- 1 Intro
- 2 Diabetic Diet Goal
- 3 Diabetic Diet Foods
- 4 Type 1 Diabetes Diet Meal Plan
- 5 Type 2 Diabetes Diet Meal Plan
- 6 Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan
- 7 Diabetic Meal Plan
- 8 Diabetic – Nutrients of Benefit
- 9 Food Portions for a Diabetic Diet
- 10 Diabetic Food Exchange
- 11 Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels
Once we understand the way our body breaks down food, diabetes diet menu planning will be simplified. With every meal consumed, the sugar level is affected. Foods which are rich in sugar such as sweets and some kinds of fruits affect the bloodstream almost immediately. While sugary foods affect the bloodstream quickly, starchy foods usually take an hour or two to break down into simple sugars. Resulting blood sugar levels depend on the complexity of the food eaten. For example, foods rich in protein often take about three to four hours before the fats ultimately break down. It is often thought that a diabetic diet is a difficult diet to plan, however with self-discipline and regular exercise, it is not too hard for a diabetic person to control his or her blood sugar level and be less dependent on medication.
Diabetic Diet Plan
Diabetic diet planing differs from person to person due to our daily nutritional needs and type of diabetes a person suffers from. Following are the most common type of diabetes diet:
• Type 1 Diabetes Diet – Type 1 diabetes diet always requires carbohydrates, glucose and insulin for every food intake. Getting the diet balanced with the correct diabetes meal planning should be first and foremost.
• Type 2 Diabetic Diet – Type 2 Diabetes diet is closely related to insulin resistance or the lack of our body’s ability to respond properly to every insulin intake. It is often accompanied by obesity and high cholesterol.
• Gestational Diabetes Diet – Gestational diabetes diet requires the proper distribution of calories and carbohydrates throughout the day. It is a condition which woman often encounter during pregnancy.
Diabetic Diet Goal
The Diabetic diet goal (to eat a well and balanced diet) can be achieved with controlled meals that help our body to be healthy. Instead of starving yourself and sticking to the three meals a day pattern, five to six meals are advisable each day. Small frequent meals along with continuous exercise after every meal will help prevent spikes in sugar levels. Achieving a normal blood sugar level, protecting the heart, aiming for a healthy cholesterol level, and achieving a healthy body weight are the primary diabetic diet goals.
Diabetic Diet Meal Sample
The diabetic diet that would be ideal for a person with diabetes is a meal that consists of a balanced combination of protein, carbs and other nutrients. A diabetic diet varies according to the time of the day you will consume the meal. Physical activity level involved in during the day also plays a role. Below is a diabetic meal sample:
A serving of protein – perhaps 3 oz of fish, lean beef or meat
A serving of bread – either whole grain or a cup of pasta
A serving of dairy – can be low fat milk or cheese
A serving of vegetables – can be a fist sized portion or a small bowl of salad
A serving of fruit – a tennis ball size piece of allowable fruit
And for deserts, avoid sweets! Consider the fruit as you dessert.
Foods that a diabetic person should avoid are as follows:
fatty red meat, organ meat, highly processed foods, fried foods, creamy and sautéed foods, fast foods, foods high in cholesterol, saturated fats, rich (high fat) foods, eggs, whole milk dairy products.
Diabetic Diet Foods
The diabetic diet is not different from having a healthy and balanced diet except from its foremost goal which is to maintain the sugar level of a diabetic person. This goal can be achieved through three different actions.
- A diabetic person can avoid eating foods which are high in sugar or kinds of carbohydrates that are easily absorbed by the body and converted into sugar.
- Controlling or monitoring the amount of food intake according to the proper amount of nutrition needed by the body.
- Eating frequent small meals as an alternative to three heavy meals.
Choosing healthier foods is as much as important as controlling how much food you eat and when you eat it. By picking the healthier ones you will make it a lot easier to control diabetes. Below is a comprehensive guide for a diabetic diet which contains recommendations of best choices from the main food groups and suggested portions for each food.
