Diabetes

Food Pyramid

Diabetes

Diabetes is something which thousands of people live with every day, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be managed, to some extent, by diet and lifestyle. You can take care of yourself, and manage your diabetes by following a few simple rules about:

  • how much to eat
  • what to eat
  • when to eat it

Once you’ve mastered that, you’ll find that you:

  • will lose excess weight
  • will feel better every day
  • will help not only your diabetes, but also reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease, stroke or any of the other diabetes related problems

When you suffer from diabetes, you need to make sure that you keep your blood sugar within your target range, and healthy eating can help you to achieve that naturally.

Diabetes Eating Schedule

For some diabetes sufferers, it is best if they follow a schedule for meals and snacks, with a little physical activity thrown in (it’s not all about food). In order to keep your blood sugar level within target, it may be necessary to eat little and often – work out a plan with your doctor and stick to it as closely as possible. Some medicines, however, allow a little more flexibility and the usual three meals per day is satisfactory.

Diabetes – What to Eat

It’s extremely important that everyone eats the correct balance of foods, but this is especially important if you suffer from diabetes.

  • Starches should be eaten at every meal so that you get enough carbohydrates - you know the sort of thing – pasta, bread, cereals, beans, rice, starchy veggies like potatoes. If possible eat wholegrain starches which are much better for you and provide you with more minerals, fiber and vitamins.
  • Vegetables are also a good source of minerals, fiber and vitamins, and you should aim to eat around three portions of vegetables every day. Eat a good variety of vegetables – broccoli, peppers, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, celery etc.  Eat them raw or steamed, and try to stick to fat free, or at least low fat dressings. You can pep up your salads with a little garlic, lemon juice, herbs and spices, but keep away from the mayo if possible.
  • Fruit is also an important part of the diet, especially if you suffer from diabetes. Try to eat at least a couple of pieces each day for another good supply of carbohydrate, minerals, fiber and vitamins. There are loads of delicious fruits to go at, so do eat a good variety – apples and bananas are wonderful, but don’t forget about peaches, watermelon, mango, papaya, dried and canned fruits too – it’s making my mouth water just to think about it.
  • Milk provides protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals and also, very importantly, calcium. Don’t forget to include milk or milk products (yogurt etc) in your daily diet.
  • Meat or Meat Substitutes should be eaten in small amounts. This includes all meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, cheese – these do provide protein, minerals and vitamins but should be eaten in moderation.
  • Sweets and Fats should also be eaten only in moderation, if at all. The problem is that they might taste good, but they are simply not as nutritious as the other foods, they are just loaded with calories, fats and carbohydrates. If you cut out foods from this group it will really help you to control your blood sugars and lose weight.
  • Alcohol really can cause all sorts of problems for people with diabetes. The problem is, alcoholic drinks have no nutritional value, but at the same time are absolutely loaded with calories. If you drink alcohol on an empty stomach it can play havoc with your blood sugars, sending them dangerously low, but raise the blood fats. Clarify what amounts of alcohol is safe for you to indulge in with your doctor.
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