Are you newly diagnosed diabetic? Or, perhaps your loved one is? Diabetics require special diets, but it is not as difficult as you may think. Here are a few tips on how to plan diabetic meals.
Foods to Eat
Whether or not you are diabetic, eating healthy foods should be your focus when planning your meals. The purpose of a diabetic specific diet is to control your glucose level, control the risk factors for heart disease, and manage your weight.
Your blood glucose level rises when you eat too many calories and fat. Consequently, the emphasis is on fresh and low-fat foods.
The recommended types of food for diabetics are fiber-rich foods, healthy carbohydrates, heart-healthy fish, and good fats.
Foods to Avoid
Since diabetics need to be careful about heart disease, they should stay away from the “bad” fats. Saturated fats and trans fats are two things that need to be eliminated from a diabetic diet. This includes animal proteins that contain saturated fats like hot dogs and bacon. Diabetics also need to stay away from processed snacks and margarine.
How to Create your Meal Plan
Once you figure out what you can and can’t eat, it’s time to create your meal plan. There are different ways to do this.
The American Diabetes Association recommends the plate method. This meal plan focuses on more vegetable consumption. When you make your plate, visualize dividing it into sections. First, you fill half with non-starchy vegetables. Some examples of non-starchy veggies are tomatoes, spinach, and carrots. Next, fill one quarter each of protein and a whole-grain item.
Another way to plan your meals is to count carbohydrates. This type of meal planning is self-explanatory. Since carbohydrates break into glucose, and glucose levels are the primary focus of controlling diabetes, this plan focuses strictly on carb intake. A dietitian can educate you on how to do this correctly.
This is more of a brief overview of how to plan diabetic meals. However, the principle is simple to grasp. Just remember to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. And, watch your portion control.