Creating a diabetic diet plan is the first step to managing your diabetes, losing weight, and potentially decreasing your dependency on medication. Whether you’re suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, or even gestational diabetes, sticking to an effective diabetic diet and avoiding a few common traps that may lead you astray is essential for your health, and if you have gestational diabetes, your child’s health as well.
The Cornerstones of a Diabetic Diet Plan
Planning a healthy diabetic menu primarily consists of controlling portion sizes and making sure to stick to a daily dining schedule of three meals and a few snacks per day. When it comes to the actual food content, the best diabetic recipes include foods that are:
- Low in fat and cholesterol
- Low in sugar (or devoid of sugar altogether)
- High in dietary fiber
Diabetes sufferers may pay special attention to a food’s glycemic index. The higher a food’s glycemic index, the faster its tendency is to raise your blood sugar levels. Try to find foods with a low glycemic index.
Above all, avoid these four common traps when planning your diabetic diet:
Trap 1 – Combining Diets
Don’t switch up your diet plan because you’ve heard that a friend dropped a lot of pounds on a low-carb diet or you know your mom lost some weight with the help of a diet pill. A diet that includes carbohydrates and fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables is actually healthy for the diabetes sufferer. Stick to the low fat diet, and enjoy lean meat, skinless polutry, and fish, as well as carbs, and you may not need dietary aids.
Trap 2 – Forgetting Your Leanest Options
Don’t fall into these traps: you know you can eat meat, so you put some red meat on your plate. You figure grilled chicken slathered in teriyaki sauce can’t be that bad. You cover a salad in ranch dressing and pour a cup of whole mil over that whole grain cereal. You’re undermining all of your efforts!
Everything you eat should be low in fat and lean, so forget the red meat and high-in-fat sauces and dressings. Be sure to drink skim milk instead. You can still spice up the flavor of salads and meats with low-fat options like vinegaratte and yogurt marinades.
Trap 3 – Dining Out
Don’t let all of your hard work fly out the window because you’re out for a night on the town. Keep up the work when dining at restaurants and ask an establishment for its menu’s nutritional information (if possible) so you can continue to eat foods that fit into your diabetic diet plan. Even without nutritional information, you can often tell what to avoid by the meal’s description. Avoid foods that are sauteed, fried, or creamed, or that are prepared with teriyaki, barbecue, or sweet and sour sauce. Avoid excessive butter, cheese, oil, and mayonnaise.
Trap 4 – Ignoring Physical Activity
The best diabetic recipes in the world can’t help you manage your diabetes without a steady regimen of physical exercise. Consider a minimum of 30 minutes a day of physical exercise a part of your diabetic diet plan. Schedule it into your day, just as you’re going to schedule in your dining times.
Once you know what to avoid, planning an effective diabetic diet plan that’s easy to stick to is simple. However, before starting any diet, consult with your doctor or dietitian.