Do you or anyone you care about has diabetes or are trying to avoid the risk factors? A diabetes diet is a healthy-eating plan that combats diabetes. It involves consuming the healthiest foods regularly and in moderate amounts.
Diabetes foods are naturally full of nutrients and low in fat and calories. They help you control your blood sugar, manage your weight and control heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high blood fats.
A Good diabetes meal plan also includes:
· More nonstarchy vegetables, such as green beans, spinach and broccoli.
· Fewer added sugars and refined grains, for example, rice, white bread, and pasta including not up to 2 grams of fiberexternal icon for each serving.
· Embrace whole foods far more than highly processed foods.
Choose healthy carbohydrates, fish, fiber-rich foods and “good” fats.
Examples of Healthy carbohydrates
· Whole grains
· Legumes such as peas and beans
· Low-fat dairy products like cheese and milk
Stay away from foods and drinks with less healthy carbohydrates. They include those with added sugars, fats and sodium.
Foods rich in fiber include every plant food part your body can neither digest nor absorb. Fiber helps moderate your body’s ability to digest and control blood sugar levels. Examples of fiber-rich foods are:
· Legumes, such as beans and peas
· Whole grains
Include heart-healthy fish in your diet at least twice a week. Examples include fish:
The above foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and may protect you against heart disease.
Do not eat fried fish and fish with high amounts of mercury, such as king mackerel.
Eat foods that come with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as they can help lower your cholesterol levels, for example:
· Olive, canola and peanut oils
Eat them moderately because all fats have high amounts of calories.
Food to exclude in your healthy-eating plan
Having diabetes raises your risk of heart disease and stroke. It speeds up the clogging and hardening of your arteries. So avoid the following diabetes-prune foods to be healthy:
- Saturated fats: Do not eat dairy products that contain high fats and animal proteins. They include beef, butter, sausage, hot dogs, and bacon. Besides, limit the consumption of palm kernel and coconut oils.
- Trans fats: Avoid baked goods, processed snacks, shortening and stick margarines with trans fats.
- Cholesterol: Avoid food containing cholesterol such as dairy products and animal proteins high in fats such as liver, egg yolks, and other organ meats. 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per day is enough.
- Sodium: Also less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day is okay and even lesser if you have high blood pressure.
The reason carbohydrates has the highest impact on your blood glucose level is that while in your body, they naturally break down into glucose. So, calculate the amount of carbohydrates you eat every day to adjust your insulin dose accordingly and control your blood sugar.
Get a dietitian to help you understand how to measure food portions and read food labels.
The Plate Method
We sometimes eat more food than we should without realizing. The plate method is about being visual to ensure that your plate contains enough nonstarchy vegetables and lean protein. This helps limit the amount of higher-carb foods you consume, since the impact of such foods is the highest on your blood sugar.
Check out this sample menu
Here is a healthy-eating plan sample menu you can adopt. But consider your size and activity level. This menu is created for someone who requires 1,200 to 1,600 calories per day.
- Breakfast: Medium slice of whole-wheat bread, 2 teaspoons jelly, 1/2 cup of shredded wheat cereal, 1 cup of 1% low-fat milk, 1 piece of fruit and coffee.
- Lunch: Roast beef/lettuce sandwich on wheat bread, low-fat American cheese, mayonnaise and tomato, medium-size apple and water
- Dinner: Small baked potato, salmon, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of green beans, 1/2 cup of carrots, medium white dinner roll, milk, unsweetened iced tea
- Snack: 2 1/2 cups of popcorn and 1 1/2 teaspoons of margarine
Are there any risks?
Are you diabetic? Engage both your doctor and dietitian to create a healthy-eating plan that works for you. Focusing on healthy foods, portion control and scheduling is the best way to manage your blood glucose level. Stick to your prescribed diet to avoid the risk of fluctuating your blood sugar levels and inviting more serious complications.