Diet tips for diabetic patient

Woman cooking
Carbohydrates are your body's main energy source. During digestion, sugar (simple carbohydrates) & starch (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood sugar (glucose). If you consume too much carb-rich food at a time, your blood sugar levels may rise too high, which can be problematic. Monitoring your carbohydrate intake is the key to blood sugar control.

Carbohydrate Counting: It is the most accurate meal planning system for controlling blood sugar levels.This method allows you to choose any type of carbs, as long as the portion size you choose allows you stay within your goal.

In general, about half of your daily calories should come from carbs at each meal. Commonly recommended count is grams for women 30-45 gms (2-3 serving) of carbs per meal for women & 45-60 grams (3-4 servings) per meal for men. Both women & men should limit snacks to 15-30 gms (1-2 serving) of carbs.

Meal Spacing: It is important to space your meal & snacks evenly throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable. Eating at regular intervals will help to prevent your blood sugar levels from either going high or too low.

THE PLATE METHOD: This allows you to visually evaluate the carbs in your meal & the overall nutritional balance in five easy steps.
A) Start with 9 " plate. Take a ruler & Measure across your plate to make sure it is not too large.
B ) Pretend to divide your plate in half. Then again divide into two equal sections. Fill one half of the plate with nonstarchy vegetables, (cookesd or raw). Fill 1/4 of the plate with a serving of Protein. Fill the last fourth of the plate with carb-rich foods (1 carb serving = 15 gms) .
4) Add 1 cup (8 fl. oz=200 ml) of low fat milk or light yogurt to your meal (1 serving=15 gm carb).
5) Include healthy fats in your meal. Fats are an important part of a well balanced diet. Like protein , eating fats along with carbs can help curb hunger. Eat fats in moderation. Your total fat intake should make up no more than 30% of your calories daily-- that's about 60 gms of fat for someone who eats 1,800 calories each day.
Limit your saturated fat intake to no more than 7% of your daily calories - That is approximately 14 gms for an 1,800 calories diet. Avoid artery-clogging trans-fat as much as possible. Choose Heart-healthy Fats that are monosaturated (mufa - Coconut/olive/calola) and/or Polysaturated (pufa - nuts/seeds)
6) Consider adding a little PROTEIN to every meal & snack: They help slow down the rate at which carbs are digested & gives satiety feeling.
7) Fill up on fiber: Eating fiber-rich foods at meals & snacks can also help keep your blood sugars stabilized because it slows the rate at which carbs are digested. Dietary fiber comes from parts of plant foods that your body can't digest or absorb. Insoluble fiber (whote-wheat, nuts, vegetables) increases the movement of material through your digestive system. SOLUBLE FIBER (oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, psyllium) is more important for diabetes.
8) Take advantage of free foods: Certain foods do not tend to raise blood sugar levels & can be used to help FILL IN your meal plan with little worry about their blood sugar effects. Non-starchy foods: Asparagus, Beet, Beans, Broccoli, Celery, Cucumbers, Eggplants ( Brinjal ), Greens, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Tomatoes, Turnip, Zucchini.

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