Diabetic Diet Foods
A diet for diabetes is not so different from any good, healthy eating routine. The main goal for diabetic diet is to maintain a level blood sugar, and this can be achieved by a combination of three separate actions.
1. Avoiding foods that are high in sugar, as well as simple carbohydrates that the body will quickly convert to sugar.
2 . Using portion control to limit your intake of all foods while still providing proper nutrition.
3. Eating many small meals a day rather than three large ones.
For many diabetics, what you eat is not so much the issue as how much you eat and when you eat it, but there are always choices and picking healthier ones will make controlling diabetes that much easier. What follows is a comprehensive guide to the main food groups for diabetic diet, with recommendations for the best choices in each category and suggestions for portion estimation.
Diabetic Diet Food Guide Table
Bread products are a huge source of carbohydrates in your diet. Choosing whole grain products whenever possible supplies your body with more complex carbs that take longer to break down, relieving your system of the need to deal with sudden influxes of sugar. 6 to 8 servings a day spread out over 5-6 meals is best. A slice of bread or ½ cup starchy food is a serving. Potatoes, corn and pasta fall in this category as well.
Spinach, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage and cucumbers are only a sampling of vegetables you can eat as a side dish or for a snack. 3-5 servings a day are needed, and a good rule of thumb is 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked per serving.
Most contain carbohydrates as well as natural sugars, so watch your intake carefully. Combining them with protein at snack time or before exercise is a good idea. A small apple, banana or peach is a serving, or ½ cup canned fruit (make sure canned fruits are packed in unsweetened fruit juice – not syrup). 2-4 servings a day are required.
Dairy products can be high in carbs as well, so try to limit your self to one 8 oz serving at a time. Low-fat milk or unsweetened yogurt are good selections. Try to get at least 2-3 servings per day.
This can be meat or meat substitutes such as peanut butter, tofu, cheese and eggs. Approximately 6 oz is needed per day, broken into 2-3 servings. A 3 oz serving is the size of a deck of cards; an ounce of cheese is comparable to four dice. A tablespoon of peanut butter or a small egg can be considered an ounce.
Fats and Sweets
Fats are necessary; just choose wisely. Avocadoes are a wonderful topping, or make your own dressings to avoid trans-fats. Sweets are actually allowed many diabetics if the portion is strictly controlled; a mini cupcake or two small cookies along with a balanced meal may be permitted if they cause no ill effects. Sugar free desserts are another option, but the extra carbs must be taken into account.
By learning which foods you tolerate best, and finding creative ways to include your favorites, you should be able to plan your meals around a wide variety of items. Learning to choose healthy options like whole grain bread and low-fat cottage cheese, and picking veggies for a snack rather than chips is not only good for diabetics, but for anyone seeking a healthier lifestyle.