Finding the right nutrition approach for those living with diabetes can be incredibly challenging, especially with the knowledge that people who are diabetic will often have different reactions to particular foods then other diabetics.
For the uninitiated, when someone is diabetic, they are unable to produce or correctly use insulin throughout their body, which is the hormone that is responsible for changing sugar, starches and other food into energy.
This is why it is literally a matter of life and death that a diabetic diet is properly followed.
One of the main goals for a diabetic diet is to lower your weight and maintain it. In addition, the diet is designed to help maintain regular glucose levels in your body. Since diabetes prevents your body from processing glucose the way it should, a diabetic diet has to, to some extent, perform that maintenance. Also, the hope is that a diabetic diet will also help you to keep your blood pressure under control.
The benefits and assistance to your body from the diabetic diet will depend on what type of diabetes you are trying to treat. Each type has its own challenges and level of restriction on the diet. The important thing to remember, though, is that studies show the effectiveness of a diabetic diet is dependent, not so much on the diet itself, but on how well the patient follows the diet.
Overall, there is no official diabetic diet to follow and it really depends on the individual diabetic. However, there is a fairly well-defined list of food items that you should avoid. Anything that contains a lot of cheese, butter, oil or mayonnaises should be avoided on diabetic diets. If you must taste these foods during your meal, you should order them to arrive as a side item.
Other foods that can stray from diabetic diets include those that are prepared with sweet and sour sauce, as well as teriyaki and barbeque. They contain high amounts of sugar and carbohydrates that should be avoided while on a diabetic diet.
Some general guidelines on how a diabetic can stay healthy for many years to come:
• Count the number of calories from fat as being 30% less than the total number of calories eaten throughout one day.
• Include foods that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol, such as skinless poultry, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
• When possible, stay away from red meats, eggs, as well as whole-milk dairy products.
• Make sure that the dairy in your life comes from low-fat or fat-free selections.
10-20% of your daily calories on a diabetic diet should come from proteins in foods, such as lean meat, fish, and low-fat dairy products. The rest of a diabetic diet should consist of carbohydrates coming from whole grains, beans, as well as fresh vegetables and fruit.