Smart Dietary Choices for Diabetes
Finding out that you have diabetes means you need to make serious changes in your diet. There isn’t one certain diet for everyone with diabetes to follow; it’s more specific to each individual.
But there are some guidelines that everyone with diabetes can follow in order to make smart dietary choices for their individual needs.
First you have to have a good understanding of what diabetes is. This way you’ll know why it’s so important to follow a special diet. Most of the food we eat is turned into sugar that our bodies use for energy. Another common name for this sugar is glucose.
Your pancreas makes a hormone (insulin), which helps get the glucose into the cells of your body. People with diabetes don’t have enough insulin or aren’t able to use the insulin in their body.
Since the insulin isn’t working properly it can’t use up the sugar and the sugar builds up in your blood, causing your blood glucose levels to be higher than what they should be.
Along with a healthy diet, physical activity, blood testing, and/or insulin injections are treatments for diabetes. Starting to eat a healthy diet is the first step toward feeling better and taking care of your body. Eating an alternate diet will help with the symptoms of diabetes and help reduce health complications that are associated with diabetes. These symptoms include: heart disease, blindness, lower-extremity amputations, and kidney failure.
So what guidelines should you follow? The American Diabetes Association recommends getting 50-60% of your daily calories from carbohydrates, 12-20% from protein, and less than 30% from fat. Following the food guide pyramid is a great place to find ideas.
Just as the pyramid shows you should save junk food for a special treat or don’t go near it. It doesn’t do anything good for your management of diabetes.
Smart choices for those with diabetes include:
peas, beans, lotus stem, apples, pears, peaches, whole wheat cereals, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, soups, and buttermilk.
A lot of people can also drink coffee and tea as long as no sugar is added.
Along with the foods you can be free to enjoy there are foods that you should stay away from. These foods include: grapes, bananas, fried foods, dry fruits, cakes, pastries, potatoes, yam, and salad oils.
It may be a new concept for you to start counting calories, fat grams, and monitor your amounts of sugar intake but it’s necessary; your health depends on it. The great thing is that there is such a variety of foods that there’s no problem finding what you need.
And just because you have to cut certain things out of your diet doesn’t mean that you no longer get to enjoy food. There are plenty of alternative tasty foods that will meet the criteria for your individual dietary needs.
Your doctor will be able to give you resources that will aid you in deciding what would best fit your needs.
Just as important as what you eat is when you eat it. When you have diabetes it’s important to spread your meals out throughout the day.
Don’t heat infrequent heavy meals but eat smaller meals more frequently. This will help you to avoid having extremely low or high blood glucose levels.
Paying special attention to the foods you eat and monitoring your intake is not just important for keeping your blood sugar levels down but also for your weight management.
Because people are at risk for so many health problems weight management is just as important as dietary guidelines.
Be sure to consult a doctor before starting any special diet as they will be able to tell you exactly what you need.