Diabetes is a life-long disease where one may worry about high blood sugar levels. Unlike other people who are naturally able to maintain blood sugar levels within a normal range, type 2 diabetics have to constantly watch their weight and plan their diets to keep their blood glucose (sugar) levels low. Find out what is the best diet for diabetics.
Best Diabetic Diet
The best diet for diabetics is one that will help keep their blood sugar levels within the normal range and maintain a healthy weight. Aside from these goals, the long-term objective is to prevent complications that may arise from the disease, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and foot infection that can lead to amputation. Even if there is no permanent cure for diabetes, diabetics can live a long, healthy life by controlling ones weight and maintaining normal blood sugar levels through diet and exercise.
The food pyramid provides a model or guide for making smart food choices. The base of the pyramid represents what diabetics should eat more of starches, or complex carbohydrates that provide energy and are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Examples of starches are bread, cereal, grains, pasta, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn.
Fruits and vegetables make up the next group of foods one must have a lot of they also provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. One must also have some meat or meat substitutes, milk and yogurt to provide protein sources. Lastly, the least of ones calories must come from fats and sweets since they can affect ones blood glucose levels the most.
General Diabetic Meal Guidelines
To be able to plan the best diabetic diet, one must follow some general guidelines:
Eat foods with a variety of colors this will help one eat different fruits, vegetables, cereals, grains, nuts, lean meats and low fat dairy products.
Consume reasonable portions of food to be able to limit calorie intake.
Try to lose about 5-10% of your weight if you are overweight. Even a small amount of weight loss will help improve blood sugar levels.
Consume 25-35 grams of fiber every day from fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Select low-fat food products like milk, cheese and margarine. Avoid fatty foods like fried foods, salad dressings and whole milk.
Avoid foods with a lot of salt like processed food products, canned foods, and junk foods.
Limit your alcohol consumption. Avoid sugary drinks like soda or fruit juice.
Learn to read product labels to be able to determine the amount of sugar, fat, salt, and calories in the foods you buy.
Do not miss any meal, taking meals 3-5 hours apart.
Meals and snacks should be taken at regular times each day, especially if you are taking medications.
Consult a health care professional or registered dietitian for the advice on how to prepare the best diabetic diet.
There are different studies that suggest that certain types of eating plans may be the best diet for diabetics. For instance, vegetarian or vegan diets have been found to protect against obesity and diabetes because of its emphasis in eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes that are high in fiber.
Low-carbohydrate or low glycemic index diets have also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, since these diets involve choosing foods that have more complex carbohydrates with low potential to cause sudden changes in blood sugar levels.