For those who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes, the hardest part of managing the condition is shifting to a special diabetic diet. However, since this single factor goes a long way in effectively controlling diabetes, it is absolutely crucial to plan out and implement a diabetic diet.
The ideal diabetic diet must be a balanced combination of the right amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats and calories that would keep the blood sugar in check and help the diabetic in his weight loss efforts.
A perfect diet plan for a diabetic can mean a world of difference between easily controlling the condition and watching helplessly as the blood sugar levels increase uncontrollably. Based on a person’s ideal body weight, a diabetic diet determines the number of calories that a diabetic person may consume. In addition, the diet must also offer only appropriate servings of carbohydrates. Studies show that the lower the carbohydrate intake, the lower will be the blood sugar levels.
The amount of food consumed as well as the type of food consumed will have a direct impact on the blood sugar levels. Keeping this basic fact in mind, here are 4 proven tips that if kept at the forefront of every diabetic diet planning will greatly aid in controlling the blood sugar levels and avoid the complications associated with diabetes.
Tip #1 — Cut down on snacks The tendency of snacking is obviously hard to resist or avoid altogether. Most grocery stores shelves are loaded with a staggering variety of snacks and drinks that must simply be avoided by a diabetic. These snacks and soft drinks are storehouses of refined sugars that would send the blood sugar levels rocketing almost instantly. When on a diabetic diet, it is best to quit snacking on such sugary snacks and shift to healthier snacks like fresh fruits, salads or unsalted nuts.
Tip #2 — Say ‘no’ to processed foods Highly processed foods — especially those made with white flour — must be avoided as much as possible. Instead, diabetics need to consume whole grain foods that contain a high concentration of fiber and adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates. The reason for this is simple — high fiber foods and complex carbohydrates are digested gradually and slowly released into the blood stream. This enables to keep blood sugar levels manageable with no major surge caused by processed foods.
Tip #3 — Consume more fruits and vegetables Raw and fresh fruits and vegetables are among the healthiest forms of food and a vital component of the diabetic diet. Being high in vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber and complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables are greatly beneficial in effective management of blood sugar levels.
Tip #4 — Drink lots of water Diabetics must always make sure that they remain hydrated. For this, they have to consume plenty of water. While water contains very little goodness in the form of nutrients, water in itself is the most vital nutrient for a diabetic. Water keeps all the systems of the body running smoothly. It is also highly beneficial in cleansing the body of wastes and eliminating toxins from the bloodstream.
These tips would serve as a good starting point for planning a diabetic diet. However, with the symptoms and experiences of each diabetic being different, the diet of a diabetic has to be customized for individual needs. As certain symptoms increase or decrease, the diet has to evolve to accommodate these changes and enable better management of diabetes.