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The basic guidelines for your diabetes control diet

When looking for a personalized diabetes control diet, there are a few general guidelines you must take into account. Before we get to those, let me point out right up front that it's probably wise to consult a dietician to work up a schedule together, before you decide to start or alter your diet. 


You must bear in mind that no two people have the exact same level of diabetes and everyone responds in a unique way to different amounts of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. With that out of the way, let's have a look at some of the do's and don'ts of a diabetes control diet.

Let's talk about carbohydrates first, because they are most often regarded as bad for diabetics and that's not necessarily true. When you digest them, they release amounts of glucose into the bloodstream. At first sight, that looks like a big no-no for diabetics, but there is a distinction you should be aware of.

diabetes control dietSo-called "healthy carbohydrates" release glucose into the blood slowly and gradually. They are okay if you carefully monitor your intake. Remember that we are looking for balance: you need some carbohydrates in order to prevent fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. 

Good carbs include: raw vegetables and fruits, legumes (green beans, peas, lentils, etc), whole grains with lots of fiber, and low-fat dairy products.

Carbohydrates that release glucose into the blood quickly, should be avoided as much as possible though: avoid sugar, white bread, rice, pastries and low-fiber breakfast cereal. 

Avoid alcohol, because it dehydrates the body.

More concerning though, are fats. Saturated fats are a diabetic's worst enemy. They increase cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease, something which diabetics are already sensitive to in the first place. Animal products such as cream, cheese and whole milk should be avoided, as should salty snacks and red meat. Non-saturated fats are okay: most kinds of baking oil (except palm oil), cholesterol regulating butter, natural non-salted nuts and fatty fish that's rich on omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, herring and sardines). You should eat fatty fish once per week for optimal results.

Lastly, proteins: while some diets may encourage the consumption of proteins, they are generally not recommended for diabetics. Doctors usually recommend that proteins should only constitute up to 20% of your daily calories. Again it is of critical importance that you search for a balanced eating pattern.

Aside from monitoring these three nutrients in your diabetes control diet, it is advised to eat consistently at fixed times of the day, but to put variation in what you eat so that you receive all the nutrients your body needs in order to maintain a healthy balance in your blood sugar levels. Do not skip any meals!

It's also of vital importance that diabetics exercise: just a mild daily workout can already do wonders, so there's no need to strain yourself. For some more useful tips on a diabetic weight loss diet, be sure to visit Gail's website.

Concentrate on food types that have lots of fibres: legumes, fruits and high-fibre oatmeal are ideal. Fibres do not digest but they lower cholesterol and slow down the process of glucose being absorbed by the blood. Have your vegetables with every meal and eat 2 to 5 pieces of fruit every day. Keep one eye on the glycemic index chart though, because some fruits (like bananas for example) are higher on the scale than others.


Finally, it should be pointed out that stevia plants - among many other benefits of stevia - have no calories or fats, a glycemic index of zero and suppress cravings. Upon consulting your dietician or physician, be sure to ask them which role stevia can play in your diet. Remember, being diabetic should not have to prevent you from enjoying the sweetness in your life that you so greatly deserve!


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