Diabetes is a chronic health ailment that affects how the body processes food into energy. To date, diabetes is considered a non-curable disease. However, it is plausible to manage diabetes and minimize its ill effects on the body. One of the first things one has to do to manage diabetes effectively is to practice mindful eating. A diabetes diet plan involves cutting unhealthy food habits and including foods that help control blood sugar.
Since diabetes is a disorder that causes our bodies to have trouble processing sugar by not producing enough insulin (a hormone that effectively regulates blood sugar) and eating foods with high amounts of processed sugar is not the greatest idea. Ensuring the body gets ample nutrients that are not hard to process is the prerequisite for efficacious diabetes management.
A diabetes diet is when an individual indulges in eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and eats only at regular mealtimes, i.e., no binge-eating at 3 am. Interestingly, a diabetes diet plan is perhaps the best eating plan for anybody trying to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle. It is a healthy-eating plan with natural, nutrient-rich foods low in fat and calories.
Diabetic diets are not specific to diabetics or pre-diabetes patients. Most likely, dietitians recommend a diabetic diet list to ensure the person gets adequate nutrition without consuming excessive fat and calories. The plan enables one to control blood sugar, manage weight and prevent the risk of developing chronic diseases (high or low blood pressure and heart stroke).
When the body is fed excessive calories and fats, it increases blood glucose levels unnecessarily. If the blood glucose levels go unmonitored, it can lead to grave consequences such as hyperglycemia and may cause long-term complexities such as nerve or kidney damage.
One of the most effective ways to check blood glucose levels is to identify foods that cause blood sugar to spike and consistently refrain from eating junk food. It is essential to develop habits of eating good food for diabetics.
A diabetic meal plan is largely developed around eating a balanced diet thrice a day. It helps better use the insulin produced by the body or acquired by medicines. Deciding the portion sizes depends on the person's activity levels and medical history. With the consultation of a registered dietitian, one can create a diet based on one's personal health goals, lifestyle, and taste.
The idea behind a diabetic diet is to ensure that the body gets appropriate calories from nutritious foods, preferably vegetables and fruits, packed with healthy carbohydrates, high-fiber food items, and good fats.
While digesting the food, simple carbs, i.e., sugar, and complex carbs, i.e., starch, are broken down into blood glucose. It is recommended to focus on healthy carbohydrates, such as:
And avoid complex carbohydrates present in packaged foods.
The body cannot digest or absorb part of plant foods known as dietary fiber. Consuming fiber-rich foods moderates the digestion process and control sugar levels. High fiber foods for diabetics include -
Good fat is your friend. Foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help lower the cholesterol levels in the body and thus are known as good fat foods. Some examples of good fats are -
It is noteworthy that these foods are high in calories, and overuse of these may affect the body adversely.
Diabetes can cause severe heart problems due to frequent clogging and hardening of the arteries. Certain food items contain elements that can perturb a healthy-heart diet to a great extent. Therefore, it is crucial to element those food items from your regular diabetes diet.
Plan your meals how you like to help keep your blood glucose level within the normal range. There is no specific way of designing a diabetes diet plan. The American Diabetes Association offers a basic method of meal planning which focuses largely on eating veggies.
Your dietitian can help you measure food portions, pay attention to serving size, and understand carbohydrate calculation. If you are on insulin, your medical help would also give you tips on adjusting insulin dosage.
In addition to some effective foods for diabetes, you can also experiment with your diet by including diabetic nutrition drinks developed using vitamins and minerals proven effective in reducing and stabilizing sugar levels in the blood. These diabetic drinks also enhance energy levels, improve metabolism, and maintain a healthy weight, essential for people with diabetes.
Improper nutrition also causes several skin problems in diabetic patients. Following a diabetic diet plan helps in keeping up with diabetic foot care, skin care, & other diabetes-related problems.
Embracing a healthy-eating diet plan wholeheartedly makes it easier to control and prevent complications of diabetes. If you are looking for a weight loss plan, you can modify your existing plan and tailor it to suit your goals.
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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