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Diabetes food pyramid continued:

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This week we will complete our Diabetes food pyramid. Chances are that last week, after looking at your grains, you noticed that our diet in St.Vincent is very starchy overall. It is so easy to get into that groove because starchy foods are often less expensive and some are easier to grow than less starchy vegetables.{{more}} The good news is that many of our favorite Vincy foods are part of the rest of the pyramid, especially fruits and vegetables, and should definitely be encouraged. So here we go with the rest of our pyramid:

Vegetables -at least 3-5 servings per day. This group is less starchy than Grains, and full of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber for your bodies. Stock up! Included in this group are callaloo, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

One serving=
1 cup of raw
1/2 cup cooked

Fruits-2-4 servings per day. Fruits, glorious fruits! These include all the bounty that Vincyland has to offer: mangoes, plumrose, plums, sugar apples, guavas,oranges tangerines, 5-finger, watermelon, bananas…. For those of you with diabetes, fruits are considered carbohydrates. So include them in your diet for all their benefits, but keep an eye on your sugars to see how your own body responds to certain fruits. Some may do better than others.

One serving=
1 small fruit(Julie mango is NOT a small fruit)
1 Cup of melon

Meat and meat substitutes-4-6 ounces per day. This is your heavy-weight protein group. You will notice that dry beans are included in this group also, so the dal puri for your roti counts here. Foods in this group are meats, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, cheese, peanut butter and tofu. I know, these last two sound odd, but they are mainly protein sources for you. I do not know if tofu-mania has hit St.Vincent as yet. I am a die-hard carnivore, and even I have enjoyed some tofu. In terms of meats and chicken, we said it before: KEEP IT LEAN!!! Yes, that little piece of fat makes it juicier, but cut it off anyway.

One ounce/serving=
1 ounce of meat
1 egg
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1/2 cup of tofu

Milk/Dairy-2-3 servings per day. Milk is wonderful, containing calcium, minerals and proteins necessary for our bones and various aspects of cellular function, Again, keep it lean by having low fat or skim milk so that you get the benefits without the fat.

One serving=
1 cup of milk
1 cup of yogurt

Fats,alcohol, sweets-small amounts! At the very top of the pyramid(recall, the smallest point) are the most tempting group. Yes, we do need a certain amount of fat in our diets, but I am sure you will get it in other ways without adding sweets at the end of the day. So try to use fats/oils sparingly when you cook, and try to limit the number of times you “treat yourself” to fatty deserts.

1 serving size =
1 small cupcake or muffin
2 cookies
1/2 cup of ice cream

Again this week, look at how you portion out your foods and start making small changes to improve your diet. You are already on your way!

Until next week Vincies, take care.

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