Planning a Diet with Diabetes
Planning a Diet with Diabetes
Although there is no definitive diet for diabetes, there are certain foods that should be avoided and other super-foods that can be sought out that will help the body to work more efficiently, while also keeping blood sugar levels in check. A person with diabetes does not necessarily need to feel restricted in what they eat, although it is certainly a good idea to maintain healthy eating habits.1
When it comes to monitoring and maintaining blood sugar levels, it is important to consider carbohydrates most prominently. Out of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, it is the carbs that will play the most important role, although the others should not be ignored. Remember that every single person is different, so it may be worth speaking to a dietician or other healthcare provider. These are some general rules of thumb that will help you to maintain a healthier lifestyle that will help you to manage diabetes better.
A person with diabetes should strive to maintain the ABCs of diabetes. A stands for the A1c test which measures the average blood sugar levels over a quarter of a year. This helps to provide an accurate generalization of how well the diabetes is being managed, and also provides insight as to what changes should be made. B stands for the blood pressure, and C for cholesterol.2 By taking steps to keep these three aspects of health at their appropriate levels, a person can often keep symptoms at bay.
A person with diabetes will usually not have any exceptional dietary restrictions, although it is certainly important to speak to a doctor about eating habits. Some people may have dietary restrictions, but there are no specific diets for diabetes.3 For this reason, it is usually most appropriate to simply strive for a healthy diet the same as anyone without diabetes would.
Some basic tips for maintaining a diet that promotes healthy living with diabetes are to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and to avoid starchy vegetables, sticking with veggies like carrots, broccoli, spinach, and other greens. Eat lean meats whenever possible and try to incorporate fish into the meal plan 2-3 times a week. Vegetarians can get protein by eating beans, nuts, tofu, tempeh, seitan, quinoa, and even just by taking protein supplements.4
Of course, when it comes to healthy eating, it is not just about what you eat; it is about what you don't eat. Avoid sweetened drinks whenever possible, in favor of water, unsweetened tea, coffee, or calorie-free diet soft drinks when necessary. Avoid solid fats whenever possible. Using liquid oils for cooking is ideal for avoiding trans fats and saturated fats which can worsen diabetes.5 In general, eating unprocessed, low-fat, and low-sugar foods can make a difference.
Although coping with diabetes can have its share of struggles, it is still possible to enjoy a delicious meal with your loved ones. Eating balanced, healthy meals is one of the simplest ways to achieve overall wellness.
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(1) - http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/diabetes-diet-healthy-diet-basics
(2) - http://ndep.nih.gov/i-have-diabetes/KnowYourABCs.aspx
(3) - http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/expert-qa/dietary-restrictions/
(4) - http://vegetarian.about.com/od/healthnutrition/tp/protein.htm
(5) - http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices.html