After being diagnosed with diabetes, you'll need to change your diet. One of the most important parts of managing diabetes is watching what you eat. A diabetic diet provides nutrition guidelines that help manage blood sugar levels, and helps prevent many of the problems associated with diabetes, such as nerve damage and heart disease.
A diabetic diet consists primarily of a low-carbohydrate diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources like chicken and turkey breast, healthy fats like olive oil or canola oil and a moderate amount of fat-free or low-fat milk products. In addition to avoiding sugary treats while following this diet plan, be sure not to overeat by making efforts to determine appropriate portions sizes for each meal.
If you are a type II diabetic, then a therapeutic approach is the focus. This includes taking medication to help ensure you have enough insulin available to keep your blood sugar levels under control and monitor your progress. This approach can have risks associated with it, so it should be combined with healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising and eating a proper diabetic diet plan. The goal of this approach is to help you manage diabetes for as long as possible without breaking your body down.
It is important to know what nutrients are needed for good diabetes management and an appropriate diet that includes these foods can help you stay on track with managing your condition. To help get you started on your journey to better health, follow these tips:
• You may want to check with your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure this diet is right for you and your diabetes.
• Keep a food diary to record all the foods you eat and any symptoms you experience during your mealtime.
• Plan your meals, and write down what you eat on a daily basis. Portion sizes are important, so use the recommended one-serving portion sizes on nutrition labels for carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, rice, pasta and rolled oats. For example, one slice of bread is generally considered a serving size; use ½ cup rice or pasta as the serving size. Even if you don't weigh food to measure how much carbohydrate you're eating, it's still helpful to keep track of how much fruit or vegetables or other whole grains or lean protein you're eating each day as well.
• Don't skip breakfast. The morning meal should be a good source of fiber. Your morning meal should also include a source of lean protein, such as yogurt with low-calorie whole grain cereal or eggs with a slice of whole grain toast or two peanut butter sandwiches.
• Eat simple carbohydrates, especially in the morning and right after exercise to help fuel your workouts.
• You'll need to keep track of how much carbohydrate you're eating by weighing or measuring food portions or using measuring cups or spoons to determine serving sizes.
• Know that many ready-to-eat foods contain hidden sugars and fats, so read the nutrition facts label on packaged foods and choose products that are lower in these ingredients.
• Limit your sugar intake. Sugar is hidden in many foods, including some brands of yogurt and milk, canned fruit and juice, flavored rice mixes and ketchup.
• Eat fewer sweets and less saturated fat. This will help control your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as decrease the risk for heart disease.
• Eat a variety of healthy foods from each food group to get a good mix of all the nutrients you need each day.
• Exercise regularly to help manage diabetes. Make exercising part of your daily routine, even if it's only for 30 minutes a day or three times per week. Find an activity you enjoy. Try brisk walking, running, biking and many other activities that are fun and healthy.
• Monitor your blood glucose levels with a meter on a regular (three-to-four times per day) basis. Check your levels before meals and after meals or snacks to help determine if you need to make any changes or adjustments to your diet plan.
• Ask your doctor or dietitian which foods you should eat more of and which foods you should avoid until your blood glucose is under good control.
• Make fruits and vegetables the center of your meals, and include vegetables with each meal because vegetables offer fiber to slow digestion of carbohydrates and are usually low in calories.
• Always check food labels, and be sure to get the lowest or least amount of saturated fat and the highest amount of fiber from all sources.
• Drink plenty of water, especially before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration.
• If you're taking insulin, remember that not all carbohydrates have the same effect on your blood sugar levels. The key is to keep your carbohydrate intake low while avoiding foods high in sugar or starch and choosing small meals throughout the day rather than one big meal followed by several snacks.
It's difficult to say whether following a diabetic diet plan will help you manage diabetes. What's important to know is that the right diet and exercise can help you manage diabetes, improve your blood sugar control and improve or even eliminate many of the complications associated with this disease.
If you have any questions about our diabetic diet plan, please contact us at any time. We are here to support you and help you achieve better health.