A diabetic diet is essentially a special diet which is used by individuals with diabetes to minimize the harmful consequences and symptoms of prolonged high blood glucose elevations. It is used as a weight loss tool. Diabetes is a disease which affects the body’s ability to produce insulin, a hormone required for proper glucose utilization. Insulin production normally runs at very low levels. High blood glucose causes fat cells in the body to release more insulin, which leads to excess fat being deposited on the body and subsequent weight gain. High blood glucose levels are usually caused by eating too much carbohydrates rich in sugars and starch.
A diabetes dietitian would suggest and prescribe specific menus for an individual suffering from diabetes. The meals should contain enough food so that the person does not feel hungry. These menus should also be able to help control weight gain, maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, and allow for regular and consistent eating habits. Diabetic diets should be flexible and allow an individual to eat meals daily.
To ensure a safe and effective diabetes diet, a consultation with a dietitian is required. This person is knowledgeable in the diabetic condition and its various treatments. They are also aware of what foods are easily digested by the body and those which need to be avoided at all costs. The diabetes dietitian will also assist the patient in creating meal plans, which will ensure optimal intake of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Most importantly they will make sure that the right amount of water is consumed.
It is important to understand that a successful diabetes diet needs to incorporate healthy-eating plans. A well balanced healthy-eating plan will include an intake of a variety of carbohydrates, proteins, essential fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. The dietitian may suggest a healthy-eating plan for a patient that has a high blood pressure or other kidney problems. In such instances, it will be necessary to include certain foods that are detrimental to these specific conditions. A meal planning schedule should be developed in conjunction with a blood sugar level test.
A healthy-eating plan is only as good as the frequency in which it is followed. It is recommended that a diabetic finds at least one to two meals a day, consisting of five to six small meals. Snacks may be allowed three to four times a day, with an increase in size. It is important to avoid sugar in the form of candies, soft drinks and candy bars. These types of foods should be eaten in moderation and combined with healthy foods, which provide the body with essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
All carbohydrates should be broken down into simple sugars, complex carbohydrates and fats. It is important to avoid any processed carbohydrate, such as white bread, rice and pasta, as these products contain a high amount of refined sugars, which raises blood glucose levels. As a result, a healthy-eating plan should include a variety of whole grain foods and limit the intake of white flour.
When following a diabetes-diet, it is important to eat several small portions throughout the day. This allows the body time to settle into a stable blood glucose level. The consumption of large amounts of refined carbohydrates can cause spikes in blood glucose levels that lead to excessive amounts of hunger. For instance, when on a sugar-free diet, it is best to eat several grapefruits. This gives the body the balance it needs to maintain the correct level of blood glucose.
One important thing to remember is to never completely cut back on your daily servings of carbohydrates. A healthy-eating plan should include an increase in the daily intake of vegetables and fruits, which contain a wide range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is also important to avoid added sugars, as they can cause spikes in blood glucose levels. Finally, it is important to drink plenty of water to help keep your body well-hydrated.