A diabetes diet plan is simply a guide to tell you how much and what type of foods you can eat.
The best plans will fit in with your schedule and eating habits, provided they are good ones.
The most effective diabetes diet plan is one which is simple and helps you control blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight.
Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean that you have to eat special food or follow complicated programs.
For the majority of people, a diabetes diet plan is accessing a wide variety of foods, eating moderate quantities and keeping to regular meal times. You do need to balance your food with insulin and medications.
The actual food you choose to eat is similar to the healthy, nutritional diet that any sensible adult would have. Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains, and limit the intake of fats and calories to a sensible level. Eat a variety of foods to make sure you get a nutrient-rich diet.
Your diabetes diet plan is a guide to help you create a routine for eating regular meals and to choose healthy foods in the correct portion sizes.
Consistency is important, to ensure that the amount of carbohydrates and calories you eat are approximately the same each day, to help you control both your blood sugar and your weight. The more you vary the quantities you eat from day to day, the harder it will be to keep your blood sugar under control.
For those who have already been eating a varied, healthy diet, the only thing you might need to change could be the size of your portions. If you allow yourself a portion of lean protein – fish, skinless chicken, veal – that is the size of your palm, and then add several varieties of salad or vegetables, lightly steamed, your meal is close to perfect.
The goal of following a diabetes diet plan is to control over-eating, to help you make good choices about the foods you eat and to lose weight. As a percentage of your total calorie intake, aim for 45% – 65% carbohydrate, 15% – 20% protein and 20% – 35% fats.
It is the carbohydrates that are the key in a diabetes diet plan because thesugars and starches, that are carbohydrates, are broken down during digestion into blood sugar.
Focus on eating the healthy carbs like fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes like peas, beans and lentils, and low-fat dairy. These foods are also high in dietary fiber, which also controls blood sugar and protects against heart disease. Nuts, wheat germ and whole-wheat flour are also high in fiber.
While fats are an important inclusion in your diet, they must largely consist of the good fats. Limit saturated fats to 7% of your fat calories, and eliminate trans fats from your diet. Limit solid fats like butter and margarine and use small amounts of olive or canola oils for cooking.
The diabetes diet plan that is described will be low in cholesterol, but you do need to keep dietary cholesterol under strict control.
Eat lean cuts of meat and avoid offal and organ meats, choose skim milk products and limit egg yolks. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which lowers blood fats or triglycerides, so eat it 2 or 3 times a week.
Add in some light to moderate exercise, most days of the week, to your diabetes diet plan, and you have the perfect formula for controlling your blood sugar levels.