Diabetic Diet Food Guide
- Grains and Starches
Guide: Bread products are a huge source of carbohydrates (carbs) in your diet. Choosing whole grain products whenever possible supplies your body with more complex carbs that take longer to break down, relieving your system of the need to deal with sudden influxes of sugar. 6 to 8 servings a day spread out over 5-6 meals is best. A slice of bread or ½ cup starchy food is a serving. Potatoes, corn and pasta fall in this category as well.
Spinach, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage and cucumbers are only a sampling of vegetables you can eat as a side dish or for a snack. 3-5 servings a day are needed, and a good rule of thumb is 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked per serving.
Most contain carbohydrates as well as natural sugars, so watch your intake carefully. Combining them with proteins at snack time or before exercise is a good idea. A small apple, banana or peach is a serving, or ½ cup canned fruit (make sure canned fruits are packed in unsweetened fruit juice – not syrup). 2-4 servings a day are required.
Dairy products can be high in carbs as well, so try to limit your self to one 8 oz serving at a time. Low-fat milk or unsweetened yogurt are good selections. Try to get at least 2-3 servings per day.
This can be meat or meat substitutes such as peanut butter, beans, tofu, cheese and eggs. Approximately 6 oz is needed per day, broken into 2-3 servings. A 3 oz serving is the size of a deck of cards; an ounce of cheese is comparable to four dice. A tablespoon of peanut butter or a small egg can be considered an ounce..
- Fats and Sweets
Fats are necessary; just choose wisely. Avocadoes are a wonderful topping, or make your own dressings to avoid trans-fats. Sweets are actually allowed for many diabetics if the portion is strictly controlled; a mini cupcake or two small cookies along with a balanced meal may be permitted if they cause no ill effects. Sugar free desserts are another option, but the extra carbs must be taken into account.
Having the information regarding the healthier choices for a diabetic diet, it will be easier for you to control your sugar without depriving yourself of your favorites. Choosing the right kinds of foods to eat is not only for diabetics but also great for individuals pursuing a healthier way of living.
Type 1 Diabetes Diet Meal Plan
With Type 1 Diabetes it is mainly about discovering the right balance between food and medicine intake. The right choice and quantity of food eaten makes a big difference in helping reduce the amount and frequency of medication required. The human body needs sugar in order to function well, however the food consumed must be monitored because it is also important that sugar level is controlled. All foods eaten are broken down into sugars which then result in the release of insulin into the bloodstream. In the Type 1 diabetic person, the pancreas fails to produce insulin and therefore must instead be injected to prevent the accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream.
The first thing to do if you have type 1 diabetes is to have a journal where you can record your meals and the results of your glucose tests. By doing this, you can easily identify the problem and eventually improve your meal plan to achieve the right balance. In accordance with your diet meal plan is regular exercise that will help you burn the calories you don’t need. With insulin dependent diabetes, the insulin is injected before eating meals. When a diabetic person has a meal plan, it is easier to match the insulin dosage required. As for diabetic children, this must be carefully monitored because their diet often changes and insulin requirements will also change as they grow.
In a diabetic’s diet, carbohydrates are usually the culprit of a sugar spike, however carbs are still important to ones diet since these are the source of energy. Carbohydrates are classified into two groups: simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbohydrates usually include glucose, fructose and lactose while complex carbohydrates include starches and indigestible dietary fiber. With careful carb intake, insulin balance, and regular exercise, proper glucose level can be maintained the in the blood. But if diet fluctuations occur, it will make it difficult to know the accurate amount of insulin needed. For type 1 diabetes, only about 16 calories per pound of body weight is needed per day. The amount of carbohydrates must not be more than 50-60% of the total.
Discipline and self control must be practiced at all times if you are a diabetic person. If you are going to set your meal time on a regular basis, you can easily prevent fluctuations of your sugar level. It is about eating a balanced diet to help control your glucose level. Thus meal planning is a very important way of evenly assimilating the sugar from the food you eat. With the right diabetic diet meal plan, Type 1 diabetes can be monitored and controlled easily.
