Diabetic Diets - What to Eat and What to Avoid
The great thing about the diabetic's diet is that there is no diet!Diabetics can eat the same things as anyone else, provided everyone is consuming a healthy, well balanced diet.The key to any "diet" is to consume moderate portions of a well balanced meal.Here is some advice to forming a healthy meal plan.
The Food Pyramid
The new FDA food pyramid includes six categories for a balanced diet.These categories include fruits, vegetables, milks, oils, meat and beans and whole grains.Everything the food pyramid recommends doing for the average person is good for the diabetic as well.The focus of the pyramid is on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, lean meats, few oils and low fat dairy.
What To Eat
The fruit category includes all fresh fruits, whole fruit juices (not those from concentrate), dried fruits and canned fruits.When consuming canned fruits, if possible choose the light or sugar free versions.We all know eating plenty of fruits has numerous health benefits, and fruit is good too!It's got plenty of fiber which can improve blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.Fruit is also low in fat, sodium, calories and has absolutely no cholesterol.
Vegetables are almost the easiest category to consume.They can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or cooked.There are five subcategories of vegetables: dark green (spinach, watercress), orange (oranges, squash, carrots), beans and peas (kidney, lentils, tofu), starchy (potatoes, corn), and other (eggplant, asparagus, onions).Just as with fruit, vegetables are low in fat, sodium and calories, and have no cholesterol.Plus, the added benefit of fiber to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Grains include wheat, barley, oats, cornmeal and rice and can be refined or whole.The process of refining makes the grain finer, but also removes much of the fiber, iron and vitamins.Refined grains include white flour, white rice, white pasta, etc.Whole grains include wild or brown rice, whole wheat flour, barley, oats and cornmeal.It's recommended that diabetics limit their intake of refined grains and focus on the whole grains.So instead of white pasta noodles, try using a whole wheat noodle.
Foods To Avoid
There are good carbs and bad carbs.Consult the Glycemic Index for further information, but a good rule of thumb is to avoid refined grains and focus on whole grains.White breads, rice and pastas increase your blood sugar, while whole grains have fiber and can lower blood sugar levels.
Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate.Keep in mind that it's fine to consume small amounts of sugar, just be sure to limit yourself in what you eat.Read labels, and be sure that if you eat sugar, you subtract those carbohydrates from elsewhere in your diet.Artificial sweeteners have carbohydrates too, so check those labels as well.
Diabetics have a higher risk for heart disease, so it's important to limit the amount and type of fats they eat.Work to consume healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, nuts and avocados, which work to remove bad cholesterol from your system.Limit saturated fats found in fatty meats and full fat dairy products.
Alcohol has almost as many calories as far, and is processed similarly.If you drink, drink in moderation and be sure to drink plenty of water as well.Be sure to check your blood sugar levels frequently.