Diabetes and Vision Loss Tips: Healthy Eating

Multicolored kitchen utensils with large print numbered measuring cups
Multicolored kitchen utensils with large print numbered measuring cups

If you have vision loss, healthy eating means learning adaptive techniques for grocery shopping, reading food labels, preparing meals, and measuring portion sizes accurately. A vision rehabilitation therapist can teach you to manage these tasks so you can practice healthy eating. Try these tips:

Organizing and Labeling:

  1. Keep your kitchen organized to help you locate what you need.
  2. Use braille labels or a labeling device like the Reizen Talking Wand to identify items in your kitchen and pantry.
  3. Use oven mitts, such as the Ove Glove, to protect from burns when removing items from the oven and a double spatula to safely handle food while cooking and turning.
  4. Set a timer to remind you when to turn off the stove and electrical appliances.

Portion Control:

  1. Use divided plates with tactile dividers (similar to TV dinner plates), as easy-to-use portion control devices.
  2. Try nested measuring cups—a set of various cup sizes that stack neatly inside one another. These cups feature enlarged or raised numbers or color-coded cups for easy identification.
  3. For precise food measurements, purchase a talking food scale (for example, if you are on dialysis).
  4. Track the number and size of spoonful’s of food you eat. Most serving spoons and soup ladles hold about one-half cup, or one serving size of a starch, fruit, or cooked vegetables. Check the sizes of your spoons.
  5. Measure how much your bowls, glasses, and cups hold. If you want  only a half cup of juice for breakfast, use a half-cup juice glass, etc.
  6. Keep appropriately sized scoops near food that you need to measure often—for example, a one-cup scoop near your cereal.
  7. Use the “hand” method for estimating portion sizes:
  • the palm of the hand (about the size of a deck of cards) is about the size and thickness of three ounces of meat, fish, or cheese.
  • a fist is approximately the size of one cup, or two portions, of most starchy foods and fruits, such as pasta, potatoes, oatmeal, or applesauce. A half-fist, or one portion, is about the size of a tennis ball.
  • two hands cupped together hold about two cups, or one portion of green salad.
  • a thumb is about the same volume as a tablespoon, or a serving of salad dressing.
  • the tip of the thumb is about one teaspoon, or one serving of butter or margarine.

Read More

Diabetes: The Basics – Healthy Eating – VisionAware