Healthy Diabetes Diet Tips
Even though there is no formal “diabetes diet”, doctors do recommend that patients with diabetes learn how to keep their blood sugar levels under control by eating certain types of food. Eating foods that have a low glycemic index can help to prevent blood sugar highs and lows that can be very dangerous to those with diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you need to make sure you are eating the right balance of healthy carbohydrates, fats and protein every day, and are also maintaining a regular exercise schedule.
Learn more about the basics of nutrition by talking to a nutrition counselor in your area. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, a professional nutritionist or dietician can help you create a meal plan that will help you stay healthy and help you gain more control of your blood sugar levels.
Low Glycemic Foods for Diabetic Patients
Many diabetic patients follow a low-glycemic diet or low GI diet. Foods that are low on the glycemic index have a minimal impact – if any – on blood sugar levels so they are often considered to be “safe” foods for diabetics. High glycemic index foods such as white bread, low-fiber cereals, pasta, white rice and most baked goods are linked to a number of health problems and may be one of the leading causes of obesity.
Low glycemic index foods that are suitable for diabetic patients include:
- Low-sugar fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Whole grains
- Minimally processed grains
Some packaged foods do list their glycemic index, so look for foods that have a glycemic index level of 55 or less to keep your blood sugar level under control. If you have no choice but to eat a high-glycemic index food, there are some ways to offset the blood sugar high. You can eat a high-protein food to slow down absorption of the “bad” carbohydrate and eat other foods at the same time so that the body doesn’t process the food too quickly.
Eating Sugar on the Diabetes Diet
Many people who are diagnosed with diabetes fear that they have to eliminate all types of sugar from their diet. Sugar is just another type of carbohydrate and there are substitutes available. Table sugar can create a blood sugar imbalance but sugar substitutes can help to prevent a “sugar high”. If you are diabetic, you will need to check your blood sugar levels after eating different types of sugary foods and adjust your insulin accordingly. It’s also important to remember that starch has a similar effect on the body as sugar, so you will need to steer clear of high-starch foods such as potatoes, peas and corn.
If you do have a sweet tooth, try sugar-free candy and chocolate to keep your blood sugar levels under control. You can also use sugar substitutes such as Stevia, an all-natural sweetener or Splenda, which is derived from real sugar, to manage your blood sugar levels.
Eating a well-balanced diet that contains a lot of foods with a low glycemic index is important for diabetic patients. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, get in touch with a nutritionist in your area to create a custom meal plan that meets your needs.