Diabetic Diet Menu
Dieting for those who suffer with diabetes may be a challenging and complicated issue to handle, given the amount of unhealthy food choices that are available.
However, there are many dieting plans that can help diabetics control this disease while being satisfying, nutritious, and delicious. Since diabetics suffer from sugar management problems, it will be necessary to understand the role of carbohydrates and how they may affect blood-sugar levels when eating.
Carbs and Their Effect on Insulin
Carbohydrates in the body are relatively simple sugars that can raise sugar levels in the body. Depending on whether you are type-1 or type-2 diabetic, it will be necessary to learn how insulin is used to break down sugars.
According to Diabetes.WebMD.com, type-1 diabetics suffer from the inability to produce insulin to break down sugars into usable energy by cells.
Those who suffer with type-1 diabetes may need to take insulin in the form of a shot to help break down sugars so they can be converted to energy. Type-2 diabetics, more common amongst Americans, is when the body has too much sugar in the body to be moved into the cells.
This abundance of sugar in the blood will cause this chronic issue and is seen in symptoms ranging from blurry vision to fatigue and increased thirst. Type-2 diabetes has the ability to be more treated by diet when compared to type-1 diabetes.
Different Types of Diabetes
Understanding the difference between these two types of diabetes is crucial in determining a diet plan that can help maintain your sugar levels. Before beginning any meal plan for a diabetic, it is recommended that a trip to a board-certified physician be taken to determine a proper diet.
Once the ability to understand how foods cause changes in your blood-sugar has set in, diabetics can now lay out a game plan that will allow them to choose foods properly and use them to their full potential without causing themselves future harm.
One of the most controversial methods of dieting is the ketogenic diet. This diet promotes the idea of a high-fat, high-protein diet that virtually eliminates all need for carbohydrates. It should be noted that carbohydrates turn into sugars in the bloodstream and are counterproductive in controlling diabetes. The general idea of this diet is to send the body into ketosis and use fat and protein as a primary fuel source.
Once in ketosis, blood-sugar levels are maintained due to the fact there are very little carbohydrates in the bloodstream. As long as protein and fat intake is maintained, the body will not rely on the insulin to break down sugars since there are none available. If this is accomplished, the body can control diabetes with the utmost certainty without any need for insulin.
Diet meal plans typically include a lean protein that is combined with a leafy vegetable for fiber and minerals. For instance, a meal that consists of chicken and broccoli that have been cooked in virgin olive oil is a great way to provide the body with fuel while not relying on sugars to run cell functions.
Removing processed flour from a diet is also key to managing diabetes and will substantially affect your blood-sugar levels in a positive way. Fish is another food that is excellent to eat when on this particular diet. Fish should be grilled, boiled, or baked to get necessary omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Additionally, it is wise to stay away from fried fish or any types of breading that will throw your body out of ketosis.
For diabetics who wish to go on the ketogenic diet, it is recommended that glucose tablets be kept on hand in case of any sudden decreases in glucose levels. Glucose tablets are used by diabetics when sugar is depleted and energy needs to be replenished quickly. If a diabetic feels dizzy or weak during this diet, a physician may suggest to change your diet to one that includes more carbohydrates to prevent any future complications.
The South Beach Diet
Another diet that is available is the South Beach Diet which is used for those attempting to lose weight. However, the principles that are laid out can have positive effects on a person's health if they are suffering from diabetes. This diet is based on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet but emphasizes the use of good fats, as opposed to unhealthy ones.
Essentially, this diet tries to remove sugar from the diet and steers clear of foods such as bread, rice, starches, baked foods, and fruit. In addition, this diet requires that alcohol, wine, and beer be completely eliminated from the diet to have optimal results in controlling diabetes.
Other aspects of this diet include not eating pasta, cereals, beets, carrots, and corn. The reason behind this is to remove sugar-rich carbohydrates, in all forms, including those found secretly in 'healthy' vegetables and legumes. When followed, this diet is able to help sustain healthy blood-sugar levels in diabetics while providing them with much needed energy for exercise.
Exercise is another way that many diabetics can control their sugar levels. Aerobics, running, boxing, or basketball are all great forms of diabetes control that make good use of sugars that are present and are encouraged by the founders of the South Beach Diet. Exercise is important for diabetics since it is able to help control weight problems and effectively reduces sugar levels in the bloodstream. In addition, exercising can make a diabetic feel better which may encourage them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keeping them fit.
