The diabetic diet is the cornerstone of diabetes management.An appropriate diet can help maintain optimal blood glucose levels and prevent a delay the long-term complications of diabetes.
Your carbohydrates, fats, protein mix is a key. To maintain healthy blood glucose levels, meals and snacks should be balanced to provide a mixture of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
CARBOHYDRATES: These are the basic currency of glucose. For most diabetics,carbohydrate-rich food such as vegetables, breads, cereals and pasta should account for 45 to 60 percent of their daily calories. Because the fiber content of these carbohydrates slows down the release of glucose, high fiber starches, such as barley, oat cereals, beans, peas and lentils help suppress any sharp increase in blood sugar levels after meals. Soluble fiber-the kind found in oatmeal,may help lower blood sugar levels.
PROTEIN: High-quality protein foods (lean meats, meat substitutes and lower fat diary foods) should supply 10 to 20 percent of daily calories.
FAT: People following the diabetic diet should consume less fat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as those found in vegetable oils, nuts, fish and avocados helps to stabilize blood-sugar levels.
EAT PLENTY OF: Regular meals and snacks to avoid fluctuations in blood-sugar levels. A balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat at each meal. Low-fat, high-fiber foods to achieve and maintain a normal weight.
LIMIT: “Empty calorie” foods such as sweets and snack foods, which can contribute to obesity. Saturated fats and foods made with hydrogenated fats. Here are some junk food substitution ideas.
KEEPING CONTROL: Diabetes does not demand special meals, just a healthy diet. Clockwise, from top, are pasta with vegetables, a baked potato topped with a vegetable medley, a poached salmon on whole grain bread.
REALITY: Contrary to popular belief, there is no need for people to with diabetes to cut out sugar entirely. An occasional sweet treat is fine.