Diabetic Diet, Create Your Healthy and Delicious Eating Plan – People who live with diabetes have to control their blood sugar level by doing a diabetic diet. As their body cannot produce the insulin or respond to this hormone, their metabolism related to carbohydrates is no longer running in a normal way. Consequently, the glucose from carbohydrates will stay on their blood and cannot go into their body cells to function itself as energy
Having too much glucose in the blood can harm people’s health. That is why keeping their blood sugar level is important. There are several habits which should be changed by those who live with diabetes. One of them is by managing their meals. They need to be careful while choosing what to eat. Fortunately, they can do it through a diabetic diet.
What is a Diabetic Diet?
This term refers to a healthy eating plan which manages the amounts of calories and fat included in the meals. This diet requires healthy food with high nutrients which are needed by the body. Some say that people who live with diabetes should avoid ‘delicious’ meals in their diabetic diet program. Is it true? If ‘delicious’ meals indicate food containing a high amount of sugar, it is right that they have to avoid it. However, something delicious does not always have sugar in it. There is a lot of alternatives for making delicious meals aimed at people who live with diabetes.
This kind of diet focuses on choosing the appropriate food in the right amounts, methods to serve the food, and the eating schedule. Basically, people with all diabetes types need to control their weight in order to control their blood sugar easier. By controlling their blood sugar, several complications can be avoided and other health benefits will follow after them. Since a diabetic diet is also purposed to control the weight, then it is a must for all diabetics of all types. People who live with diabetes type one, type two, or other types need to do this diet as a part of their habits.
A diabetic diet is not only for diabetics. Usually, a doctor would recommend this kind of diet for those who have a diabetes career and are predicted to have diabetes in the future. It is aimed to prevent or to extend their time to have additional insulin injected into their body routinely. However, this healthy diet is also beneficial for most people since it will help them managing fat and calories in their body which leads to heart attack or other illnesses prevention. Therefore, the knowledge about this diet is essential for everyone.
Do and Don’t in Diabetic Diet Menu
As stated previously, diabetic diet requires healthy food which is rich in nutrients and contains low-fat and calories. Food which matches these requirements is one which cannot be broken down by a body system. Therefore, the need for insulin is not really high. However, it does not mean that they cannot eat any food with carbohydrates and fats. They still can consume it by choosing the healthy ones. Some of them are food with low carbohydrates, low fats, and rich fibers.
Normally, people need 45% – 65% of carbohydrates from the total calories in a day. However, diabetics are recommended to have a lower percentage. One gram of carbs usually contains four calories. Therefore, you can calculate how much carbs that you need in a day based on how much calories you want to achieve in a day. Some recommendations for healthy carbohydrates in the diabetic diet include non-starchy vegetables, protein food, and fats. Non-starchy vegetables can be found in green beans, salad greens, kale, and broccoli. Protein food for this diet can be found in eggs, nuts, seeds, shellfish, cheese, poultry, meat, and fish. However, the fats can be found in butter, oils, avocado, and olives).
2. Low-fat Food
Low-fat food is the second type which is needed by diabetics in their diabetic diet. Low-fat food can help them in losing their weights which can leads to a healthier body. This kind of food can be found in various vegetable, fruits, meat, and dairy products. Turkey and chicken are fine to be eaten as long as they are consumed without the skin. In addition, fish can also become one of the alternatives to low-fat food. However, food in a can is not recommended as it usually contains high sugars and sodium. These two contents can increase your blood pressure which leads to common diabetic complications such as stroke or heart disease.
Besides, low-fat food, it also needs to be highlighted that the diabetic diet food should contain good fats. A fat categorized as good is the one which contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These two contents can make your cholesterol level lower. Some recommendations of food with good fats include olive, canola, avocado, walnut, almond, and pecan. Some fishes are also suggested. They include tuna, cod, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and bluefish. These fishes contain omega 3 which is good for the heart health.
3. Food with Rich Fibers
Food with rich fibers is also highly suggested for a diabetic diet. Why is it important? It is because rich fibers cannot be absorbed or digested by our body. It can avoid the increase of blood sugar and control the blood sugar level. This food can be found in various plant food. They can be in the forms fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole-wheat flour, beans, wheat bran, and peas.
After knowing the recommended food for the diabetic diet, you also need to know about food which can make your diet fails. This kind of food is the ones which contain cholesterol, high sodium, trans fats, and saturated fats. For cholesterol, you need to have it less than 200 milligrams in a day. Some of the food which contains cholesterol includes high-fat animal protein, liver, egg yolks, high-fat dairy products, and organ meats. For sodium, you need to have it less than 2,000 milligrams in a day. For trans fats, they can be found in stick margarine, processed snacks, and baked food. For saturated fats, it is usually found in animal protein and high-fat dairy products such as hot dogs, sausage, bacon, and beef.
As stated previously, dairy products can be both beneficial and dangerous for people living with diabetes. To make it simpler, those products which can gain your weight should be avoided since overweight is bad for diabetics. Some dairy products which are safe to be consumed include unsweetened and nonfat kefir, low sodium and nonfat cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt with no fats, and skim milk. However, some which are better to be avoided include sweetened and full-fat kefir, full-fat yogurt, full-fat cottage cheese, and flavored milk.
In addition to fruits, there are some fruits which should not be included in a diabetic diet menu. They include packaged juice, canned fruits, and dried fruit. Meanwhile, berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are highly recommended. Apples, pears, apricots, and peaches which are eaten with the skin are also good to be in the menu. In addition, banana, kiwi, orange, melon, grape, and cherry are also welcomed to be put on the menu.
How to Plan Your Meals for Diabetic Diet
After having a good understanding of the good and bad food for diabetics, you need to know the methods to do this diet. There are four methods which can be used for a diabetic diet. They include counting carbohydrates, plate method, glycemic index, and exchange list system. In counting carbohydrates, you need to count the number of carbohydrates put in your body every day. To decide the appropriate amount, you need a help from a dietitian.
In the second method or the plate method, you need to divide your meal by using a plate. You need to have vegetables in one-half, protein in one-quarter, and a whole-grain food in one-quarter of the plate. Then, you can have fruit, any unsweetened drink, or dairy as an additional option. However, for the last two methods, you need a help from a dietitian to do them. It is because these methods can work and also cannot work for some people.
Planning your diabetic diet meals means changing your eating habits. It can be hard at first, but you do not have other choices since you need to maintain your health. Besides considering the healthy food, you also need to consider what food that you like. Having healthy meals that you don’t like is not recommended. Therefore, it is important to have a dietitian to plan your diet. A professional dietitian can calculate how much you have to eat and which method suits you the best. The fact that eating patterns can be different for different people makes another important consideration to have a dietitian.
Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed so that the harmful complications are avoided. Besides having a diabetic diet, people with diabetes also need to consider doing physical activities regularly. The combination between the diet and physical activities can manage the blood sugar level and improve the sensitivity of body toward insulin.