A diabetes diet plan needs to be used when dealing with diabetes. Whether you prefer eating a healthy, balanced low calorie diet, monitoring your blood sugar with a glucose meter, or carbohydrate counting, there are many ways you can keep your diabetes in check and remain healthy (and feeling great).
Choosing a Diet Plan
The strategy that works for you can be combination of personal preference, as well as at the advice of your doctor or dietician (based on your own specific issues and risk factors). Many people use a combination of several methods to control their blood sugar throughout the day. The most widely recognized diabetes diet plan consists of eating healthily, similar to what is recommended for the general population.
There are several different diet plans designed specifically for people with diabetes. Depending on your weight loss goals and your doctor’s recommendations, you can choose from a 1200, 1500, or 1800 calorie per day diet. With any of these, it is important to have a strategy for monitoring your blood glucose.
General Diabetes Diet & Nutrition Recommendations
If you have diabetes, you should be certain to eat at least 3 meals a day, or 4 to 6 smaller meals per day if that suits you better. Skipping just one meal can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels. Whether you choose 3 or 6 meals a day, you should try to get on a schedule so that your body will regulate its blood sugar the best it can on its own.
You should also be sure to eat balanced meals, meaning that you need to include protein and fat with your carbohydrate intake. This will slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and help to better regulate your blood sugar. You should also decrease your total carbohydrate intake to lower the amount of glucose in your blood. When you do eat carbohydrates, eat whole grains. East as many whole foods as possible, using fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, instead of processed foods, sodium, and trans and saturated fats.
Tools for Diabetes Dieting
It is necessary for anyone suffering from diabetes to monitor their blood sugar throughout the day to ensure that it is within the correct levels. A blood glucose meter can quickly test your blood sugar with just a prick of your fingertip. Type 2 diabetics typically will test their blood once a day before breakfast to view the effectiveness of their diet, exercise and medication, while Type 1 diabetics generally will test anywhere from 3 to 10 times a day to determine the effectiveness of their insulin dose and their next insulin dose timing.
There are many products on the market that are designed to help count carbohydrates for you, such as food scales and books with tables for counting carbohydrates. These may be helpful when you are first diagnosed with diabetes to help you stay within the appropriate ranges. Some newer apps for cell phones also allow you to get calorie and carbohydrate counts when on the go.
Once you begin to understand the principles of eating a well-rounded diet, you should be able to use these strategies with little thought and eat healthily to support controlling your diabetes.