A Dietary Overhaul for DiabeticsBy: By: Mike Herman
Nutrition plays a big role in the in all of our lives, especially if your a diabetic. When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they have to often need to overhaul many of the basic activities in their life.
When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they have to at many of the basic activities in their life. If a doctor confirms a diabetes affliction, they often mention the need for dietary changes. While there is no one set-in-stone plan for a diabetes diet, there are definitely some guidelines that can set you on the right path towards healthy eating.
The food pyramid is a useful tool when deciding exactly what your body needs, and it can be good to follow when diabetic. However, a person with diabetes needs to watch the levels of carbohydrates that they consume. To help to keep blood sugar levels stable, it can be very helpful to try to eat the same types of foods at the same times of the day throughout the week.
There have been claims of type 2 diabetes being cured by diet alone although the diabetic associations are adamant that no cure for diabetes exists.
Maintaining the blood glucose levels can be done with the correct foods eaten in the right amounts. Our bodies need carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to convert to fuel. But in what forms and in what amounts?
Recently guidelines were released that recommend 40 percent of our total daily calories should come from calories obtained from fresh vegetables, fruits, and beans. If you are trying to count calories and using that method of either weight control, or glucose level control, be sure you are eating enough vegetables to give you the proper amount of vitamins and minerals you need.
Protein is needed for fuel energy, however most of us eat more than we need. When choosing protein, we need to choose lean meats, chicken, fish, and lean beef products. We should also avoid cooking these meats in a high fat method. Broiling, grilling, and roasting, even stir frying can make a tasty meal but also be low in fats. If you have kidney problems, you should watch your protein intake even closer.
Our bodies do need some fat because it helps protect our inner organs, has a concentrated source of energy, helps to regulate body temperature, and is important in healing pain and inflammation. Fats also help us absorb fat-soluble Vitamins such as A, D, and E.
However we do need to be careful about which fats we consume. Saturated fats should be less than seven percent of your caloric intake each day. Looking at food labels is a good habit to start. Many foods now proudly display the fact they have zero transfats. You should try to include in your diet fish products such as sardines or salmon as well as using vegetable oils to make sure you are getting enough of the essential fats.
Carbohydrates are an essential part of our diet. As with fats, there are two different types of carbohydrates. Which carbohydrate you are consuming is important in controlling your blood sugar levels. Counting carbs is easy to do; every package you pick up will have the carbohydrates included in each serving. Good nutrition is choosing complex carbohydrates instead of the simple carbs. Most simple carb foods are sugar related. Carbs can be good for you if they are complex. That means it will take longer for the carbs to be processed. Simple carbohydrates, which most sweets are made of, are processed right away for fuel. Sugar substitutes can be used if the FDA has approved them. A new sugar substitute that is widely used and enjoyed is Splenda. You can use it to bake with, and it is equal teaspoon to teaspoon to sugar. It's all right to eat a little sugar as long as you are testing to be sure your glucose level under control.
Having soluble fibers in your diet can be of great assistance to your body when you have diabetes. Soluble fibers can be found in many fruits and vegetables. These nutrients help to slow down the absorption of glucose in the intestine, which can help to keep blood sugar levels from getting too high and causing a hyperglycemic reaction. One great source of soluble fiber is the kidney bean. When cooked, these beans have one of the highest levels of soluble fiber found in foods. While soluble fibers can be quite helpful towards diabetic issues, insoluble fibers such as bran and whole grains can be helpful as well. Insoluble fibers help to keep the intestinal tract clean, and this can help you by assuring that glucose isn't just waiting around to be absorbed.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends several tips to maintaining a healthy blood sugar level while adhering to a healthy diet. One recommendation that is made is to consume a good amount of starch. Starches such as cereal, bread, and certain types of vegetables should be consumed at the rate of at least six servings per day. In addition to the commonly known starches, black beans, garbanzo beans, and corn are sources of starch that can compliment a meal while giving you your required nutrients. The ADA also recommends that you adhere to the five-a-day plan, eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. One of the more obvious tips offered by the ADA is to use sugars sparingly. To locate a dietitian in your area, the American Association of Diabetes Educators offers a phone number to assist you. By calling 1-800-342-2382, you can quickly and easily find someone who can help you with your diet with regards to diabetes.
Helpful Tips for Your Diet
• Certain ice creams can cure diabetes. They do so by their "insulin generative powers and with fairy dust from pixies".
Well .... technically speaking ice cream is not a diabetes cure. It can't do that. But it can help!
Low fat ice creams and other dairy products like skimmed milk, cheese, whole milk and so on has been proven in a medical study of 41,000 American men to lower the risk of developing diabetes by 9 percent per daily serving.
Fats and refined carbohydrates like sugar are bad news for the glucose levels of diabetes sufferers, but with careful monitoring of the food labels, you can find dairy products that are suitable for diabetics. If you haven't got diabetes and you want to reduce your risk for developing diabetes, dairy products, including ice cream of the low fat variety, have been proven critical in the prevention of diabetes. And in some sense I guess you could say that's a cure. Now where is that Ben & Jerry super-size tub?
• Always carry an apple or some grapes with you. It is one of the quickest ways to get a natural sugar fix if you begin to feel as if your blood sugar levels are dropping too low.
• Candy bars or soft drinks will restore you rapidly as well but if you are diet managing your diabetes then those foods could send you over the edge in the other direction.
• Drinking plenty of water, with a diet high in fiber and low fats are necessary for a healthy diet.
Refined sugar should be cut out if possible, if not, cut out as much as possible. Watch your fat intake also. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and low fat proteins.
• Watch your carbohydrate and sugar intake are especially important if you have a history of diabetes in your family.
Not all carbohydrates are bad for you, but you should cut out the refined carbohydrates such as sugars and fats. Eating balanced and regular meals will help in keeping a healthy weight.
You may find by eating three regular meals a day, and small nutritional snacks in-between meals, you will feel fuller, and will help overcome the urge to binge on sweet treats.
• Controlling your weight is one of the first steps in controlling diabetes. Watching your dietary intake, losing weight if you are overweight, and reading the labels of the packages you buy at the grocery store will help you delay the onset of diabetes.
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