Rules for Diabetic Dieters

Rules for Diabetic Dieters

A 1998 survey found in the Journal of the American Medical Associationlooked at the difference in the quality of life between one group that had good diabetic control, and another group that had poor diabetic control. The controlled group had lower distress from symptoms, feelings that they were in better health, and most could think, and learn more easily. This resulted in greater productivity, less absenteeism, and fewer days of restricted activity.

If asked what constitutes diabetic control, most people will say it is diabetic medication. That is not entirely true. The real key to control is in what is diet. A diabetic diet is the best regulator, the most effective means of glucose stability, and the least expensive way to gain control of any diabetic dieter’s life. Follow the simple rules of diabetic dieting below and begin gaining glucose control today.

Carbohydrates Are Key to Glucose Control

Many people eat perfectly healthy diets, but their portions are totally out of control. Many restaurants today serve each person enough food for two or three hearty meals. Monitor everything eaten in a day, and religiously count carbohydrates.

It is important to eat enough carbohydrates to provide the body with essential fuel, and prevent acidosis. It is also important to maintain the allotted amount of 40 to 45 grams of carbohydrates per meal or snacks. Carbohydrates are not nearly as fattening as fats, and almost all protein foods have a high percentage of fat. This fact continues to amaze people who have heard all their lives that bread and potatoes put weight on. Fats and the majority of protein foods also contain many more calories than starches.

Diabetics should not double up on starches. If there is bread at a meal, they should not have a potato. If there is corn, they should not have rice. If breakfast contains cereal and milk, they should not add bread, too. One starch per meal is the limit.

Diabetics Need to Take Responsibility for their Eating Habits

Diabetics should get to know what is in the foods they eat, calorie counts, and the proportions that are healthy. Americans have a trend toward supersizing and restaurant portions are often hugely out of control. The ability to monitor the amount of servings eaten at meals is another key point to meeting daily nutritional goals.

Diabetics should stick to a meal plan, eating at about the same time every day and eating the same number of meals, and about the same amount of food. This will help ensure the same percentages of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are eaten. It is more difficult to control glucose levels if a big lunch is eaten one day and a small one the next. The more the amount of carbohydrates eaten is varied, the harder it is to control blood glucose. Eating at regularly spaced intervals, four to five hours apart, reduces swings in blood glucose

Pineapples or apples (unless very small) are not recommended for diabetics. Apples frequently affect glucose tolerance, adversely. Apples have too many fast acting carbohydrates for one sitting, unless doing some serious exercise. A medium-sized apple can contain up to 30 grams of carbohydrates. For this reason, diabetics should stay away from applesauce, even if unsweetened as well as apple, grape, pineapple, or prune juices, because the sugar is often too rapidly absorbed into the blood. Only two fruits per day is recommended. An exception to this rule would be a 3pm snack when on insulin. Dried fruits such as raisins, prunes, dried figs, pineapple and apricots are very high in concentrated sugar.

Pitfalls Diabetics Should Avoid

There are many sugar traps awaiting the unsuspecting diabetic. It is helpful to become aware of the most common ones. Many processed foods contain large amounts of hidden sugars. Read labels. Some foods known as health foods like Tofutti contain honey or other forms of sugar.

Eating whole bagels are equivalent to four slices of bread (60 grams). Bagels are dense and heavy. It will not be of benefit to toast the bagel or eat it stale. It will retain its carbohydrate content and merely loses water content. It is best to avoid drinking instant breakfasts, and flavored yogurt for a morning meal, because the added fruits and flavors are usually sugar-laden.

Diabetics should also go easy on the nuts. A few nuts will not hurt, but a lot may send blood sugar levels into orbit. Thirty pistachios, 22 peanuts, 10 walnuts, or 15 almonds are equal in carbohydrates to half a fruit portion.

Soups frequently cause blood sugar disasters. Thick soups like pea, lentil, barley, or minestrone can make sugars sail. Vegetable soups contain astonishing concentrations of carbohydrates, too much for one meal. If a diabetic eats creamed soups or chowders made with flour, they should omit one of their two starch exchanges for that meal. The same applies to heavy gravies. Diabetics should not eat opaque soups (soup that you cannot see through). Gazpacho is the exception. They should also stay away from pea, barley, lentil, and vegetable soups.

A few slices of raw onion on a hamburger or in a salad are all right, but five or six pearl onions cooked into a stew equal almost eight grams of carbohydrates. A big, ripe tomato right out of the garden can also throw your sugar way off.

Categories: Diet, Nutrition