Start and Maintain a Diabetic Diet
Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Lynn, Eng
For decades, a vast majority of the world's population has been battling diabetes. Medications and treatments have all been tried, yet the disease continues to eat up both young and old. Diet is a huge factor in either improving or aggravating diabetes. You have to make sure that you know what you're eating and how much of it is appropriate so that your sugar levels don't betray you. If you are determined to throw away those syringes, then you have to start changing the way you eat. Knowing how to start and maintain a diabetic diet could mean a 360-degree change in your life — mentally and physically. All you need to do is to have the will power to go through the food choices and the portion control, accompanied by a healthy lifestyle.
How to Start a Diabetic Diet
Caloric monitoring and restriction is what a diabetic diet depends on. It focuses on the amount of calories you take in everyday. Your caloric intake is based on your diabetes type, level of activity, gender, and ideal weight. Below are the things you have to consider in starting a diabetic diet:
- 1Be motivated.You have to possess that motivation to go through this specialized form of diet. If you have been used to eating carelessly, you need to change that habit now. Think of the higher level of health that you will get the moment you take control of your diet.Advertisement
- 2Know the ideal calories you need to take in.Advertisement
- For a Type I diabetic. You have to take in about 16 calories for every pound of your weight. If you weigh 150 pounds or 68 kilograms, you need to have a caloric intake of 2,400 calories each day.
- For a Type II diabetic. You need to take in fewer calories. An endocrinologist will help you determine the ideal goal weight that you should have, based on your height. The average number of calories that you should take is 1,500-1,800 calories each day. Then, your caloric intake will depend on the ideal weight calculated for you.
- Diabetic woman. For a 100 pound woman, five pounds will be added to every inch of her height of more than five feet. A large-framed woman would need an additional 10 percent for the total result.
- Diabetic man. For a 106 pound man, six pounds will be added to every inch of his height of more than five feet. A small-framed man would need a decrease of 10 percent from the total result.
- 3Know the sources of your calories.If you're a diabetic, the food pyramid is disregarded. Food items there are equivalent to the glucose that enters your bloodstream. About 40-60 percent of your daily calories come from carbohydrates. Each gram of carbohydrates has four calories.
- 4Always be in contact with your doctor and dietitian.You have to communicate with your health-care providers constantly so that your progress can be properly monitored. Always have their numbers handy just in case you have a question about a particular meal or beverage.
- 5Start a food diary.You will be able to start your diabetic diet right by starting your food diary. Here, you will write down the food items you eat and the calories they have.
How to Maintain a Diabetic Diet
Keeping yourself in a diabetic diet can prove challenging, especially since you have been used to unhealthy eating. The following are some of the ways on how you can maintain your diabetic diet:
- 1Avoid loading up with sugar.Eating a lot of sugar at once will spike your blood glucose. You should distribute your consumption of carbohydrates throughout the day. It would be helpful to anticipate your desserts after each meal.Advertisement
- 2Observe portion control.Keep measuring cups and a scale in your kitchen to help you have accurate serving sizes.
- 3Read the nutrition labels.You can do this whenever you buy your groceries. If the food has no nutrition label, you have to search for the lists online and find out its contents.
- 4Take note that every food type has an impact on the sugar levels in your blood.Food items that have "free" on them are good choices, but still be careful of how much you eat. Stay away from junk foods like chips and regular chocolates.
- 5Opt for healthier snacks.There are various versions of diabetic friendly food in grocery stores these days. However, the way they taste may not satisfy you as much as their regular versions. Just eat the regular versions as rare treats or just look for fruits and other healthier snacks.
- 7Order small portions and watch out for side dishes at restaurants.You don't have to deprive yourself of a good meal at a restaurant. You just need to observe discipline in what you take in. You can share your meal with your companion or take home a doggie bag.
How to Make your Diabetic Diet Successful
- 2Have an occasional treat.Having a rare treat will make you look forward to your diet every single day. This will also distribute your sugar allowance throughout the day.
- 3Maintain a food journal.A journal like this is a handy way of monitoring the carbohydrates that you eat. With it, you will be able to see which food items spike your blood sugar levels.
- 4Eat more fiber and drink more water.These items have few calories and make you feel full for longer.
- 5Eat small, frequent meals.This will prevent your blood sugar levels from going too low or suddenly spiking up. It also helps prevent you from craving sugary foods.
- 6Keep ideal foods in your fridge and on the table.Doing so will help you gravitate towards them more. If you have them on the table, keep them on a large, nice looking basket. If you have to keep them in the fridge, use clear containers.
- 7Choose cuisine that does not need chemicals to taste delicious.Mediterranean or Asian foods are more on vegetables. They have more spices and less sugar.
- 8Don't forget to have a regular exercise routine.This will help you burn off excess calories and maintain the stability of your blood sugar levels.Advertisement
- Look for alternative recipes to your favorite dishes.
- Monitor your sugar levels everyday to gauge your progress.
- Report to your doctor and dietitian on a regular basis.
- Cook healthy dishes for the rest of the family to help you become more inspired with your diet.
- Learn to prepare your own food and refrain from consuming processed foods.
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.