A diabetic diet menu plan is not complicated. It’s basically the same diet we all should be eating to stay healthy. Your diabetes diet is simply a healthy-eating plan that will help you control your blood sugar. Here’s help from the Mayo Clinic to get you started on a healthy diabetic diet menu plan.
According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes is a growing problem in the U.S.
• An estimated 30.3 million people of all ages have diabetes
• That represents 9.4% of the U.S. population
There is Confusion about a Healthy Diabetic Diet Menu
There is a lot of confusion about what should be on a healthy diabetic diet menu. A diabetes diet simply means eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes. Many diabetics think that they can no longer eat healthy foods like fruit or that they need to avoid all grains. A diabetes diet is a healthy-eating plan that’s naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Key elements are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In fact, a diabetes diet is the best eating plan for most everyone.
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor will likely recommend that you see a dietitian to help you develop a healthy eating plan. A diabetic menu plan is one that helps you control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight and control risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats. You can help keep your blood glucose level in a safe range by making healthy food choices and tracking your eating habits.
For most people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss also can make it easier to control blood glucose and offers a host of other health benefits. If you need to lose weight, a diabetes diet provides a well-organized, nutritious way to reach your goal safely. A diabetes diet is based on eating three meals a day at regular times. This helps your body better use the insulin it produces or gets through a medication.
A Healthy Diabetic Diet Menu Includes These Foods
Focus on the healthiest carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and low-fat dairy products.
Fiber moderates how your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole-wheat flour and wheat bran.
Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish can be a good alternative to high-fat meats. For example, cod, tuna and halibut have less total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than do meat and poultry. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and bluefish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health by lowering blood fats called triglycerides.
Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol levels. These include avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, olives, and canola, olive and peanut oils.
A Healthy Diabetic Diet Menu Avoids These Foods
High-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon contain saturated fats.
These types of fats are found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening and stick margarines. Avoid these items.
Sources of cholesterol include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. However, if you also have hypertension, you should aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.
Consult a Dietitian for a Diabetes Menu Plan
A dietitian can teach you how to measure food portions and become an educated reader of food labels, paying special attention to serving size and carbohydrate content. If you’re taking insulin, he or she can teach you how to count the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack and adjust your insulin dose accordingly.
A Simple Approach to a Diabetic Diet Menu
The American Diabetes Association offers a simple seven-step method of meal planning. It is called “the Plate Method.”
It focuses on eating more vegetables. When preparing your plate, fill one-half of it with non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots and tomatoes. Fill one-quarter with a protein, such as tuna or lean pork. Fill the last quarter with a whole-grain item or starchy food. Add a serving of fruit or dairy and a drink of water or unsweetened tea or coffee.
Click here to read the full article about diets for diabetics.