Type 2 Diabetes Diet Meal Plan
With proper meal planning for Type 2 diabetes, one can often avoid the need for medication. The very first step is to limit the intake of foods which have high amounts of sugar, but there are also many other factors to consider as well. For Type 2 diabetes, the focus is mainly on weight control. In 80-90% of Type 2 diabetes cases, the person is overweight. This contributes to many diabetes symptoms as well. Reducing the intake of carbohydrates and calories by replacing some carbs with healthy (monounsaturated) fats can greatly help in keeping glucose levels stable and in losing those extra pounds.
The main objective behind meal planning for type 2 diabetes is to avoid sugar levels from spiking or dropping throughout the day. Eating frequent, small meals and monitoring portion size will help to win the battle if one is consistent. Commit to keeping a journal for two weeks and test your sugar levels rigorously in the morning and 2 hours after each main meal. Record the results as well as the time and contents of each meal and any exercise you do. This will help you see what areas need improvement.
Type 2 Diabetes Diet Characteristic
- Controlling blood sugar level with the right meal planning
- In the case of obesity, try to lose weight to improve insulin sensitivity
- Integrate regular exercise to improve the body’s use of insulin
- Reduce the need for insulin and other diabetes medications
Sample Type 2 Diabetes Diet Meal and Menu
Sample Type 2 Diabetes Diet Menu for Breakfast
- two slices of wheat bread
- one cup of skimmed milk
- one boiled egg
- one serving of your favorite fruit
Sample Type 2 Diabetes Diet Menu for Lunch
- one bowl of pasta
- two servings of your favorite vegetables
- one serving of meat (chicken or turkey)
- a fruit
- three saltines or crackers
- half a cup of tea or coffee (with artificial sweetener)
Type 2 Diabetes Diet Sample Menu for Dinner
- three servings of meat or fish
- half of a baked potato
- two helpings of vegetables
- a fruit
Snacks After Dinner
- a cup of milk
- cheese or a few saltines
Type 2 Diabetes is generally controllable though some patients may still need insulin or oral medications to help eliminate symptoms. As one learns to manage the condition, It will be easier and easier to follow these guidelines, which will lead to the improvement of overall energy level and a sense of well-being!
Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan
Gestational Diabetes is when a woman’s blood sugar is too high while she is pregnant – most of the time it goes away when the child is born. However, a pregnant woman may get diabetes later if she acquired it during pregnancy thus a gestational diabetes meal plan is recommended.
According to research, approximately three to five percent of American pregnant women are diagnosed with having gestational diabetes during pregnancy. It is considered one of the top concerns in relation to pregnancy. The health of the mother is not the only concern related to gestational diabetes. Without proper care treatment, women with gestational diabetes during pregnancy are more likely to have babies with the disease called macrosomia. This is a condition where the baby has an enlarged head, thus making it hard for the mother to deliver the baby.
With proper gestational diabetes meal planning, pregnant woman will be able to control gestational diabetes on their own without consulting a dietician. A dietician can help establish a diabetic meal plan suitable for pregnancy. It has been proven that with proper dedication and care, it can be controlled from affecting women during pregnancy. Below is a Gestational diabetes meal plan for a day. It consists of a sample of a five to six meal plan for women with gestational diabetes.
Note: Regular tracking of sugar level using a glucose monitoring system and keeping a record of each meal intake will be essential and valuable. It is recommended that a doctor is consulted to come up with a proper gestational diabetes meal plan.
Sample diet for gestational diabetes in a day:
Gestational Diabetes Diet
Gestational Diabetes Meal – Breakfast
As you wake up and check your blood sugar, you will find out it is low and that is normal. Starchy foods won’t suit you, and skipping a meal is not advisable, but don’t worry; you can still have a delicious meal without too much effort. A Hardboiled egg, toast, 12 ounces of milk and some fruits like grapes is okay for breakfast.
- Hardboiled egg – source of protein
- A slice of whole wheat toasted bread – carbohydrates
- One glass of milk – riboflavin, phosphorus, calcium
- Grapes – great source of micro nutrients
Gestational Diabetes – Mid Morning Snack
Waiting too long for lunch is a common mistake because this often results in overeating. Having a mid–morning snack is advisable. A slice of whole bread with a little peanut butter and milk, for ex. will prevent cravings and over endulging during lunch time.
