out to eat with friends, I look at the menu prior to going and plan what I’m going to eat when I get there,” says Sarah Bryant of Elgin, SC. “If they don’t have a lot on the menu that I feel like I can eat, I’ll eat before I go. If I don’t get a chance to pre-plan for a restaurant meal, like when I’m traveling, I look for vegetables and seafood, which are usually good bets for me.”

5. What’s in a label?

“I’m a big believer in reading labels. Just because something says it’s low fat or low sugar, doesn’t mean it’s good for you,” warns Anthony Wilson of Virginia Beach, VA.

Learning how to understand and use the nutrition facts panel on food items can help you make healthier eating choices and identify nutrient-dense foods for a healthy diet. Remember that the information shown on the label is based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day. You may need less or more than 2,000 calories based on your age, gender, activity level, medical conditions, and weight goals. If the product does not have a label, consider adding an app to your phone that allows you to easily look up nutritional information. Some foods might surprise you with the amount of naturally occurring sugar, but they can still be part of a healthy eating pattern when enjoyed in moderation.

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Know Diabetes by Heart is a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association that aims to elevate awareness of the link between Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Learn more about the connection and how to manage it at KnowDiabetesbyHeart.org.

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