Healthy Eating for Diabetes

Eating the right food can play a key role in controlling your body’s insulin. Creating a proper diet is important to diabetes treatment as it can maintain normal glucose levels and prevent heart and blood vessel diseases.

Having diabetes doesn’t mean that you have to follow a complicated meal plan or eat special foods. Planning your meals simply means making the right choices and sticking to regular mealtimes. Here are some guidelines for planning your meals.

Counting Carbohydrates- Counting your daily carbohydrate intake is a very helpful way to monitor your blood sugar intake. Eating the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal or snack will keep your blood sugar levels from seesawing from too high or too low.

If you are taking insulin you can learn how to count your carbohydrates in each meal to adjust your insulin accordingly. Food with high glycemic content are associated with increased blood sugar but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should just eat foods with low glycemic content. There are foods that are high in fat that rate low in the glycemic content table.

Exchange Lists- The exhange system works by grouping food into certain categories: starches, fruits, meats, and fats. One serving in a group is called an exchange. The exchange has the same amount of carbohydrates, protein, fats and calories as a serving of every other food in the same group. So you can exchange ½ of a mango for 1 small apple because they contain the same amount of carbohydrates and calories.

Fats– For example, meats and dairy products are major sources of saturated fats, which should be avoided; most vegetable oils are high in unsaturated fats, which are fine in limited amounts; and olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat, the healthiest type of fat. Liver and other organ meats and egg yolks are particularly high in cholesterol. A doctor or nutritionist can advise someone on this aspect of diet.

Fiber– Studies show that foods with fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and whole-grain breads and cereals may help lower blood glucose. However, it seems that a person must eat much more fiber than the average. A doctor or nutritionist can advise someone about adding fiber to a diet.

Cooked Foods– Research is also under way to learn whether foods with sugar raise blood glucose higher than foods with starch. Experts do know that cooked foods raise blood glucose higher than raw, unpeeled foods. A person with diabetes can ask a doctor or nutritionist about using this kind of information in diet planning.

Eating a healthy and well balanced meal can be a difficult to task to accomplish. This is even made harder by the fact that you have to watch your blood sugar levels. Diabetics don’t need to punish themselves by sticking to tried foods.

For greater variety try eating foods that you haven’t tried before. Get creative. You can still enjoy many gastronomic delights and keep within the confines of your meal plan.