Have you heard of diets for diabetics? They are based on something as simple as choosing healthy foods. A balanced diet in which carbohydrates, lipids and proteins are consumed so that your levels of glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure are optimal. Nutrition and health go hand in hand. If you eat healthy, exercise and maintain a normal weight, you can avoid diabetes. Although genetics is another factor that can make you suffer. Diabetic diets are designed to help you decide how much (portion sizes), what foods (fruits, cereals, etc.) you can eat at each meal time and snacks, and when to eat them.
Why an Adequate Diet for Diabetics?
First you should know that there is no “diet for diabetics” as such. Actually, what you should do is feed yourself with a healthy and balanced diet that allows you to eat from the whole range of foods but making a wise choice of healthy foods at the appropriate time.
A Healthy Eating Plan is Needed to:
- Control the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
- Control the level of cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Control blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy weight or reduce it if necessary.
- Reduce the risk of health problems.
- Prepare recipes for healthy and appetizing diabetics for day to day
Factors to Choose a Healthy Eating Plan:
A nutritionist is right to develop a plan that is right for you. According to the following variables:
- Age, sex and height
- Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Current cholesterol and triglyceride level
- Current blood pressure level
- Current physical activity level
- Amount and type of medications you are taking
Can You Eat Sugar?
It is not as recommended, but it all depends on the amount of carbohydrates in food and if it is part of a healthy diet. If for breakfast you can consume 30 grams of carbohydrates and choose to eat some cookies, this will not represent an increase in glucose level greater than desired. However, you should take into account the nutrient content of that food that will usually be a low nutritional value but a high caloric level. Keep an eye out!!!
1 tablespoon of sugar = 4 grams of carbohydrates
½ cup potatoes = 15 grams of carbohydrates
Which of them will have the greatest impact on the glucose level? Exact: Potatoes
It is best not to consume sugary foods in diabetic diets as they can induce you to eat more.
“On the other hand, many of these foods contain a lot of fat making them a bad choice of nutritious foods”.
A big problem in patients is that the diabetic diet should be based on different aspects such as age, sex, work, height, weight and physical activity that is performed on a daily basis. It can be difficult to consider all these elements. The best way to handle the situation is to talk with your nutritionist, to develop a proper diet. This will help you a lot, since it will eliminate the different complications that may appear. However, in case you do not want to use the services of this type of a professional, you should think about the possibility of creating and planning a diet for yourself. Information is the key in this scenario since you have to take everything into account and do the math.
Can you Drink Alcohol If You Have Diabetes?
Alcohol gives you “empty calories.” Alcoholic drinks give you calories without any nutritional value. If you are trying to lose weight, it is not a good choice. If you decide to drink, choose the options with less calories and accompany them with food. In diabetic diets, if the doctor allows it, you can drink 2 alcoholic drinks a day. One drink refers to 12 oz of beer (preferable light), 1 glass of wine (4 oz) or 1.5 oz of a distilled beverage such as whiskey, vodka or gin. Some drinks contain a higher amount of carbohydrates; consume them occasionally because they can increase the level of sugar too much. Take this guide into account:
Does Portion Size Matter in Diabetic Meals?
In diabetic diets you should consume a variety of foods that promote health. The main objectives of these diets is portion control and increase the consumption of healthy foods.
One way to do this is to visualize your plate of food as follows:
- Draw an imaginary line in the middle of the plate. On one side, divide it again, so that you have 3 sections on the plate.
- Fill the larger section with non-starchy vegetables such as: spinach, carrot, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, onion, cucumber and mushrooms.
- In one of the small sections place starchy foods such as whole grain breads, whole grains, rice, pasta, tortillas, cooked cereal like oatmeal, beans, peas, potatoes, fat free popcorn.
- In the other small section place the protein as: skinless chicken, fish such as salmon or tuna, seafood such as shrimp, oysters, clams and mussels, lean cuts of beef such as sirloin, egg, tofu or low-fat cheese.
- Add an 8z glass with low fat milk. If you don’t like milk, add a small portion of carbohydrates such as a 6 oz container of light yogurt.
- Add 1 piece of fruit or ½ cup of fruit salad. It can be fresh, frozen or canned in juice.
Dietary Components to Control and Lower Sugar:
Compared to fats and proteins, they have the greatest impact on the level of blood sugar. With the exception of dietary fiber, which is not digestible, carbohydrates are broken down by the body into glucose. They should provide 45-65% of total calories per day. Suitable sources are vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. These foods are rich in fiber. It is recommended to consume a minimum of 28-30 gr of fiber daily. Simple carbohydrates or sugars add calories, raise glucose levels quickly and provide little or no nutrients. You should read the nutrition label to avoid consuming products with more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Avoid added sugars as in the case of drinks. Try to consume fruits with low fructose content such as grape, strawberry, peach and pear.
Fats are essential for the functioning of the body. They can have benign or harmful effects on health. Total fat from all sources should be 25-25% of total daily calories. All fats (good or bad) are high in calories compared to carbohydrates and proteins. Monounsaturated fats (olive, canola, walnut, avocado) and omega 3 fatty acids (fish, flaxseed, walnuts) should be the first option. Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (soy, corn and sunflower oils, nuts) should be the second option and represent 5-10% of the calories from fat. You should limit saturated fats to less than 7% of total calories. Limit trans fat to less than 1% of total calories.
They must provide 12-20% of total daily calories, although it depends on the person’s health status (people with kidney failure should be less than 10% of calories). Those from fish, chicken or turkey without skin, low-fat or low-fat dairy, soy and legumes are considered good sources. These are better choices than red meat (consume them lean) for diabetics.
If it is advisable for anyone to restrict salt intake, diabetics should reduce sodium intake to less than 1500 mg daily. One way is to avoid or limit the consumption of processed foods, eliminate salt from the table and when cooking.
Food Pyramid for Diabetes:
It is very similar to the traditional food pyramid. This pyramid classifies foods based on their carbohydrate content. This way, it is easier to identify foods that contain these nutrients and recognize those that will have the greatest effect on blood glucose. Food portions are adjusted to match approximately 15 g of carbohydrates. In this way you can plan diets for diabetics based on their nutrient content.