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Diabetes & Nutrition

Diabetes & Nutrition

People with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as anyone else. Having diabetes will not prevent you from enjoying a wide variety of foods if you have a healthy meal plan. What you eat is closely connected to the amount of sugar in your blood. The right food choices will help you control your blood sugar level, blood pressure and cholesterol and it will also keep your weight on track

  • Enjoy a variety of food.
  • Emphasize cereals, breads and other whole grain products, vegetables and fruits.
  • Choose low-fat dairy products, leaner meats and foods prepared with little or no fat.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight by enjoying regular physical activity and healthy eating.
  • Limit intake of sodium, alcohol and caffeine.

What kinds of food can I eat?

A meal plan is a guide that tells you what kinds of food to eat at meals and for snack times and it should fits your schedule and eating habits for most people who have diabetes and those without, too). A healthy diet consists of 40% to 60% of calories from carbohydrates, 20% from protein and 30% or less from fat. It should be low in cholesterol, low in salt and low in sugar. Please consult your professional diabetes care provider to create a special nutrition plan for you.

Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, daily foods and starchy foods such as breads.

Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, beans and some vegetables. Try to eat poultry and fish more often than red meat. Do not eat poultry skin and trim extra fat from all meat.

Fat Includes butter, margarine, lard and oils, and all of these add fat to food. Fat is also found in many dairy and meat products.

How much can I eat?

Portion sizes matter. Even if you eat very healthy meals eating too much will make you gain weight which is a fact in diabetes. The Diabetes food pyramid can help you make wise food choices. It divides foods into groups, based on what they contain. In general at each meal you may have 2 to 5 choices (or up to 60 grams) of carbohydrates, one choice of protein and a certain amount of fat. Another way to control how much you eat is by following the proportional plate. A healthy plate should include 1.4 plate of low-carb vegetables, '1/4 plate of lean protein and 1/4 plate of fiber-rich carbs. For more specific advice, please consult your diabetes healthcare provider.

Keep a diet diary

By writing down what you eat, when you eat it and how it affects your glucose levels, you can keep a better track of your diet. You should also check your blood glucose level about an hour to one-and-a-half hours after eating to see how your body reacts to various foods. Proper nutrition, coupled with diabetes exercise and medication, will help you manage your diabetes so that you can live a healthy diabetic life.