I have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and hyperlipedemia. Can you suggest a healthy diet for 1 day, and how many calories per day?

I'm glad you found EatFresh.org and are taking the first steps to improving your health! While it's difficult to recommend a specific diet for you over the Internet, I can recommend some key points that would be important for you to follow given your diagnoses.

  • Follow MyPlate as a guideline for eating balanced meals. Choose whole grains, lean proteins, and fill half of your plate with veggies and low-sugar fruit, like berries. Choose foods in their most natural, unprocessed form, like chicken breast, fish, lowfat or fat-free dairy products, raw nuts, brown rice, and fruits and veggies of all colors. Limit fried foods. Check out some of the recipes on the EatFresh website for inspiration.
  • For anyone with high blood pressure, it's important not to add salt to foods. Most of us eat more salt than we realize, so do your best to cook meals yourself so you can control the amount of salt that you eat. Aim to consume less than 1,500mg of sodium per day.
  • The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to 5-6% of daily calories for those diagnosed with hyperlipidemia. For someone eating a 2,000 calorie per day diet, that would only be about 100 calories from saturated fat. 
  • Learn how to read a nutrition label. Choose foods that are high in fiber. You will want to find foods that are low in sodium, low in saturated fat, low in cholesterol, and low in sugar.
  • Avoid trans fat. The nutrition label may say 0g next to Trans Fat, but always double check the ingredient list to make sure it does not list "partially hydrogenated fat" -- if it does, then do not eat it. This is trans fat.
  • Ignore the claims on the front of food labels. There are very few regulations for what food companies can put on the front labels of products. Always check the ingredient list and nutrition label on the back before buying a product! If you don't recognize an ingredient or can't pronounce the word, you most likely don't want to eat that product.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened drinks, cookies, cakes, or anything with sugar. Sometimes foods like bread and ketchup have added sugar! (Again, always check nutrition labels first.) Avoid foods with white sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, fructose, glucose, sucrose -- these are some of the many different names of sugar. If you're craving something sweet, grab a piece of fruit, like an apple.
  • Remember that it's important to be physically active! Make sure you get the ok from your doctor first before you begin exercise, but even something as simple as walking has enormous health benefits. Try walking for at least 20 minutes each day.

For more specific answers, it's best to talk to your nurse practitioner or doctor as they know your individual health status and needs. You can read more about your conditions on the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association websites.

I wish you the best of luck and improved health!

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