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Making Changes in Your Diet

 

Making Changes in Your Diet

 

Nutrition Basics

In the past, diets for people with diabetes were very restrictive,  Things are different now.  People with diabetes watch what they eat and try to make choices that include their favorite foods into their meals.  There isn't a one-size fits all "diabetic diet."  Everything is individualized so you have more flexibility in planning your meals.


What does "healthful eating" really mean?

Before starting to plan meals, let;s back up and go over some of the basics.  Healthful eating means:

-Eating a variety of foods.  Include vegetables, fruit, whole grain, non-fat dairy foods, fats, and lean mats or meat substitutes.

-Trying not to eat too much food or too much of one type of food.

-Spacing your meals evenly throughout the day.  Try to avoid skipping meals.


More about diabetes and blood glucose

Food gives you the energy to do the things you enjoy and take care of yourself.  After a meal, food is broken down into glucose (sugar) and carried by the blood throughout the body.  Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas.  It moves glucose from the blood into the body where the glucose is used for energy.  When there is not enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood.  This makes blood glucose levels high.


What is a meal plan?

A meal plan is a guide that tells you how much, and what kinds of food to choose at meals and snack times.  A good meal plan should fit your schedule, culture, and eating habits.  The right meal plan will help you improve your blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, and also help keep your weight on track.  For example, if you always have tortillas for breakfast, you'll find out how to include them and still manage your blood glucose levels.


How much saturated fat can I eat?

People with diabetes are at increased risk for heart disease.  Eating a diet low in saturated fat can reduce your risk.  Choosing lean meats, non-fat dairy and foods from the best choice list, you'll be able to enjoy the flavor of fat in your food while keeping the "bad fats" our of your diet.


But how much is okay? 

Try to stick to less that 7% of your calories as saturated fat.


 

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