A diabetic needs to be careful what he or she eats. Unfortunately, many people think that a diabetic diet or diabetic recipes are just something that doesn't contain sugar.
The truth is, it's not sugar that raises the blood glucose levels in the body, but carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are found in a variety of foods including vegetables, milk, fruits and honey. Anything a diabetic eats that contains carbohydrates will naturally raise blood sugar levels.
A diabetic meal plan can help a diabetic adjust to and maintain a healthy diet. Various methods are involved, and include anything from counting carbohydrates to carefully reading labels and understanding the glycemic index. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes need to carefully track what they're eating, especially in combination with either oral or insulin medication to treat diabetes for maintenance of balanced blood glucose levels.
For example, if an individual eats too many carbohydrates at one time, blood sugar levels may alter drastically, causing symptoms such as lightheadedness or confusion. Diabetics are cautioned to eat adequate amounts of fibers that will help regulate and maintain blood glucose levels for individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
A diabetic should receive adequate nutrients from a wide variety of food groups including grains, lean meats, poultry and fish, fruits, vegetables, and nonfat dairy products. Look for diabetic recipes that offer low carbs and high amounts of protein. A dietitian or nutritionist will offer a diabetic menu plan and recipes depending on your current health, weight, and activity levels.
Beyond that, a diabetic should eat a well balanced diet. According to the American Diabetic Association, that means 6 to 11 servings of vegetables, breads or grains, and 3 to 5 servings of a non-starchy vegetable every day. Two to four servings of fruit and 2 to 3 servings of low fat and other dairy products are also recommended. Two to three servings of meat for a protein intake are more than adequate. Check out two of the most common food pyramids offered for diabetics, including the Low Glycemic Index Pyramid and the diabetic USDA Food Pyramid found on the Internet.
Hundreds of diabetic recipes are available on the Internet or in diabetic cookbooks available at local bookstores and libraries, with recipes sorted by carbohydrates, calories, sodium, fat, and preparation time. Your likes and dislikes will also determine the types of recipes you choose, working closely with your dietitian or doctor to devise an eating plan that you will stick to and enjoy.
A diabetic recipe should offer not only ingredients, but also total carb count, amount of saturated fat and sodium, as well as calories. Remember, a diabetic recipe or menu plan doesn't have to be bland or boring. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes can enjoy main dishes, beverages, desserts, and snacks, just like everyone else.
For example, look at this Beef Stroganoff recipe offered by the Mayo Clinic:
The nutritional analysis provided for this recipe states that one serving contains 38 g of carbohydrates, 6 g of total fat, and 307 milligrams of sodium. This recipe also contains 2 g of fiber, 65 mg of calcium, and averages 302 calories per serving.
As you can see, this traditional Beef Stroganoff recipe has been only slightly adapted to make it perfectly healthy and tasty for a diabetic palate. In fact, prepare this recipe without letting anyone know that it contains fat-free ingredients or low carbohydrate ingredients, and most likely, no one will even notice the difference.
A diabetic diet is designed to help individuals diagnosed with the disease to control their symptoms. Low in fat and carbohydrates and high in fiber, a diabetic diet can help individuals feel better, stronger, and more in control of their diabetic condition more often with less erratic changes in blood sugar levels throughout the day.
PLEASE NOTE - It is highly recommended that you always consult with your Doctor or medical professional before attempting any new or different diet regimen.