Whole Grain Diet
Other diet plans that can help curb diabetes include eating food that are high in whole grains. This type of diet may be easier for those who still wish to consume carbohydrates but would prefer to take them only if they are low on the glycemic index. Try to stick to germ or bran as the main type of whole grain when you are in the supermarket. Enriched wheat flour, for example, has white flour and will not offer the nutritional value of germ or bran.
In addition, these types of whole grains are able to offer chromium, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and folate to help build a strong body while providing carbohydrates that take longer to break down.
Millet, sorghum, buckwheat, wild rice, bulgar, quinoa, and barley are all excellent examples of grains that can be eaten in combination with a high-protein diet to control diabetes. Even though these grains do have carbohydrates, they provide a large amount of fiber to help satisfy the appetite. Eating less can help reduce the chances of binging which often is often the cause of an overabundance of food consumption.
Eating Nuts and Seeds to Control Diabetes
Nuts and seeds are excellent for those who wish to control their diabetes through their diet due to the fact that these foods are low on the glycemic index. Nuts are also able to provide magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber for a healthy diet. Good examples include walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews, and flax seeds.
Seeds and nuts are also high in protein and can be used to replace fatty meats. Seeds and nuts have monounsaturated fats that can help build a strong cardiovascular system while providing excellent nutrition for diabetics. In a diet that replaces carbohydrates with nuts, research shows that glucose levels can be improved for those who suffer with type-2 diabetes.
Nuts, including peanuts, have a high content of both mono and polyunsaturated oils and may offer multiple benefits for the metabolic system. By improving your metabolism, the chances of keeping blood-sugar levels at a safe level is maintained and will also provide your body with adequate energy for future use.
Foods That are Low on the Glycemic Index
Foods that are low on the glycemic index take longer to break down and can be used better by the body for energy production. Low-indexed foods include yogurt, grapefruit, porridge, bran, rye, rice, and milk. These products can help regulate your blood-sugar by preventing additional sugars from entering your diet. If dieters are able to keep high-glycemic foods from becoming a staple in their diet, the chances of controlling your diabetes will be increased.
Sweet potatoes, which are low on the glycemic index, are a valuable source of nutrients including beta carotene. These types of carbohydrates are taste great, are filling, and can be used to replace traditional potatoes in meals. Also, sweet potatoes are nutritious and will leave dieters satisfied by providing good starches that will not dramatically affect your blood-sugar levels.
These foods when eaten with lean proteins and leafy vegetables will help keep blood sugar levels down while still providing minerals, fiber, and carbohydrates. Spinach, Romaine lettuce, artichokes, peas, zucchinis, and celery are all low on the glycemic index and provide much needed vitamins for a healthy diet. By reducing the amount of high GI foods that are consumed, the body will not be overly stressed to create insulin. This, in turn, will allow for simpler management of type-1 or type-2 diabetes.
Eating Smaller Portions More Frequently To Control Diabetes
Another way to ensure that blood-sugar levels are kept in check is to monitor the amount of food consumed at one time. A method to controlling diabetes includes eating more frequently instead of the typical three meals a day. Smaller portions will give the body ample time to break down carbohydrates. For many diabetics, scheduled eating can change the way that this disease is managed and can also provide the positive benefits of not creating rapid changes in blood-sugar levels.
A study conducted by doctors and reported to the British Medical Journal states that eating multiple meals throughout the day can lower cholesterol and may help in controlling diabetes. Typically, anyone who follows this diet should attempt to eat up to six small meals through the day. Furthermore, this allows the body enough time to metabolize sugars with ease and gives diabetics the ability to rely less on insulin shots.
There is always need to understand how alcohol will affect people with diabetes. Alcohol is broken down by the liver and may cause complications since this organ is used to regulate blood-sugar levels. Excess alcohol in the stomach may cause a drop in blood-sugar. This sudden decrease in blood sugar levels is known as hypoglycemia and is often a problem for diabetics who wish to drink.
If patients must consume alcohol, it should only be drank moderately and during times where your blood-sugar levels are in control. In addition, alcohol should be consumed with food, especially protein, to prevent any sudden changes in blood-sugar levels. Avoid drinks that are heavier on sugars, such as wines or mixed drinks. Additionally, drinks that are mixed with water or club soda are the preferred drinks for anyone who has diabetes.
By controlling your diet, diabetics can find a reasonable means to handling diabetes. These dieting plans are a general guideline that should help direct you down a path that may improve your condition when combined with exercise. Once again, it is advised to consult with a doctor prior to setting a diet plan that will meet your personal requirements.