The High on Diabetes, Part 2: Diet for Diabetics

Chances are, if you are diabetic, you have been instructed by your health care provider to change your diet.  Just what does this involve?  Read on to find out more about the whys, wherefores, ins and outs of the standard diet for diabetics.

The usually-prescribed diet for diabetics has three main components to it:

1. First, you must eat foods that will control the level of sugar in your blood.  This usually involves cutting out many processed carbohydrates, such as white flour products (yes, say goodbye to the daily doughnut!), white sugar products (sorry, the standard ice cream sundae has got to go, too!), and  other heavily processed foods.  This does not mean you must bid adieu to all carbohydrates, however.  Feeling a starchy craving coming on?  Choose starches from vegetable sources (including potatoes, green peas, and corn) or whole grains such as rice, barley, oats, and whole wheat products.  If you do elect to enjoy a whole wheat product, be sure it is really made of the whole wheat kernel.  Many “whole wheat” products are really nothing more than your typical white flour with a little molasses added, and these products will wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels.

2. Another category of carbohydrates you should be aware of, and enjoy, is fiber.  Fiber can actually slow down the body’s intake of blood sugar, meaning that your blood sugar levels will not spike quickly when your carbohydrates have a good source of fiber included as well.

3. You will also want to carefully monitor your consumption of fats.  Unhealthy fats will not contribute toward a healthier you.  Rather than choosing dairy products such as full-fat sour cream, ice cream, and cheese, opt for the healthier fats that are found in natural food items.  Nuts, avocados, olives, olive oil, and non-fried fish are all excellent options that can deliver the nutritious fat you need.

4. A healthy diet for diabetics will include many fruits and vegetables.  Vegetables are an excellent source of fiber, nutrients, and healthy starches.  They contain enzymes that can help heal your body, and also hold few enough calories to stimulate your body to burn stored fat for energy.  Vegetables can also help you feel full and satisfied, preventing overeating.  Including them in your diabetic diet will enable you to accomplish the work you need to do to stabilize, and sometimes heal, your diabetes.

5. Lastly, cutting down your total calorie intake is another wise way to get your diabetes under control.  The healthier your body is or is becoming, the easier it will be on your body to get the diabetes under control.  After all, the less you have to work pumping blood through all the extra weight, the more it can adjust its own blood sugar levels (provided it is supplied with the correct nutrients, of course!).   These are the basic components of what to watch for in a diabetic diet plan.

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