A plan for a diabetic diet should be made up of a simple, healthful foods that help you control your blood sugar. Diabetics cannot properly use or make insulin, which leads to high sugar levels in the body. However, having diabetes does not mean that you have to eat special foods or create a complicated diet plan, but instead means you should eat a variety of foods in moderate amounts, and stick to a regular schedule for meals and snacks.
An straightforward first step in considering your diet as a diabetic is to understand healthful eating in general because this will help control your blood sugar as well as help with weight and blood pressure. The American Diabetes Association recommends a diet high in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, poultry and fish. Keep in mind that there is no one perfect food, so variety and portion size are key. It is also recommended to choose from each food group and pick foods rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber while limiting consumption of processed foods, such as those that are canned, frozen or boxed and contain high levels of additives and preservatives.
Diabetic Meal Plan
A diabetic meal plan will help you establish a routine that tells you how much and what kinds of food you can choose. The Mayo Clinic suggests you consult with a registered dietitian to help you tailor a plan to your individual needs. A dietitian can provide a guide to healthful food choices that help with weight loss and control overeating. Talk to your dietitian about how your diet can fit your schedule and eating habits while taking care to insure that your food is balanced with insulin and oral medications. Also, talk to your dietitian about using an exchange list. This allows you to monitor food categories such as starches, fruits, meats and meat substitutes, and fats, and "exchange" foods that have the same amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat and calories that affect your blood sugar. This can be helpful if you are counting carbohydrates to keep your intake consistent, or monitoring glycemic index to monitor foods that cause greater increases in blood sugar. Glycemic index is a method of measuring and ranking carbohydrates with respect to their effect on levels of blood glucose, and provides information so you can choose foods that only cause small fluctuations (see Resource 1).