Diabetes Diet

Two Important Tips For Diabetes Diet


Tip #1: Preparing a Meal Plan
When you go on a diabetes diet, the first things you need to do is to prepare a meal plan. This will serve as your guide to how much and what kinds of food you can choose to eat at meals, and even at snack times if you wish to include that.

Now, be sure that your meal plan fits in with your schedule and eating habits. That way you will not be likely to ruin your diet simply because your work schedule conflicts with your meal schedule.

Keep in mind your end-goal: To keep your blood glucose in levels that are easy enough to maintain.

In addition to that somewhat myopic diet goal for diabetes, you also want to follow a meal plan that will help you improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as keep your weight on track.

All these – blood pressure, cholesterol and weight – are factors that contribute to the worsening of your diabetes symptoms, so controlling them could very well mean controlling your diabetes.

When preparing a meal plan, be sure to balance uptake and down take – that is, food and exercise, respectively. Additionally, your doctor may have prescribed you with insulin or oral medications to help you manage your condition.

Take those medications into account as well when you plan your meal plan, making sure that the food is balanced with the drugs. The whole thing sounds like it’s a lot of work but with a few suggestions from your physician and/or dietician you can start building a meal plan that is best for you and your condition.

Tip #2: Use the Diabetes Food Pyramid
The Diabetes Food Pyramid, released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is composed of six food groups (arranged according to how much you should eat from the least to the most and based on carbohydrate and protein content):

1) Fats, sweets, and alcohol
2) Milk
3) Meat, meat substitutes, and other proteins
4) Fruits
5) Vegetables
6) Grains, beans, and starchy vegetables
7) Fats, sweets, and alcohol are the one food group that diabetes patients should avoid.

The problem with diabetes involves a certain malfunction in the way our bodies make use of glucose in the blood. It is either there is too much glucose in our blood because we ate too much food rich in sugar so that the hormone responsible for regulating glucose – insulin – is unable to cope. Or, our cells are defective so that even though we have enough insulin to handle the job, our cells do not respond.

In order to control the levels of glucose in the blood stream, controlling diabetes diet is important. The intake of fats, sweets, and alcohol and other generally “unhealthy” foods should be minimized and only for special treats.

As for the rest of the food groups, here are the serving sizes recommended by the American Diabetes Association:

a) Meat and Meat Substitutes: 4-6 oz. per day and divided between meals. This is equivalent to ¼ cup cottage cheese, 1 egg, 1 tbsp peanut butter, or ½ cup tofu.

b) Milk: 2-3 servings per day

c) Fruit: 2-4 servings per day

d) Vegetables: 3-5 servings per day

e) Grains and Starches: 6-11 servings per day, equivalent to 1 slice of bread, ¼ of a bagel, or ½ of an English muffin or pita bread.

Use this Diabetes Food Pyramid only as a guide in planning your meals. If you want a more individualized option, consult your dietician.