- A toast of whole wheat bread – source of complex carbohydrates
- 1 Tbsp. peanut butter – protein
- Milk – riboflavin, phosphorus, calcium
Gestational Diabetes Meal – Lunch
A serving of food with protein and carbohydrates is recommended. A large whole wheat pita bread and some vegetables like one half cup of fresh tomato and a half of cup of black beans. An ounce of cheddar cheese and a tbsp of salsa with two tbsp of olive oil will be a tasty lunch for sure!
- Tomato – Vitamin C and lycopene
- Pita bread – protein
- Black beans – dietary fiber
- Cheese – calcium
- Olive oil – rich in antioxidants
- Salsa – rich in nutrients
Gestational Diabetes Meal – Mid Afternoon Snack
Another snack to help you make it until dinner is a medium apple and a tbsp of peanut butter. It can also be accompanied by 12 ounces of non fat skim milk.
- Peanut butter – protein
- Apple – phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin C
- Milk – riboflavin, phosphorus, calcium
Gestational Diabetes Meal – Dinner
This is probably one of the meals that will give you the hardest time choosing what to eat because if you are still awake late at night, it is very possible to have cravings before going to sleep. You should always guard yourself from overeating. 3 ounces of chicken breast grilled using 4 ounces of pineapple rings, 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, 2 tsp. soy sauce, 1/2 cup green beans, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, 1 tsp. cornstarch will give you a delicious grilled chicken.
- Chicken – protein, vitamin B
- Pineapple – fiber and antioxidants
- Sesame seeds – zinc
- Soy sauce – vitamins A, B and C
- Green beans – vitamins K, C and A
- Cornstarch – rich in fiber and nutrients
Gestational Diabetes Meal – Mid Night Snack
When you are still up late in the evening and feel like eating, ¼ pound fresh strawberries, a medium size apple or other variety of fruit will do. Half of a peanut butter sandwich will also do before retiring to bed.
- Strawberry – fiber, vitamin C and A
- Peanut butter – protein
- Apple – phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamin A and C
As you can see, having diabetes won’t starve you. You still can enjoy a variety of nutritious and delicious meals without having to be paranoid regarding your blood sugar level.
Diabetic Meal Plan
A diabetic diet plan encapsulates the use of food choice to manage the blood sugar level of a diabetic person in order to obtain a whole and hearty life. The most common Diabetic meal plans are as follows:
- Watch what you eat, make sure it has a low Glycemic Index.
- Always stick to Low carbohydrates recipes.
- Consider being a vegetarian! Plenty of colorful vegetables are good for the body, while fruits rich in nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals are also recommended.
- Someone with diabetes should always choose food with high complex carbohydrates (whole grains and produce for example).
- Quit or at least moderate the intake of alcohol – diabetic or not it can be unhealthy.
- Moderate the consumption of meat and make lean meat choices.
- Eat foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Glycemic Index (GI) Diet
Glycemic index diet or GI is a method that ranks every kind of food according to the effect they may cause on the blood sugar level of a person. It is also said to be one of the top most criteria to judge food related to diabetes. It focuses more on food intake with respect to carbohydrates. GI is used to measure how much a 50 gram fraction of carbohydrates elevates the blood sugar level of a person thus making it the ultimate guide towards a healthy diet.
- List of low GI foods – GI less than 55
You don’t need to worry if you are a diabetic; there are certain fruits, cereals, pastas vegetables and many more that you can enjoy with low glycemic indexes such as:
Fruits – Apples, Cherries, Grapefruits, Grapes, Kiwi, oranges, pears and plums
Vegetables – mushrooms, onions, lettuce, red peppers
Beans – Baked beans, Cannellini Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Red Kidney Beans , Soy Beans, and White Beans
Sugar – Fructose, lactose
Pasta (whole grain) – Spaghetti, Ravioli, Fettuccini, Spiral Pasta, Capellini, Linguine, Macaroni,
Cake – Sponge Cake
Dairy – Skim milk, low – fat ice cream, low fat yogurt
Snacks – Nuts including Walnuts, Cashews, Peanuts, and a small Dark Chocolate Bar,
- List of Medium GI foods – GI 55 to 70
Pasta – Rice vermicelli,
Breads, cakes – Blueberry Muffin, Croissant, Pita Bread,
Pumpernickel Bread, Stone Ground Whole wheat bread, Whole Wheat Bread
Dairy – Whole ice cream
Snacks – Popcorn, Potato Chips
- List of High GI foods – GI more than 70
White (bleached flour and refined sugars) Breads, Cakes – Bagel, Donut, Rye Bread, Sour Dough Bread, Waffles
Snacks – Corn Chips, candy, Pretzels
There are certain ways in order to lower the Glycemic Index (GI) of foods.
