you’re diabetic, you probably already know how important
it is to pay close attention to your diet. Not only do you have
to maintain a healthy body weight, but you also need to eat for
optimal heart benefits. On top of that, you’re constantly
aware of your blood sugar level, avoiding hypoglycemia but being
to become hyperglycemic. If you eat right you can make your diet
work for your health and learn to live comfortably with diabetes.
Diet is one of the major components of a diabetes treatment plan.
Many diabetics think of their prescribed diet as restrictive, but
it’s actually a healthy diet that all people should follow
and that allows for consistent meals that can be very satisfying.
Many of the aspects of a diabetic diet are similar to a heart
healthy diet. This is important because diabetics are at an increased risk
for heart and circulatory disease.
There are two types of diabetes—type
1 and type 2. Both involve your body’s ability to carry glucose
(basic sugar) from your bloodstream to your cells via insulin.
This is the way your body
gleans energy from your food. Sometimes, type 2 diabetes can be
brought on by obesity, when your cells stop responding to insulin.
with type 1 diabetes are born with the inability to produce insulin
and have to inject it into their bloodstream. With diabetes, there
are a few key elements to the proper diet, which will be expanded
and personalized by your healthcare provider depending on your
Manage your weight. Especially if you have type 2
diabetes, the first step in managing diabetes is to manage your
provider will work with you to come up with a daily meal, a plan
that you should follow very strictly in order to shed the pounds
to get to a healthy weight. It isn’t a good idea to start
a fad diet or to stop eating in order to lose the weight, especially
if you’re diabetic. You can run the risk of lowering your
blood sugar level to a dangerous level if you skip meals. The key
diabetic diet is portion control and counting carbohydrate intake.
It is also prudent to limit the amount of saturated and hydrogenated
fats because of an increased risk of heart disease. Some of basic
steps in cutting out fats and eating a healthy diabetic diet include:
- Avoid excess fatty meats; go for fish and lean poultry over
- Stay away from fried food; bake or sauté your meals
- Choose low-fat dairy products like yogurt, skim milk
and low-fat cheeses.
- Cut out saturated fats found in processed
foods, like chips or frozen dinners.
- Use water, vegetable juice
or small amounts of olive oil when cooking
- Meet with a healthcare
provider to determine your individual carbohydrate needs.
Like a heart healthy diet, a diabetic diet should
vegetables, legumes and whole grains. These complex carbohydrates
help to regulate your blood sugar, but they’re also loaded
with other vitamins and minerals that help your body keep a healthy
balance. Fruits, vegetables and legumes all contain fiber, a crucial
element in the diabetic diet. Soluble fiber is helpful in maintaining
a normal blood sugar level. It helps to slow down your blood sugar
level after a meal. Instead of having an immediate surge of blood
sugar after a meal, if you have soluble fiber, this rise is more
Limit salt and sodium. While you’re eating for your
heart because of diabetes, be thankful for the extra initiative
and lower your blood pressure. Watch out for hidden sodium by reading
labels carefully and keeping aware. The most obvious way to cut
out sodium is to pass the salt shaker on at the table or while
Control. In a diabetic diet, it’s not all about ingredients—although
that is the first step. Next, you’ll need to control your
portion size in order to avoid going hyperglycemic after a big
healthcare provider might be able to discuss proper portion control
with you if you find this to be difficult to maintain. When cooking,
prepare less food in order to ensure that you don’t go for
seconds. Ask your family to help you maintain proper portion sizes
at meals. Try snacking regularly throughout the day to avoid sitting
down for a meal when you're too hungry. This doesn’t mean you have to
starve yourself, or skip meals. It just means you need to pay attention
to how much you eat and plan ahead to make sure you keep your meals
Be consistent. Many diabetics forget that a fundamental
aspect of the diet is to keep consistent throughout the day, and
from day to
day. That means getting on a meal and snack schedule, and sticking
to it. This will allow your body to get accustomed to blood sugar
levels, and help you avoid hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels.
Your healthcare provider might advise you to pay close attention
to your body and blood glucose levels in order to establish specific
times when you feel it is particularly low, so that you may plan
on eating small meals to curb hypoglycemia.
A diabetic diet is
highly individualized for each case. However, the above guidelines
are a firm foundation in the healthy fundamentals
to eating with diabetes. You might notice that all of the guidelines
are also highly advised for non-diabetic people who wish to be
healthy. That’s because proper nutrition is universal. A
diabetic diet should be accompanied by moderate exercise to optimize
benefits. Some diabetics are prescribed medication for treatment
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