What Are The Guidelines For Diabetes Diet?

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If you have been reported to have diabetes, don’t neglect it! Diabetes should be taken very seriously. Effective diabetic-management requires a healthy regular lifestyle which would include a regular balanced diet, regular exercise and sensible weight control.

The diet that any person with diabetes follows to help manage his or her blood sugar levels is based on the same nutrition principles that any healthy person, with or without diabetes, should follow for good health. When a person with diabetes sees a Registered Dietitian for nutrition counseling, the aim is to create a nutrition plan which will help the person manage his or her blood sugar levels while reducing the risk of heart disease and other diet-related conditions and maintaining a healthy weight, and at the same time meeting the person’s nutritional, lifestyle, social, and cultural needs.

What are the guidelines for diabetes diet?

Many experts recommend that 50 to 60 percent of daily calories come from carbohydrates, 12 to 20 percent from protein, and only 30 percent from fat.

Proper spacing of meals throughout the day, instead of eating heavy meals once or twice a day, would help a person avoid extremely high or low blood glucose levels.

People with diabetes have twice the risk of suffering from heart disease as those without diabetes, and high blood cholesterol levels raise the risk of heart disease. To avoid heart diseases, reduction in the intake of saturated fats and cholesterol is necessary. One must also favor unsaturated and monounsaturated fats which help lower blood cholesterol.

Meats and dairy products are major sources of saturated fats and should be avoided. Most vegetable oils are high in unsaturated fats, and are fine in limited amounts; Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat, the healthiest type of fat. Liver and other organ meats and egg yolks are quite high in cholesterol.

How to plan a diabetes diet?

You should plan your diabetes diet by consulting a doctor or a nutritionist.

Exchange lists are handy while planning a diabetes diet. These place foods with similar nutrients and calories into groups. With the help of a doc or a nutritionist, you could plan the number of servings from each exchange list that should be eaten throughout the day. Diets made using exchange lists offer more choices than preprinted diets. More information on exchange lists is available from nutritionists or from any Diabetes Association.

Can I use a diabetic diet planned for somebody else?

One “diabetes diet” does not fit all. In fact I would say any food can fit into the diet of someone with diabetes, with the help and guidance of a Registered Dietitian. Managing blood glucose levels does not mean giving up on favorite foods, sweets, or restaurants and fast foods. Each person with diabetes has different nutritional and personal needs and so making ongoing assessment and counseling with a Registered Dietitian becomes essential for successful diabetes management.


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