Meal planning is essential for diabetics in order to monitor their blood glucose level. A good diabetic food plan should be based on the nutritional needs and glucose management of your body. Your diabetes specialist can guide you about which food to include and which food to avoid when you are suffering from Type I Diabetes.
The portion size will vary from individual to individual depending on their age, weight and the type of diabetes they are suffering from. Variety and moderation is the key while planning a meal for diabetics. Following guidelines will help you to plan your meal in such a way that you can eat a variety of foods and also avoid high blood sugar levels.
Planning the Meals
To maintain the glucose level, people with Type I diabetes need to concentrate on three main meals along with snacks in between. Different foods take different time to digest and likewise affect your blood sugar levels. For example, protein takes almost five to six hours to digest, while carbohydrates may take less than half an hour to digest. Plan small meals so that your body can get a constant flow of essential nutrients throughout the day and your blood sugar levels do not fluctuate.
Take healthy snacks in between three main meals for successful management of blood sugar levels. Ideal meal planning for diabetics is to restore a balance between all the food groups that you consume throughout the day. Include variety of foods based on the total calorie intake that has been provided by your health care provider. With proper practice and planning, you can follow a food plan that can help you stay healthier. An ideal food plan for diabetics is the one that improves your blood glucose level, keeps your body weight on track and keeps your blood pressure and cholesterol number in check.
What to Eat and When?
Carbohydrates are needed to supply energy to the body. They are converted into sugar soon after we eat them and soon they move through the blood stream. There is no doubt that our bodies need carbohydrates for getting energy for functioning properly, but for a diabetic it is not that easy.
A meal or snack that is high in carbohydrates can lead to sudden rise of blood sugar level. When the body is not producing enough insulin, sugar will stay in your blood stream; and when your body is not using insulin correctly, then too you are at a risk. Though you need carbohydrates to fuel your body, but you must talk with your health care provider and dietician and learn to count the amount of carbohydrates that your body needs so that your bloodstream may not get saturated with sugar.
Average requirement of carbohydrate for a diabetic per in each meal ranges between 40 to 60 gram. Your dietician will tell you about your specific requirement of carbohydrate, keeping in view your age, body weight and gender. Reduce intake of carbohydrates from white grain, whole milk, white bread etc;
Ideal Food Options: Consume complex carbohydrates like raw vegetables and fruits whole grains.
Diabetics should limit their protein intake. It should not be more than 6 ounces per day.
Ideal Food Options: Consume fish, poultry and lean meat.
Diabetics need to limit their fat intake, particularly saturated fats, as they are very much prone to heart disease. Their fat intake should not exceed 1 gram of saturated fat per serving. Total fat serving should be not more than 3 grams per serving.
The ADA encourages diabetics to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating balanced nutritional diet along with exercising regularly. Following these food guidelines will help you to live a healthier and fulfilling life, even if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.