- Add a little of lemon juice or vinegar to your daily meal. According to studies and researchers, a few teaspoons of vinegar added to any meal reduces the Glycemic index (GI) by twenty to forty percent.
- Adding cucumber to your meal will also help to moderate the insulin response to most meals with starch.
- You can enjoy every type of vegetable you want but make sure that it is accompanied by low-sugar vinaigrette dressings to lower the sugar level.
- The inclusion of fruits in a meal lowers the glycemic index of the meal too.
- Do not frequently over consume foods with carbohydrates
- Eating dried beans and peas is also an effective way of lowering your GI.
Diabetic – Nutrients of Benefit
Food supplements and herbs can help greatly in preventing and delaying the onset of long term complications of diabetes. Below are some examples of food that will help slow the development of many long-term complications associated with diabetes such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and gangrene leading to amputation.
This is the dietary fiber that is usually found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is soluble fiber that helps in preventing drastic shifts of blood sugar levels, thus making a good weapon against diabetes. On top of this, soluble fiber can also lower the cholesterol level. Soluble fiber targets the “bad” LDL cholesterol and leaves the “good” HDL alone. It binds with cholesterol in the intestine and prevents it from being reabsorbed. Foods high in soluble fiber include fruits, vegetables, oats and dried beans.
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
Is one of the principal omega-3 fatty acids abbreviated as EPA. The body has a limited ability to manufacture EPA by converting the alpha-linolenic acid ( ALA) which can be found in flaxseed oil, canola oil or walnuts. EPA has a beneficial effect on the vascular system. Among vascular system problems related to diabetes are:
- Higher levels of blood lipids such as triglycerides and cholesterol
- Platelet aggregation, which is responsible for beginning a blood clot thus interrupting the blood flow
- Red blood cells are inflexible making it hard for these cells to enter very small capillaries. This reduces the oxygen supply to the tissues
- Small blood vessels become constricted
- Higher blood pressure
EPA is usually found in cold-water fish such as mackerel, haddock, sardines, anchovies, wild salmon and tuna.
Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
This is the oil that comes from the seeds of the evening primrose plant that contain a high amount of its active ingredient, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an oil much like the essential fatty acids (EFA) of the omega-6 variety.
The process of conversion of dietary linolenic acid (the main saturated fat from vegetables) to GLA is inadequate in people with diabetes. Insufficient GLA may cause problem with the sheath covering the nerves and reduces blood flow. GLA has positive effect in the approach to prevention and treatment of diabetic neuropathy.
Vitamin E has no negative side effect, but only one caution. Vitamin E interacts with vitamin K. If you are deficient in vitamin K or are on medication to prevent clotting, you should take high levels of vitamin E only under medical guidance.
Below are the benefits of Vitamin E to diabetics:
- help to dissolve fresh clots in veins
- reduces the oxygen requirements of tissues and cells
- helps form new skin in healing burns and ulcers
- increase the blood supply to tissues and thus reduces diabetic gangrene and amputations
- reduce the need for insulin
- prevents the platelets from clumping together to form dangerous pre-clots
Vitamin C is extremely essential for us because it is involved in so many areas of health. Vitamin C stimulates our immune system to be more aggressive which is very important to diabetics because of their risk of infection. Vitamin C is essential in the healing of wounds. This remarkable vitamin can also protect and preserve vitamin E.
B complex is another important vitamin set for diabetics. It is particularly involved in sugar metabolism and energy release.
