Monday, 16 August 2010

The Right Diet for Diabetes

At one time the school of thought was that a person who has diabetes ought to follow a specific diet, but with developments into the treatment of diabetes we have discovered that a diabetic can more or less eat the same as a non-diabetic except for one crucial food group; I refer to the food group carbohydrates. Rather than follow a specific diet a diabetic should follow certain guidelines and consume the right diet for diabetes in order to obtain better control.

Foods full of color – Choose fruits and vegetables that have deep colors of reds, yellows, oranges, blues, purples and green. Research has shown that colourful fruit and vegetables contain essential nutrients, powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber, which promote good health and gives you a sense of well being.

Add any of the following to your daily diet and you should see a marked improvement in control of your diabetes: Tomatoes, red apples, red and pink grapefruit, papaya, strawberries, guava, kale, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, brussel sprouts, pears, oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, pineapple, blueberries, blackberries, aubergines.

Wholegrain Fiber – Aim for 30 grams of fiber daily. Choose whole-grain products and high-fiber fruits and vegetables.

Get The Right Balance - It's not just what you eat but how much you eat that counts. If you're more of a sedentary person you will require fewer calories than a person who is more active. The general rule is that sedentary people require 10 calories per pound per day; therefore a 150 pound person would need to consume about 1500 calories, whereas an active person might require 15-20 calories per pound per day.

Diabetics should consume food like horses – Why? Because horses need to eat and drink regularly throughout the day, and that's exactly how a diabetic should eat. Consuming small regular meals throughout the day helps to maintain blood sugar levels thus avoiding swings of highs and low. Unfortunately due to our fast paced lifestyles we tend to eat more like camels, an animal that can survive all day without eating or drinking.

We tend to skip breakfast, and frequently lunch as well, surviving throughout the day on copious cups of coffee ending with a full on binge because you’re so hungry. Word of Warning This type of eating is dangerous for a person with diabetes. A diabetic should eat regularly scheduled meals throughout the day and not go for more than four hours without food. Following this guideline ensures that you will have good blood sugar control.
Cut The Carbs – Although carbohydrates are necessary for fuel, so far as diabetics are concerned they have to be managed carefully because they raise blood glucose. So when you're planning your meals you should ensure the carbohydrate content is made up of low GI Carbs (glycemic index) as these type of carbs do not raise blood sugar levels quickly.

Use the following menu as a guideline:
Breakfast: Bowl of All-Bran and low fat milk, topped with fresh strawberries

Snack: 1 Red apple and 5 almonds

Lunch: Large mixed salad tossed in vinaigrette and topped with chicken breast

Snack: 1 pot of low fat yogurt and a handful of cherries

Dinner: Wrap a salmon fillet dressed with herbs, tomato, and onion in foil and bake. Serve with a medley of stir-fry colourful vegetables.

Lean Proteins – Unlike carbohydrates studies have shown that protein does not have the same effect on blood glucose levels. It serves as a blood sugar stabilizer, and when eaten with other foods it would prevent blood sugar levels rising too high or going to low. It is recommended that the main part of your meal should consist of chicken (skin removed), fish, lean cuts of beef, lamb and pork.

Therefore the right diet for diabetes is one that contains colourful fruits and vegetables, wholegrain products, lean proteins, small amounts of carbohydrates the right quantity of calories and meals eaten at regular intervals, say every 3 hours.


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