A diabetic diet plan can help you lose weight, control the symptoms of your diabetes, and possibly one day decrease or eliminate your need for medication to control your diabetes. If you suffer from Type 2 diabetes, or are pregnant and have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your physician may have recommended a 1200, 1500, or 1800 calorie diet to help manage your symptoms.
The Diet Overview
The 1200, 1500, or 1800 diabetic diet plan can help you lose weight in order to control the symptoms of diabetes by reducing and keeping track of your caloric and carbohydrate intake. The more weight you have to lose, the higher your daily calorie count will be to start.
You may start with the 1800 diabetic diet plan in order to consume the sufficient amount of calories necessary to support your body type, but as you lose weight and more steadily regulate your blood sugar levels, you may be asked to change to the 1500, and then the 1200 diabetic diet. Gestational diabetes will likely require 1800 calorie diets to help support your child’s growth.
Designing a Diabetic Menu
These three diet plans are virtually the same, differing only in the actual amount of calories you aim to consume each day. The most essential part of a successful diabetic diet plan is portion control. By no means should you avoid carbohydrates, as 50% of your daily calorie intake will come from carbohydrate sources like whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruits. The remainder of your daily calorie intake should come from 20% proteins and 30% fats.
Also, keep track of the effect the food will have on your blood sugar levels by taking note of a food’s glycemic index. The greater the glycemic index, the faster your blood sugar levels will rise, so look for foods with low glycemic index values.
You need carbohydrates in a diabetic diet, but you must count them carefully. Foods that are high in carbs include:
- Starches (noodles, beans, bread, cereals)
- Fruits, fruit juices
- Some vegetables (corn, potatoes)
- Sweets (candy, soda, cake, cookies, ice cream)
- Milk and dairy products
Proteins and fats that are acceptable for a 1200, 1500 or 1800 diabetic diet include:
- Lean meat
- Skinless poultry
- Green vegetables
Scheduling Diabetic Recipes Into Your Day
Your dining schedule is just as important as your diabetic menu in a successful diabetic diet plan. You must keep your energy up, and spread your food intake throughout the day to better manage your portions. You should therefore have 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day, all with a low glycemic index.
Will You Miss Foods?
The best part about a diet that’s heavy on portion control and counting calories, is that there are few foods you must avoid entirely, as long as you eat them in moderation. Seek out diabetic recipes, and you will find flavorful, hearty meals that fit within your dietary guidelines.
A 1200, 1500, or 1800 calorie diabetic diet, in combination with regular physical activity, has been proven to lead to weight loss, which in turn leads to better management of diabetes symptoms. It is a healthy and natural way to lose weight and improve your overall health.