November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

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Wonderful Pistachios

Roughly two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese. More than 29 million Americans are living with diabetes, while 86 million (that’s 1 out of 3 adults) have prediabetes. And every year about 735,000 American adults have a heart attack. These are all unfortunate stats! Luckily, you can do something about it.

There is no one diet that fits all, but there is something you can do to help keep your heart healthy and find your healthy weight while eating right with diabetes: Eat deliciously and eat nutritiously.

Wonderful Pistachios and a registered dietitian nutritionist developed simple tips on how you and your family can eat right and improve your health:

1.       Eat bigger portions of non-starchy vegetables: Fill half of every meal-time plate or bowl with calorie-friendly, colorful veggies, like bell peppers, eggplant, and zucchini.  Try this: grill up a variety of these vegetables twice week so they’re meal-ready. Pile them high onto a sandwich, toss with whole grain pasta, or stuff into a veggie burrito. 

2.       Pick more plant-based protein: Beans, tofu, tempeh, and pistachios are some options to consider. This may lead to fewer intakes of “bad” fats when eaten in place of animal-based protein.  Try this: Enjoy a bowl of bean chili with a dollop of guacamole instead of greasy beefy chili. Or prepare a simple brown rice-and-pistachio pilaf sprinkled with mandarin orange zest rather than grabbing takeout pork fried rice.

3.       Boost whole grain intake: It can help increase fiber intake, which may help to fill you up. For example, try a whole grain that’s new to you, like farro, freekeh, quinoa, or sourghum. You can serve it just like rice, but it’ll have a pleasantly nuttier taste and texture.

4.       Enjoy just-right amounts of “good” fat: The USDA recommends consuming less than 10% of daily calories from saturated (“bad”) fats. Try this: Choose nutrient-dense foods that also have good fats, like Wonderful Pistachios (nearly 90-percent of their fats are the good-for-you unsaturated type), extra-virgin olive oil, and avocado. For instance, sprinkle pistachios onto salads; drizzle steamed veggies with olive oil; spread mashed avocado into sandwiches.

5.       Kick up “saltiness” and sweetness naturally with fruit: When eaten in excess, both added sodium and added sugar can create havoc on health. TRY THIS: Grate lemon zest and sprinkle it onto dishes like it is salt. In baking, use mashed bananas or pureed dates in place of added sugars and butter, too.

6.       Heart-smart snack plan: Snacks may help fill in nutrient gaps and potentially curb over-eating at mealtime. (Hint: Never go more than five waking hours without eating!) Try this: Stash single-serve packs of Wonderful Pistachios (any flavor!) into your office snack drawer. A serving and a half of nuts per day, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol is a heart-healthy snack.