- in neuropathy about 80% diabetic patients have some improvement with B complex
- some members of the B complex have been reported to increase glucose utilization in diabetics
- B6 supplementation may reverse some forms of diabetes associated with pregnancy
This is said to be the most valuable mineral to diabetics. Insulin contains an amazing amount of zinc. Diabetics have higher zinc requirements for the following reaons:
• replacement for zinc lost in urine
• a diabetic pancreas contains only about 50% the amount of stored zinc of a normal person
• zinc aids in the process of healing wounds
• zinc can stimulate the immune system
Magnesium has a vital role in metabolism of carbohydrates and in efficient action of insulin. Insufficient amounts of magnesium in diabetics can contribute to poor control of their diabetic condition. Low levels of magnesium are also associated with heart disease which is more serious for diabetics due to their propensity for heart disease.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha lipoic acid helps to increase utilization of glucose and improves blood sugar control in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid blocks Glycation (the process by which glucose combines with proteins causing major tissue destruction resulting in neuropathy, kidney damage and retinal injury). Diabetics generally have low levels of alpha lipoic acid and it is important for them to receive it as a supplement.
Food Portions for a Diabetic Diet
A strict diet and schedule of meals are necessary to control blood glucose level. The amount of food must be controlled at all times to prevent blood sugar highs. But many people are not aware of the correct measurement of a serving of food, thus they often end up eating more than necessary. For instance, a large bakery muffin is not actually one serving of bread; it’s two bread servings and a fat serving! With this, a small kitchen scale can be an invaluable tool as you learn how to portion your food. There are recommended serving sizes such as the following:
Tips for Estimating Food Portions:
A) 1 serving of protein (chicken, lean beef, cheese, beans or peanut butter). A 3 oz portion will be about the size of a deck of cards.
B) 1 serving of dairy (milk, yogurt, etc). A serving is an 8 oz cup.
C) 1 serving of fruit or vegetables (make sure to vary these and include leafy green and dark yellow vegetables). A 1 cup serving is about the size of a woman’s fist, and whole fruit should be about the size of a tennis ball.
D) 1 serving of starch (whole grains are by far superior, providing a more complex carbohydrate). A slice of bread, a small tortilla, biscuit or half a pita, a ½ cup of pasta or 1/3 cup rice. Potatoes are considered a starch.
E) 1 serving of fat (yes, healthy fats are necessary; just try to avoid trans-fats and saturated fats). A tablespoon of margarine or dressing is a dollop about as big as the first joint of your thumb.
Make sure you get sufficient nutrition by including enough servings from each food group per day. Your dietician can identify precisely what your ideal number of servings is for each category.
Food Portion Guide
Sample Daily Serving Guidelines for Diabetics :
- Carbohydrates (breads and grains) 5-6 servings
- Proteins (meats, eggs and legumes) 2-3 servings
- Dairy (milk based products) 2-3 servings
- Vegetables (at least 2/3 non-starchy) 3-5 servings
- Fruits (take care – these are high in natural sugars) 2-4 servings
- Fats (again, choose healthy oils and fats) 1-2 servings
These are general guidelines only. It is still better to consult a licensed dietician who can help you create a diabetic meal plan to match your specific needs. Once you have identified how much you need to eat of each food on a daily basis, you can plan your meals around your schedule and employ a sensible exercise plan to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Diabetic Food Exchange
Food choices for diabetic people differ from a regular diet. Carbohydrate intake should be monitored regularly. Also, caloric intake is an issue for people with type 2 diabetes as weight is often the contributing cause to the severity of the illness. Carbohydrates, protein and fats are the three primary food groups for diabetic exchange. Managing how these food groups are consumed will help a diabetic person not only to save time in meal planning but to control his disease as well.
Many diabetic people substitute food without taking into consideration the risks of some food choices. There are plenty kinds of meat and vegetables that can instantly trigger a high blood sugar level. It is not easy to check all kinds of foods and their nutrient benefits. Monitoring calories for every food can also be confusing.
