Dos and Don’ts of Diabetic Diet
Planning a diabetic diet is a cumbersome task if a patient is not aware how specific food groups and nutrients can cause a wide variety of changes to blood glucose levels. For a diabetic, diet is an important factor that plays a key role in the proper management of Diabetes. Toward that end, it’s imperative for a diabetic to have a full understanding of foods and to work closely with a dietician and/or nutritionist as well as their doctor to develop a well-balanced, low carbohydrate, healthy diet specifically designed with the diabetic in mind.
Some of the dos and don’ts of diabetic diet are discussed below, which can help a diabetic patient in maintaining healthy sugar level and better management of their Diabetes.
Dos of Diabetic Diet
It’s important to know what a diabetic patient must do to have a well-balanced diabetic diet for proper management of Diabetes. Here are some of the ‘dos’ of a diabetic diet:
- DO: Count Carbohydrate Intake- It is important for a diabetic patient to avoid simple carbohydrates and limit carbohydrate intake. They should add complex carbohydrates to their diet. Complex carbs take time to break down into sugar and thus prevents sudden blood sugar spikes. Carbohydrate intake should be restricted to avoid high sugar levels.
- DO: Include Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains in Diet – having fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods help in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.
- DO: Have Regular Meals – instead of snacking or picking foods at whim, set down for scheduled healthy meals.
- DO: Substitute Sweets with Fruits – this keeps you from the extra sugar intake and helps in maintenance of healthy sugar level as well as promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle.
- DO: Have a Fiber Rich Diet – Having a fiber rich diet helps in maintaining healthy metabolic rate and thus helps in reducing risk of high sugar in blood.
- DO: Control Amount and Time of Food Intake – Portion control is essential in the diabetic diet, as is the time the foods are consumed. Eating regular meals and at the correct times of day will boost metabolism, promote property body functions, regulate blood sugar levels and provide a general feeling of well-being.
- DO: Include Antioxidants in Diet – Including antioxidants such as vitamin C (lemons), vitamin E, selenium, zinc and chromium (Brewer’s yeast) in a diabetic helps to control blood sugar levels.
- DO: Eat what is considered ‘Must have Foods’ – Adding green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, soups, buttermilk, tea and coffee without sugar also helps in management of Diabetes. However, be cautious of the amount of caffeine your taking in.
- DO: Keep a Food Diary – especially right after you’ve been diagnosed. By keeping the diary of your food intake as well as your sugar levels, you have a better degree of control. For instance, if your blood sugar spikes high, looking at what you’ve ingested will help you determine what you need to avoid or eat in smaller doses in the future.
Don’ts Of Diabetic Diet
In order to learn how to better control your diet in the future, we’ve compiled a list of don’ts – your dietician and/or nutritionist can help you add and refine this list.
- DON’T: Use High Amount of Sugar – Having sugar rich diet may worsen the condition of patients thus patients of diabetes should avoid sugar rich diet.
- DON’T: Use High Amount of Salt – Patients get enough salt from vegetables in inorganic form, so they must reduce the intake of inorganic salt. If you must add salt to your foods, the use of Sea Salt is recommended as a replacement of standard table salt.
- DON’T: Use High Fat Food – Excessive fat in diet could lead to obesity and may create other health complications in patients of Diabetes. They should avoid food rich in fat and triglycerides.
- DON’T: Eat Red meat (too often) – There are some schools of thought that suggest barring red meat from your diet completely. However, limiting your red meat intake is the most often given advise. Add other meats to your diet to include the regular consumption of fish, chicken and low-fat pork products.
- DON’T: Drink Whole Milk or use Whole Milk Products – they are rich in sugars and fats. Diabetic patients should use low fat milk and low fat milk products like yogurt and low fat cottage cheese.
- DON’T: Drink Large Amount of Tea and Coffee – Having large amount of tea and coffee with sugar may worsen diabetes. Tea and Coffee (hot or cold) should be limited to unsweetened and even better if they caffeine free as well.
- DON’T: Have White flour and Its Products – Having white flour and its products may elevate sugar level. It is better to use whole grains, whole wheat or soya breads. White flower products are considered simple carbs which break down into sugars fast and create elevated spikes in blood glucose.
- DON’T: use Foods with a High Glycemic Index – Foods having a high glycemic index such as white rice, potatoes, carrots, breads and banana all cause a diabetic to have high sugar levels and spikes. They should be avoided in a diabetic diet.
- DON’T: Skip Meals – Skipping meals can cause the blood sugar to fall below healthy normal levels – especially if you’ve taken medications which raise your insulin levels. Low blood sugars are just as dangerous as high spikes. Skipped meals also cause you to eat outside the dietary plan you’ve created and can cause your blood sugar to rise too suddenly.
As a diabetic, it’s very important to educate yourself on the dietary requirements your body now has. Working closely in the beginning with your medical professional as well as a nutritionist or a dietician will help you on your way to a healthier life. Life doesn’t cease to exist when your diagnosed with diabetes, it just needs to change. While chance can be scary, it’s lessened when you take the time to fully understand your body, and its requirements. We strongly suggest that you take the time to educate yourself and your loved ones on your new dietary changes.