The diet plan for a diabetic will depend on various factors including height, weight, age, sex, physical activities and the nature of diabetes one is suffering from. In addition, the dietician will assess the calories to be given and balances the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the diet. Since body cholesterol is directly associated with heart attack and diabetes, therefore, it is important to control cholesterol levels. A healthy diabetes diet should include foods low in cholesterol, specifically LDL levels, which is considered as the most cholesterol inducing risk factor. Besides lowering down LDL levels, raising HDL cholesterol helps lower down the risk of heart related problems.
In order to control the disease, a patient needs to understand what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. A balanced diet will help one feel good; help lose weight and lowers the risk of heart diseases. Balanced diet helps keep the blood glucose level in the target range.
It is always better to talk to the dietician or a doctor about how many meals and snacks to eat each day. However, how you eat and how much you eat depends on how much you exercise each day. Daily physical activity is one of the most important factors that help control your blood glucose level. Talk to the doctor about the kind of exercise you can follow. In addition, people who practice meditation feel more relaxed and cope with the disease effectively.
The diabetes Food Pyramid:
The diabetes food pyramid helps make wise food choices. The pyramid consists of starches at the bottom, fruits and vegetables just above the starch. The next level consists of milk, meat and meat substitutes. And at the top of the pyramid fats and sweets are there. The level has been divided on the basis of what they contain. Eat more at the bottom and less from the groups at the top.
Starches include bread, grains, starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes. They are rich sources of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fibers. The best way to eat starches is to eat few high-fat starches such as potato chips, French fries or biscuits. Eat more fat free popcorn and low fat muffins.
Vegetable diet is very effective in controlling diabetes. Though all vegetables are healthy but there are some vegetables that are specifically recommended for people suffering from diabetes. Groundnut, bitter gourd, combination of Soya, lettuce and tomato are very effective in controlling diabetes. Eat raw or cooked vegetables with little or no fat. Eat more green salads; low flame cooked vegetables, and seasonal vegetables. Green vegetables include lettuce, broccoli, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, and cabbage, etc.
It is absolutely a false notion that diabetics should not eat fruits. Well, diabetics can eat fiber-rich fruits. On addition, fruits are the best source of carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals and fibers. Some fruit sources include apples, grapefruit, bananas, mango, guava, papaya, and oranges, etc. For good results, eat raw or juice with no sugar added. Eat more raw and fiber rich fruits than fruit juices.
For pregnant women – four to five servings of milk each day could be beneficial. However, drink fat free or low fat milk. Eat low fat or fat free milk products. Yogurt is the best substitute for sour cream. Many people today eat milk products rich in sweets and fats, which is not a healthy habit.