A diagnosis by your doctor of pre-diabetes or an existing diabetic condition conjures up a number of not too pleasant visions. Among the many are thoughts of having to give up many of your favorite foods. In fact this need not be so, you can find an assortment of diabetic recipes that you can wrap your taste buds around. You do not have to start eating special foods nor do you need to follow any complicated diet. For most people, eating at regular intervals and sticking to a varied diet in moderate quantities will go a long way towards avoiding many of the serious complications associated with diabetes. Eating approximately the same amount and at the same time each day is a major step towards keeping blood sugar levels stable. |
Your first critical step towards formulating a diabetic diet plan must be with the assistance of a dietitian. The dietitian will consider your lifestyle, your medication, your weight and any other existing medical conditions in order to tailor a plan which is just right for you. It is not inconceivable that this plan could also include your favorite foods, thus you will still be able to derive pleasure from your meals. The focus of your plan will be on consuming foods which are high in nutrients, low in fat, and moderate in calories. There are numerous diabetes cookbooks available with nutritious yet tasty meals to assist you in this endeavor.
Not always do we pay close attention to what we eat, our focus is more on pleasing our palate rather than nutrition. For the diabetic this will be a major but critical adjustment. Here’s the ABC of making those adjustments as suggested by the American Dietetic Association:
(A) “Moderate sugar, fat and carbohydrates” – Typically carbohydrates take from five minutes to three hours to be digested, fats can take eight or more hours as opposed to proteins which take three to six hours. Therefore the reason why foods high in fat (ice cream) raises blood sugar level more slowly than vegetables (carrots). It is recommended that fat intake should be less than 30% of your daily calories. Desserts and sweets do not have to be completely eliminated from your diet but can be eaten once or twice per week, in moderate amounts.
(B) “Eat five fruits and vegetables every day” – Replace your sugar producing foods with fruits or vegetables, these are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibers. Soluble fibers found mostly in fruits, vegetables and some seeds, trap carbohydrates and slow the absorption of glucose. Vegetables which are highly recommended are: cooked kidney beans (rated among the highest soluble fiber foods) and carrots which are also highly rated for having a positive effect on blood glucose levels.
(C) “Eat more starches” – Starchy foods are an important part of a healthy meal plan. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like peas, corn, potatoes and yams can be included in your meals. Your portion though must be moderate, 3 to 4 daily servings of carbohydrate-containing foods are considered adequate.
Learning what, how and when to eat is a giant step towards taking control of your illness. There is no perfect food or diet for the diabetic, the goal of each plan is to supply a variety of foods which will provide enough sustenance while still keeping your blood sugar level under control. Your diet plan does not have to be bland, there are a number of diabetic recipe books available, also you can be daring and experiment with some of your favorite recipes, always being aware of your dietary limitations. For additional information on following a diabetes meal plan you can research or ask your dietitian about “The Food Guide Pyramid”, “Creating your Plate”, and “Carbohydrate Counting”. These are all different plans and you can choose which is most suited to you. As previously mentioned there are various diabetic recipes and diabetes cookbooks to help you make this transition more pleasurable. With careful management of your diet, exercise and taking your medication (if necessary) as prescribed by your doctor, will minimize any risk of your disease escalating to a more critical level or even eliminate your dependence on insulin or other medications.
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