Healthy Diabetes Diet Tips
Currently, there is no cure for Diabetes, although researchers are making strides in the field every day. However, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can be managed successfully by following a proper diet, getting regular exercise and, in some cases, using diabetes medication.
Treatment of diabetes almost always begins by following a diabetes diet designed to control blood glucose levels. Generally speaking, a healthy diet of a diabetic is a healthy diet for non-diabetics: 40 to 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 30% or less fat. Avoidance of excess consumption of sugar is also an important part of a diabetes diet. Diabetics don’t have to avoid sugar entirely, but need to incorporate it as part of a balanced diet, being careful not to add sugar to foods.
At each meal, diabetics can eat two to five carbohydrate servings, one protein serving and a small amount of fat. Following are general guidelines on what types of food to incorporate and types of food to avoid. A dietician or doctor can provide a balanced diabetes diet plan to follow.
Carbohydrates make up the balance of the diet, and include fruits, vegetables, dairy, beans, and starches (such as bread and rice). Reach for fresh fruit. Eat vegetables that are fresh, canned or frozen. Choose bread that’s high in fiber and low in sugar. Avoid canned fruit, dried fruit or fruit juices, all of which have excess sugar added.
Protein sources include meat, poultry, dairy products, fish, and beans. Eat more fish and chicken than red meat and reach for low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Avoid eating poultry skin and excess fat on cuts of meat.
Fat is necessary for the body, but should be used in moderation. Fat is in dairy and meat products, and the butter, margarine, and oils often added to food during cooking. Check with your healthcare provider about the number of fat grams you should be eating each day. Avoid fried foods, mayonnaise-based food, egg yolks, bacon and regular dairy products, choosing fat-free and low-fat dairy instead. Be sure to check low and fat-free dairy product labels to see how many carbohydrates they contain, and add those grams to your daily carbohydrate intake.
An important part of a diet for managing diabetes is controlling portion size. Be sure you are eating the right amounts of the right foods to maintain a healthy diabetes diet.
If a diabetes diet isn’t totally controlling blood sugar levels, a doctor may prescribe diabetes medication. Medication does not cure diabetes, but helps manage insulin levels.