Diabetes has become such a common health issue that we all have at least one diabetic in our family. Diabetics and their families often are concerned about the diet they should consume in order to maintain glucose levels; but they fail to understand that weight control also is a consequential factor that has to be kept in mind while planning the diet for a diabetic. Most people with the disease are over-weight and need to keep a tab on those pounds.
A meal plan that can contribute in improving blood sugar levels need to include less calories, even amount of carbohydrates and healthy monosaturated fats. Along with dietary changes, losing about 10 pounds of weight and a light physical activity can aid in checking glucose levels.
The diabetes food pyramid recommended by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) can help you make wise food choices. It divides foods into groups, based on what they contain. Eat more from the groups at the bottom of the pyramid, and less from the groups at the top. Foods from the starches, fruits, vegetables, and milk groups are highest in carbohydrate. So, let's start talking about the most beneficial foods from the bottom line of the pyramid.
Foods that constitute more vitamins, minerals, and fibre are healthy starches. People- with or without diabetes, should include them in meals.
Examples- Examples of starches are bread, pasta, corn, pretzels, potatoes, rice, crackers, cereal, tortillas, beans, yams, and lentils.
Nature has put its bounty of vitamins, minerals and fibre in vegetables. Plus, they are low in carbs.
Examples- lettuce, broccoli, vegetable juice, spinach, peppers, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, celery, chillies, greens, cabbage.
Fruits are not just a diabetics’ friend but are Mother Nature’s favourite too, which is why she has loaded them with nutrients.
Examples- apples, fruit juice, strawberries, dried fruit, grapefruit, bananas, raisins, oranges, watermelon, peaches, mango, guava, papaya, berries, and canned fruit.
Milk provides carbohydrate, protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals.
Meat is a rich source of proteins, vitamins and minerals but they should be consumed in limitation by diabetics.
Examples- The meat and its substitutes group includes meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, fish, and tofu. Eat small amounts of some of these foods each day.
Fats and sweets lack in nutrients but are abundant in calories. Some contain saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol that increase your risk of heart disease. Limiting these foods will help you lose weight and keep your blood glucose and blood fats under control.
Alcoholic drinks have calories but no nutrients. If you have alcoholic drinks on an empty stomach, they can make your blood glucose level go too low. Alcoholic drinks also can raise your blood fats. If you want to have alcoholic drinks, talk with your doctor or diabetes teacher about how much to have.
Examples of Fats- salad dressing, oil, cream cheese, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, avocado, olives, bacon.
Examples of sweets- cake, ice cream, pie, syrup, cookies, doughnuts etc.
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