- 1 Why Is A Diabetic Friendly Diet Important?
- 2 Diabetic Meal Planning
- 3 Food Options For Diabetic People
- 4 A Word From Mantra Care
Why Is A Diabetic Friendly Diet Important?
It is crucial to have a diabetic friendly diet plan in order to reduce the fasting blood sugar level, A1C, and weight. A proper diet with a low amount of carbohydrates and a high amount of fibre is beneficial for diabetic patients. Breakfast is important for diabetic people as they have high blood sugar levels in the morning. This occurs because the liver breaks down sugar overnight and the cells do not utilize them as they become insulin resistant during nighttime.
Due to the dawn phenomenon, the blood sugar of diabetic patients tends to rise up after breakfast then after lunch. This occurs because the sugar does not get utilized by the cells and it remains in the bloodstream resulting in carbohydrate cravings.
Having a diabetic friendly diet plan means eating healthy food in moderate amounts without compromising the essential nutrients and sticking to regular mealtimes. The diet plan helps you to keep the blood sugar level under control, manage your weight and control the heart disease risk factors.
Consumption of extra calories and fats can cause undesirable increases in your blood sugar level. If the blood sugar level is not kept in check then it can lead to serious problems like high blood glucose levels which if remain persistent can cause further complications in the heart, eyes, kidneys, and other Diet plans for diabetic people parts of the body.
The Benefit of A Diet Plan
Losing weight in a healthy manner and maintaining an active lifestyle make it easier to control the blood sugar level in the body. Making healthy choices and tracking eating habits can keep you in the safe range of blood sugar levels.
A diabetic friendly diet plan involves three meals in a day at a regular interval of time. This allows the body to use the insulin present in the body in an efficient manner.
A dietician may help you in providing the details regarding your diabetic friendly diet plan and may choose your portion size which would suit the need for your size and activity level.
Diabetic Meal Planning
A diabetic diet plan is your guide for what, when, and how much to eat in order to keep the blood sugar level under control while keeping you full with all the essential nutrients. A dietician will take care of your goals, tastes, lifestyle, and diabetic medicines if you are taking any. Your diet plan should contain healthy carbohydrates, fibre-rich foods, healthy fats, and heart-healthy fish.
Carbohydrates are a source of glucose that provides us with energy but when the food items we consume have added fats, sugars, and sodium along with carbohydrates then they can be harmful and can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar level. Focusing on healthy carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fat-free dairy products can keep your blood sugar level in control and would help you in providing ample amounts of energy.
Fibre when present in the diet they slow down the digestive process and absorption of various nutrients in the bloodstream. This in turn helps in the control of blood sugar levels and digestion of the food. Foods that have fibres in them and should be consumed by you are fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, peas, and whole grains.
Eating healthy fish twice a week helps in the control of diabetes. Fishes that can be included in the diet plan are mackerel, tuna, and sardines which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids decrease the risk of getting heart disease. Fish should not be fired as it will increase the number of fats in it making it an unhealthy option. Fats that are unsaturated should be consumed by the diabetic patient in order to have lower cholesterol levels. Saturated fatty acids are unhealthy.
Some of the methods by which diabetic diets can be planned are mentioned below.
Keeping track of the number of carbohydrates consumed and setting a limit for each meal can help you in controlling your blood sugar level. Counting carbohydrate amounts consumed by you is essential as the carbs are broken into smaller molecules of glucose and are absorbed by the blood for further energy generation.
If these glucose molecules remain unabsorbed by the cells then they cause an increase in the blood sugar level. Dieticians might help you in categorizing the carbs in the different meals and into appropriate portions.
There are also various applications available on the internet which can help you in assessing the count of the carbs consumed by you. You can also ask a dietician to help you count the carbs consumed by you.
In the plating method, you can visualize your plate and the amount of food that you would be consuming. This method ensures that you get enough non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, and a good amount of carbohydrates in one serving.
In this method, you need to fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables or green leafy vegetables, fill one-quarter of the plate with the lean protein food items and the other quarter of the plate needs to be filled with the food containing carbohydrate in them.
You can also add a small number of fats to your plate if you want to or you can skip it. Your drink should be a low-calorie unsweetened drink or just regular water which goes with your meal.
Portion size is the amount of food that you choose to eat in one serving. The portion size varies in various places especially in outdoor restaurants where the portion size can get quite big. So diabetic people may get tempted to eat more.
To avoid such conditions one can use a portion size method to keep in check the amount of food one eats. In this method, you use your hand to size out your servings.
A palm of the hand or 3 ounces of lean meat, an ounce or about the size of your thumb you can have fats or cheese, about a fist-size you can have medium-sized fruit, about a cupped hand you can have dry fruits and nuts, and about a tablespoon of carbs can be consumed by you. This method of using hands to count your portion size can be very helpful while eating out in restaurants.
