Diabetic Diet

Diabetic diet should be well-balanced and provides the nutritional needs of the person with diabetes. These diets should be nutritious. The calories that come from carbohydrates should be from sources that are also high in fiber and other nutrients, like whole grains, beans and fruits.The goal should be to provide good nutrition, keep normal blood sugar levels, and help to lose weight or maintain an optimal body weight or BMI and to aid in the maintenance of good bowel patterns.

When planning diabetic recipes, it is important to take the following into account:

  • Avoid refined sugar in all diabetic diets. Limit carbohydrate, but do not eliminate completely. Remember that glucose from carbohydrates and protein is what the brain and nerves you. This is important because when the body does not have sugar from carbohydrate or dietary protein, it can break down the muscle in order to get the glucose for the body. Add carbohydrate from whole grain and other sources that contain fiber.
  • Eat small frequent portions and avoid eating a few large meals.
  • Include fiber rich foods in your diabetic diet for added bulk.
  • Limit fat in diabetic diets
  • Avoid saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol containing foods.
  • Limit alcohol
  • Get your carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins from a variety of sources.
  • Include foods with low glycemic index, that is, food which sugar yield is low.
  • Limit salt intake

Diabetic Diet Exchange List

The American diabetes association exchange diet list helps a person to exchange food within each group. The foods can be grouped into starches, meats and fish, milk or dairy, fruits, fats, sweets and free foods.

The exchange list lists foods that can be substituted for another and still maintain the needed nutrition in the diet. You have to be careful to choose more from the group that has more nutrients and fiber and less saturated fat. For instance, ½ cup of oatmeal and ¼ serving of a medium French fries may have 15grams of carbohydrate, but ½ cup of oatmeal is higher on nutritional value. Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber and provides more bulk than French fries. Oatmeal does not have saturated fat and has the ability to lower bad cholesterol. French fries contain trans-fat which could increase bad cholesterol. French fries are not a good source of fiber.

It is important to cut off sources of saturated fat and trans fat in your diet.

Diabetic Diet Choices

It is important to combine the different food groups in such a way that the carbohydrates are mixed with vegetables. Let about half of your portion be from vegetables and fruits while the other half come from meats, starch and dairy. When the sources of sugar in the food are mixed with a lot of fiber from vegetables and fruits, it results in a lot of advantages over a meal that contains a lot of starch without the bulk.

  1. The vegetables have a lot of vitamins and minerals which are important for good health.
  2. The added bulk provided by the fiber distracts the digestive system from working on all the starch immediately. The digestive system spends some of its time and energy dealing with the added fiber and so delay acting on all the starch at once. This helps to reduce the amount of sugar that goes into the blood stream and as such keeps the blood glucose low.
  3. The added bulk also helps the diet act as gastroparesis diet. Diabetes causes gastroparesis which delays the emptying of the digestive system and causes constipation. When the food contains much fiber, the movement of the digestive system is improved. The added bulk also pulls water into the intestines and avoid constipation.

There are different ways you can use the foods from the exchange lists to make a diabetic diet plan:

  • Glycemic index. Glycemic index is the amount of glucose a quantity of that food yields when compared to the same quantity of pure sugar. The less the glucose that food produces, the lower its glycemic index. For instance, broccoli has a lower glycemic index than potato.
  • Carbohydrate counting, where the person uses the number of grams of carbohydrate in a food in choosing what to it. This is good for people when you want to eat from a variety of sources or when your food choices are restricted.
  • Diabetes exchange list is derived from counting the carbohydrate content of food and exchanging with an amount of another food that contains the number of grams of starch. Ask your dietician for American diabetes association exchange diet list.

Alcohol and Diabetic Diet

Alcohol is not part of diet, but since people generally consume alcohol, it is important to talk about here. People with diabetes should limit or avoid the consumption of alcohol, especially if they are being treated for diabetes. This is because alcohol interacts with diabetes treatment and may produce adverse effects on diabetics. Also, alcohol distracts the body from using sugar, because alcohol is related to sugar. Return from Diabetic Diet to Home

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