In doing a meal plan for a diabetic food exchange there are three things to consider: the portion and serving size, the adjustment of sizes and proportions, and how to create a balanced diabetic meal diet. Remember that every food exchange must coincide with the parameters of the diabetic diet. An exchange is equal to one serving. However we have to take into consideration that allowed food exchange are those that will contain identical fat, carbohydrate, protein and caloric values.
Food Exchange List
Vegetables – 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate. One serving is equal to ½ cup of cooked vegetables or a cup of raw vegetables or even a half of cup of vegetable juice.
Low-Fat Milk – 90 calories per serving. One serving is equal to a cup of fat free milk, ¾ of yogurt or a cup of artificially sweetened yogurt.
Very Lean Protein -35 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving. One serving is equal to 1 oz of chicken or turkey breast with its skin removed. It can also be as follows, 1 oz of fish fillet, 1 oz of canned tuna, or an oz of shellfish such as scallops, clams or even lobster. ¼ cup of egg or 2 cups of egg whites can also be a substitute. ¾ cup of cottage cheese can also be exchanged.
Fruits – 15 grams of carbohydrates, 60 calories. One serving is equal to a small apple, banana or orange, ½ grapefruit, ½ mango or a cup of fresh berries. It can also be a cup of fresh melon and 4 oz of unsweetened juice.
Medium-Fat Proteins – calories and 5 grams of fat per serving. One serving is equal to an oz of beef, 1 oz of pork chop or a whole medium egg. If you want cheese, then an oz of mozzarella and ricotta is also applicable. If your choice is to have a health heart, 4 oz of tofu is recommended.
Starches – 15 grams of carbohydrates and 80 calories per serving. One serving is equal to a slice of white bread, 2 slices of lite bread, ½ of English muffin and ½ of hamburger bun. It can also equivalent to ¾ cup of cold cereal, ½ cup of rice, barley, legumes, pasta, bulgar and sweet potato. 3 oz of white potato, 3/4/ oz of pretzels or 3 cup of popcorn is also comparable to it.
Fats – 45 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving. One serving is equal to a tsp of oil, butter, stick margarine, or mayonnaise. It can also be a tbsp of reduced fat margarine, salad dressing or 2 tbsp of cream cheese. 1/8 avocado or 8 large black olives, 10 large green olives and a slice of bacon is also correspondd to it.
Using this diabetic food exchange list, you can include your favourite foods in every meal without worrying about being unhealthy.
Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels
Diabetes is easy to control if it is guided by proper monitoring steps and a healthy diet. One of the most useful tools for monitoring your diabetic condition is a home blood sugar tester. This is available in the market and is usually affordable.
The commonly used home testing unit is compact, and it comes with tiny chemically reactive strips to measure glucose levels in the blood. A spring loaded ‘pen’ is fitted with a sterile lancet (a tiny needle embedded in a plastic sheath) and discharged against a fingertip or the forearm. The strip is then inserted into the machine, and a clean drop of blood is applied. The digital readout will inform you of your results within seconds.
The guidelines for blood sugar may vary slightly depending on the individual, but an average chart follows to provide a general idea of ideal parameters.
Upon waking up (before breakfast) – 80 to 120mg/dl
Before meals – 80 to 120mg/dl
2 hours after meals – 160mg/dl or less
At bedtime – 100 to 140mg/dl
Depending on your diabetic condition, the doctor may provide you with the target levels you may need to maintain. By monitoring your sugar levels using a log or journal you can easily determine your glucose tolerance. Usually the individuals with Type 1 diabetes are advised to plan a test before and after their insulin injection while Type 2 diabetics are advised to do a blood sugar test in the morning usually 1-2 hours after a meal and again before retiring to bed.
To be more accurate, you may record the day, time and result of your test. It is also best if you log or write notes of each of your meals or snacks and track the level of your physical activity. Every time you visit your doctor for your regular check up, take this journal with you for his reference. In a few weeks you will begin to see patterns and you can make adjustments in your habits to keep up a steady glucose level. Ideally, you will be able to cut back on testing as your body settles into a stable routine. Keeping track of your sugar level and adjusting accordingly is the best way to control your diabetic condition and maintain normal blood sugar levels.