In the Glycemic Index method, the amount of carbs present in the food and their direct effect on the blood glucose level is known and ranking of food products is done. Some people find it more comfortable to use this method.
Sample Diet Plan
Having fibre, lean proteins. Healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables in the diet would ensure you have a satisfying, nutrients filled meal that would keep your blood sugar level low. A sample menu for the day of a person who needs 1200 to 1600 calories a day is mentioned. You can take help from the diet plan and make your own depending upon your taste.
Breakfast: whole wheat bread + 2 tsp jelly + ½ cup cereal + a cup of fat-free milk + a piece of fruits along with unsweetened coffee.
Lunch: roasted or baked beef sandwich on the whole wheat bread + lettuce + low-fat cheese slice + a fruits and water
Dinner: fish baked or air fried + baked potato + ½ cup of carrots + ½ cup of beans + unsweetened beverage or low-fat milk
Food Options For Diabetic People
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are great options for people who have diabetes. They can be easily included in the diabetic diet plan due to the low amount of calories present in them as well as being packed with various vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
They can be consumed in fresh, frozen, dried, and canned forms. You need to avoid fresh fruit juices as they do not contain fibre and can give a spike in blood pressure easily. Fruits and vegetables are low-carb options that protect against heart disease and high blood pressure. You should at least eat five portions of fruits and vegetables in a day.
You can include sliced melon topped with unsweetened yoghurt along with berries and nuts for the first serving. For the second serving, you can have a mixture of carrots, peas, and green beans in your baked pasta. For the third serving, you can eat rice along with peas, spinach, or chicken.
You can try a wrap made up of mushrooms, cucumber, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, and lettuce for the fourth serving. You can have berries, plums, peaches, and watermelon as the low carbohydrate option.
Foods that contain starch are not useful for people who have diabetes and they should not be included in their diet plan. Starchy food increases the blood sugar level instantly and the condition stays for a longer period of time. Some food options which affect the blood glucose level on a lower level are whole grain food items including brown bread, rice, and whole-grain pasta.
They have a high amount of fibre present in them and keep the digestive system active and slows down the absorption of glucose. Such food items should be consumed daily. You can try out multigrain toast along with unsweetened and low-fat spreads, whole grain rice, pasta along with salads, baked sweet potato with toppings, or tortilla made from wholewheat which can be consumed along with vegetables.
Dairy Food Items
Dairy food items are essential for your body as they contain various sources of calcium and protein. These dairy items are often loaded with saturated fatty acids which are not good for the health of diabetic patients. Diary items that have low fat or no fat present can be included in the diabetic diet plan and can be used as dressings or toppings in salads and pasta.
Soy milk is good for diabetic people as it is unsweetened and has low fat. You can include unsweetened natural yoghurt, cottage cheese, skimmed milk along with breakfast cereals, cheese dressing on the salad, and lassi as beverages in your diabetic diet plan.
High animal protein can be obtained from fish and meat which will keep muscles and heart-healthy. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are good for the regulation of blood sugar levels in the body.
You don’t need fish and meat every day but a portion of fish each week would be sufficient in your diet. In your portions, you can include fish and meat along with green salad or can have it along boiled or scrambled eggs, chicken can be consumed in the form of stir-fried, roasted, and grilled form and you can also make fish cakes and include them in your diabetic diet plan.
Things To Remember
Following a proper diabetic diet plan can help in the healthy eating plan which would keep the blood glucose level under check and would also prevent any complications related to diabetes.
Diabetic people should also live an active lifestyle in order to diet plan to working efficiently. You also need to include food in your diet plan which would help you to lose weight as weight gain is also associated with the high blood sugar level.
A diabetic diet plan would also keep various other cardiovascular diseases at bay as the diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and cuts off all the saturated fatty acids products which cause heart diseases. A generous amount of fibre in the diet also helps in improving the digestive system and slows down the absorption of glucose in the blood which in turn helps in regulating the blood sugar level in the body.
It is important to have your diet plan made according to your needs and the type of medicines you are receiving under prescription. A dietician would assess your lifestyle and eating habits making the change into a stricter diet much easier. Straying from the prescribed diet plan can cause fluctuation in the blood sugar level and can further cause complications in the heart, eyes, and kidneys.
A Word From Mantra Care
If you are looking for more information on this topic or on Diabetes treatment, Online Therapy, Hypertension, PCOS treatment, Weight Loss, and Physiotherapy, please visit mantracare.org or feel free to reach out to us at +91-9711118331 or email at [email protected]. You can also download our free Android App or IOS app.
Here at Mantra Care, we have an incredibly skilled team of healthcare professionals and coaches who will be happy to answer any questions and provide further information so you know what’s best for your unique needs.