A diabetes-specific diet is simply a healthy eating plan that will help you control your blood sugar levels. Here’s help to get you started, from meal planning to carb counting.
A diabetic diet is simply about eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular meal times.
A healthy diet is naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. The key elements are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A diabetic diet is the best eating plan for most people.
Why should you develop a healthy diet?
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor will likely recommend that you see a dietitian help you develop a healthy diet. This plan helps you control your blood sugar (glucose) levels, control your weight, and control risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
When you eat extra calories and fat, your body creates an unwanted spike in blood glucose levels. If blood sugar is not controlled, it can lead to serious problems, such as high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) which, if it persists, can lead to long-term complications such as nerve, kidney, and heart damage.
You can help keep your blood sugar levels in a safe range by making healthy food choices and watching your eating habits.
For most people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss can also help control blood sugar and provide a host of other health benefits. If you need to lose weight, a diabetic diet is a well-organized and nutritious way to safely reach your goal.
What is a diabetic diet?
A diabetic diet consists of eating three meals a day at regular times. This allows you to better use the insulin your body makes or gets from medicines. A registered dietitian can help you develop a diet based on your health goals, tastes, and lifestyle. He or she can also talk with you about ways to improve your eating habits, such as choosing portions that are appropriate for your size and activity level.
Choose healthy carbohydrates, high-fiber foods, fish, and “good” fats.
During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) are broken down into blood glucose. Focus on healthy carbohydrates, such as:
– Whole grains
– Legumes, such as beans and peas
Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugars, and sodium.
high fiber foods
Dietary fiber includes all the parts of plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb. Fiber moderates the way your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Fiber-rich foods include
– Legumes, such as beans and peas
– Whole grains
Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can prevent heart disease. Avoid fried fish and fish that are high in mercury such as tuna.
The “good” fats
Foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol levels. These include the following foods
– Rapeseed, olive, and peanut oils
But don’t overdo it, because all fats are high in calories.
Foods to Avoid
Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Foods that contain the following may work against your goal of heart-healthy eating.
– Saturated fats.
Avoid high-fat dairy products and animal proteins like butter, beef, hot dogs, and bacon. Also, limit coconut and palm oils.
– Trans fat.
Avoid trans fats found in processed snack foods, baked goods, and margarine.
Sources of cholesterol include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per day.
Try to consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Your doctor may suggest that you aim even less if you have high blood pressure.
In short: create a plan
There are different approaches you can use to create a diabetic diet that will help keep your blood glucose levels within a normal range. With the help of a dietitian, you may find that one or a combination of the following methods works for you:
The plate method
It focuses on eating more vegetables. Follow these steps to prepare your dish, it must contain:
– make half your plate non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, and tomatoes.
– a quarter of your plate with a protein, such as lean pork or chicken.
– the last quarter of your plate with whole-grain food, such as brown rice or a starchy vegetable.
– Include “good” fats like nuts or avocados in small amounts.
– Add a serving of fruit or dairy products and a drink of water or tea or coffee without sugar.
Because carbohydrates break down into glucose, they have the biggest impact on blood glucose levels. To help you control your blood sugar, you may need to learn to count the number of carbohydrates you eat so you can adjust your insulin dose accordingly. It is important to consider the number of carbohydrates in each meal or snack.
A dietitian can teach you how to measure food portions and become an avid reader of food labels. Or teach him to pay close attention to portion size and carbohydrate content. If you use insulin, a dietitian can teach you how to count the number of carbohydrates at each meal and adjust your insulin dose accordingly.
Some people with diabetes use the glycemic index to select foods, especially carbohydrates. This method classifies carbohydrate-containing foods based on their effect on blood glucose levels. Check with your dietitian to see if this method is right for you.
When planning your meals, consider your size and activity level.
What are the results of a diabetic diet?
Eating a healthy diet is the best way to control your glucose levels. And prevent complications of diabetes. And if you need to lose weight, you can tailor it to your specific goals.
In addition to controlling your diabetes, a diabetic diet offers other benefits. Because a diabetic diet recommends eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and fiber, following it is likely to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
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