The Importance Of Following And Maintaining A Diabetic Diet

A diabetic diet is a specially designed eating plan that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. People with diabetes don't need to go out and purchase special foods to maintain a diabetic diet, they can eat the same foods as the whole family. A healthy diet based on the diabetes food pyramid is beneficial to diabetics and non-diabetics alike.

Making healthy food choices is not so hard. All it takes is a little bit of planning to include all your favorite foods. But first, you need to understand the basics of a diabetic diet.

A diabetes diet or meal plan should be based on the specially designed diabetic food pyramid. The diabetes food pyramid groups foods based on their carbohydrate and protein content and not on how they classify as a food. Foods are divided into six groups, with fats, oils and sweets on the very top (so eat less of these) and bread, cereals, pasta and rice on the bottom (so eat more of these).

Breads, cereals and the like are foods that are high in carbohydrates. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests 6-11 servings per day. Sample servings are: 1 slice of bread; cup dry cereal or 1/3 cup of rice or pasta.

Vegetables should also be eaten in plenty as they are naturally low in fat and a high in fibre, not to mention vitamins and minerals. The ADA suggests eating 3-5 servings per day. A sample serving is 1 cup of vegetables (raw) or cup (cooked). Fruits are also recommended, so add about 2-4 servings, which translates to about 1 small fresh fruit or cup canned fruit. Eat a little less of meat and beware of foods like potato chips, candy, cookies, which have high levels of sugar and fat.

Your fat and sugar intake should be limited. The ADA suggests keeping servings very small (sample serving size is cup of ice cream or 2 small cookies) and to keep them for a special treat.

A quick Internet search for "Diabetes diet" or "Cooking for people with diabetes" brings up numerous dietary suggestions in the form of recipe books to buy and have at home or online diet recipes which you can print out and use. The ADA has a "Recipe of the Day" section with lots of great ideas targeted at those living with diabetes or friends of diabetics. As for books, the ADA recommends "Mr. Food's Quick and Easy Diabetic Cooking" and Nancy S. Hughes's " Quick & Easy Low-Carb Cooking for People with Diabetes".

The right plan will help diabetics improve blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and keep weight balanced. To complement your diet, add regular exercise to your lifestyle to help your body use glucose.

Dean Erickson. Journalist, and web site builder Dean Erickson lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of diabetes-diet-resources.info on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.

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