How to start a diabetic diet? A diabetic diet involves eating the most nutritious foods to prevent the development of diabetes-related complications. It comprises fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are high in essential nutrients and low in calories and fat. Its primary goals are to help control blood sugar levels, lose weight, improve blood glucose management, and prevent cardiovascular complications like hypertension or high blood pressure.
What is the purpose of having a healthy-eating plan? When you consume excess fat and calories, the body experiences an abnormal spike in blood sugar. If this is not monitored, it can cause severe medical concerns. Its long-term complications include heart problems, nerve damage, and kidney diseases.
Additionally, weight loss is one of the results of following a particular diet. Since obesity has been linked with type 2 diabetes, reducing weight makes it easier to control blood glucose levels. If your food choices are healthy, expect your blood glucose levels to be safe and normal.
There are a lot of healthy diets to choose from. However, before you select a plan, consult your doctors to identify the best options. Here are ways how to start a diabetic diet.
Choose healthy carbohydrates – Some good examples of healthy carbohydrates include vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid consuming drinks or foods with added sugar, sodium, and fats.
Opt for fiber-rich foods – The presence of fiber in a diabetes-friendly meal plan helps moderate the body’s digestion process. It slows down digestion, making a person feel full immediately and longer. It prevents the possibility of craving more good food, leading people to eat unhealthy foods.
Prefer foods rich in Omega-3 – One of the great sources of Omega-3 is fish. Opt for salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel. These foods contain the nutrients necessary to prevent heart problems and improve brain functioning.
Choose health or good fats – Some of the best sources of healthy fats are avocados, nuts, peanut, and canola oil. Although these are already safe to consume, only do so in moderation. Some fats still have high levels of calories.
The plate method
If measuring the carbohydrate intake seems tedious for you at each meal, then maybe trying the diabetes plate method helps you save time. It is a straightforward approach to planning a balanced and healthy diet without calculating the calorie or carb intake.
This method involves dividing your plate into three food sections. Half of your plate should contain non-starchy vegetables. On one quarter, fill it with protein-rich foods. In the last quarter, fill it with healthy carbohydrate foods like fruits and whole grains. Consider the following examples:
- Green beans
- Poultry meat
- Black beans
- Pasta, preferably with Semolina
- Brown rice
Types of diets you can follow
Here are some of the best diets that you can follow if you have diabetes:
The Mediterranean diet – This type of diet originated from the traditional dishes of the Mediterranean. It is rich in protein, plant-based foods, and healthy fats. In fact, the Mediterranean diet has been named the most successful and effective diet this year.
The vegan diet – As its name suggests, you will know that this diet only involves vegetables. The vegan diet helps reduce weight, which is necessary to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Some of the best vegan choices include leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, soy, nuts, and beans.
Besides following the proper diet, daily physical activities are also necessary to battle and prevent diabetes attacks. One of the benefits of regular exercise is to reduce weight and lower blood sugar levels. All these benefits are essential for proper blood sugar control and management.
Always combine your daily diet with regular exercise. Do not forget your daily dose of prescribed insulin or oral medications to successfully control diabetes and inhibit its complications. Lastly, if you are unsure about what diet to follow every day, talk with your dietitian or healthcare professional today and seek help.