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4. Include protein, good fat and high-fiber carbohydrate in each meal.

If you had regular pasta with tomato sauce and a few slices of Italian bread last night for dinner, what was missing? Protein and fiber. If for lunch you had a turkey sandwich with mustard on white bread, what was missing? Good fat and fiber.

Eating “mixed meals,” ones that include protein, fat and carbohydrate, may help with diabetes management since the protein and fat can help slow the digestion of the carbohydrate, leading to a lower blood glucose rise after the meal. Including unsaturated fat (“good fat”) and foods that contain fiber in your meals will help you feel satisfied longer and, in the long term, improve your blood cholesterol. Eating a balanced meal with protein, fat and carbohydrate will also prevent a deficiency of any of these groups: Human beings need protein to maintain body tissues, good fat for the brain and immune system, and carbohydrate with fiber for energy and digestive tract health.

Originally Published November 5, 2009

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