With a bewildering amount of information available for people with diabetes, making good food choices can be confusing. These choices are extremely important since some forms of the disease can be controlled completely by following the right diet. As with any diet, care must be taken to control fat as well as sugar.
There are some really wonderful food guides available to diabetic patients. These guides list the categories of foods that are most important in controlling blood sugar levels. They offer information on meeting all of the body’s nutritional needs while maintaining proper glucose control and controlling fat intake. Using a food guide when planning meals can make a difficult task much simpler to manage.
The first step in designing a diabetic diet is to make sure that portion size is controlled. Even if the right food choices are made, eating large meals that are spaced unevenly throughout the day can cause spikes in blood sugar. Eating small meals more frequently can lead to more even insulin levels in the body. Always begin the day by eating breakfast. This will allow the body to gain energy and keep blood sugar levels steady. Choosing a breakfast that includes steel-cut oats rather than instant oatmeal or whole grain bread rather than white bread will allow the best blood sugar results.
The Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Food Choices
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- The Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Food Choices
The key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is choosing the foods that do not cause a large change in blood sugar when consumed. Good choices are easy to make. Fruits and vegetables should be the largest portion of each meal. Although they do affect blood sugar levels, the sugar in fruits and vegetables is much healthier than that in sweets like candy or cookies. Protein is also important and should be limited to mostly lean meats and fish. Nuts and legumes are also a great way to add protein to a diet while keeping fat levels low. Replacing one sugary snack with nuts or fruits each day will reduce both caloric intake and sugar levels. Substituting canola oil or unsweetened applesauce in recipes that call for butter or shortening is also an excellent way to control fat without losing good taste.
Eating the right foods is also much easier if the foods are easily prepared. When purchasing fruits and vegetables, first cut them into snack-sized portions and store them where they are easily reached. Keeping nuts and seeds available for snacking will encourage healthy snacks rather than snacks that elevate blood sugar like crackers or cookies. Simple substitutions like broiling foods instead of frying, using avocado instead of cheese on sandwiches and trimming fat off of meat before cooking go a long way toward creating a diet that is both excellent for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and healthy weight.
With many cookbooks devoted entirely to diabetic diets, making meals that are delicious and flavorful without elevating insulin levels is easy. Spending a little time choosing the correct foods will make managing diabetes a simple task.