When you are diabetic you are oftentimes faced with the need to eat an appropriate diet that will help you control many of the symptoms associated with this disease. In fact by eating the right foods you may even be able to reduce your need for insulin. The normal process of eating involves consuming food that is then turned to sugar. This sugar is transported from the bloodstream to the body's cells by insulin. Unfortunately, diabetics do not produce sufficient quantities of insulin to do this effectively. Therefore a larger portion of the sugar remains in the bloodstream leading to the condition of "high blood sugar". There are several things that can be done to help you to control your blood sugar if you are diabetic. These include; diet, exercise and medication.
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Diet for diabetes: Blood sugar levels are most affected by carbohydrates. Limiting your carbohydrate intake is a very good idea. Use carbs that are lowest in starches and highest in fiber. The higher fiber will help slow down your food digestion which will then slow down the release of sugar into your bloodstream. Good food choices here would include; brown rice and whole grain cereals and fruits such as strawberries, apples or bananas.
Dairy Products: You should limit dairies to foods such as yogurt and milk to no more than 2 servings per day. Good choices could include low fat milk and sugar free fruit flavored yogurts.
Meats: You need protein so choose lean healthy cuts of meats such as roasted turkey or chicken breast. Limit the fat intake and keep the protein level to 4-7 oz per day. You can also substitute meat with egg whites or low fat cottage cheese.
Vegetables: Try to consume non starchy vegetables because these are lowest in carbohydrate content. You should aim for 3-5 servings per day. A serving is equivalent to ½ cup of cooked or 1 cup raw vegetables. Good examples include carrots, broccoli and green beans.
Healthy Fats: Healthy fats are important for diabetics. You should strive for 3-4 daily servings. The best choices would include; olive oil, vegetable oil and margarine. The key is balanced, healthy meals that stabilize blood sugar. Balanced eating will also have the added benefits of controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as help to prevent low blood sugar reactions that often affect diabetics. Additionally a healthy diet will keep your weight under control which is also a problem for many diabetics. You may want to work with your medical doctor or a registered dietician to create a healthy and easy to incorporate diet. These medical professionals will take into account all of the various factors necessary such as your weight, height, activity level, medications you may be taking and current blood glucose levels.
Eat Smaller Meals: Make sure to keep portion sizes under control and don't skip meals. It is best to eat 4-5 "mini meals" each day with several hours between meals. By keeping a steadier flow of food digesting through your body you will help to keep your blood sugar levels stabilized.
Sugars and Salt in your diet: Yes, a moderate amount of sugar is acceptable in the diet. However it should be done sparingly and as a treat and not a regular part of the daily diet. You should also remember that fruit and fruit juices have high levels of sugar so you need to take this into account. Use artificial sweeteners sparingly if at all. A good sugar substitute is stevia. Salt should also be used in moderation. Many processed and canned foods are laden with added salt so look for labels that say sodium free. Incorporate a variety of spices into your foods as a replacement for the usual salt.
Following these guidelines will help you keep your diabetes under control. Remember when you have been diagnosed with any medical condition always follow the advice and guidance of a medical professional, particularly if you are taking prescription medications.
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