People with Diabetes tend to eat differently in other to manage it. First, what is diabetes? also known as Diabetes Mellitus is a disease where the amount of sugar is the body is in excess. A Diabetes diet is basically eating healthy meals, in amounts that aren’t threatening to the body or the disease.
To engage in a diabetic diet, you need an eating plan which consists of nutrients and food low in calories and low in fat Which include fruits and vegetables and also whole grains.
Note, you do not need to be a diabetic patient to try out this diet as it is advisable and convenient for just about everyone.
What is the purpose of a diabetic diet?
Doctors usually refer their diabetic patients to dietitians in order for them to draw out a diet for them. the said plan is to enable patients to manage their glucose level. It can also be used to manage weight, high blood pressure, and body fat.
Here’s the thing you need to know, eating an excessive amount of calories as well fatty foods can rocket the glucose in our bodies. When you eat these goods, your body gives a displeased response. And when the sugar gets higher than normal, complications can also arise such as Hyperglycemia. Organs in the body such as the kidney and the heart can also be affected by poor eating choices and uncontrollable rise in our glucose level, which isn’t just harmful to our bodies but they can also be long term. Monitoring your eating habits, the kinda of food you purchase and eat at home and away from home can help your glucose level positively if done right.
Type 2 diabetes patients can endeavor to lose weight as this goes a long way in controlling their body sugar positively. And for a type 2 diabetes patient wanting to lose weight or anyone, in particular, this diabetic diet is a go-to source.
Now, a diabetes diet isn’t as sad as it sounds. You can still have 3 square meals a day. This balanced diet enables the body to make proper use of insulin which it produces. If you take insulin through the help of medication, it also manages it and makes adequate use of it.
Remember to get your food plan directly from a registered dietitian. A dietitian would help in not just organizing a healthy diet for you but also creating a healthy lifestyle and recommending nice tasting meals for you too. You would discuss ways to improve your diet plan, eating habits and lifestyle. Your dietitian would recommend healthy portion sizes to be eaten, which would suit you in regards to your weight, your blood pressure and your type of diabetes.
Food recommendations for a diabetic diet
- Carbohydrates: sugars and starch are broken down and formed to the glucose we know. These are simple and complex carbohydrates respectively. Both aren’t exactly unhealthy sugar but when taken in a large quantity could have a detrimental effect on the body. The healthy carbohydrates you should be focusing on are fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, vegetables and of course, beans, peas, and other Leguminous foods.
- Fibers: Let’s not forget food Rich in fiber. What does fiber do? Fiber helps in regulating the food your body digests and how it’s digested in a moderate manner. Leguminous plants, Wheat, fruits and vegetables etc are all really good foods which are high In fiber quantity.
- Fish: Eating fish is also healthy to the heart as it contains omega 3 fatty acids. Taking it at least two to three in a week can give health benefits to the heart. Supplements like fish oils also help but consult your dietitians or doctors before you proceed with these supplements. Fishes posses a total, saturated fat, and lesser cholesterol as to the meat counterpart. Examples of this fishes are Tuna, mackerel, sardines, and bluefish are really rich the omega 3 fatty acids mentioned above. This can be really good for the heart by lowering triglycerides. Frying fish, however, defeats the aim and you must not eat as high mercury fishes such as king mackerel( different from normal mackerel) and swordfishes as these aren’t good for your health and do not have a positive impact on your heart.
- Healthy fats: If you need foods to help lower cholesterol in the body, you might want to try polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats as they are classified as a good type of fat. Foods such as almonds, canola, olive oil, avocados amongst others.
Foods to avoid for your diabetes diet.
Diabetes is known for not just increasing your blood sugar, but it can also increase your heart rate. You must know that this could lead to a potential stroke and other health crises. You need special foods to make sure this doesn’t happen and your dietitian would walk you through it. Also, you need to avoid certain foods if you want to have healthiest diabetes food for your heart.
- Fats: the fats in question right now aren’t the healthy fats mentioned above. Saturated fats, as you were told aren’t good for you and your heart. Food high in animal products and consists of a lot of dairy products can be detrimental to health. Examples are beef, sausage, Bacons, and other animal Products.
- Sodium: On a regular day on an average you should not take anything above 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That’s the number for a regular person. And 1,500 milligrams for a person suffering from hypertension.
- Trans fats: these can also be called processed fats, as to they are in processed food, baked food, junk good and margarine.
- Cholesterol: taking an excessive amount of cholesterol such as egg yolks, animal proteins with high fat, liver and meat organs can because of an impact on your health. The average cholesterol to take in a day is 200mg.
How to make your own diabetes diet
- Understand the basics or a good diabetes diet.
Making or planning out a diabetic meal can be a lot of work, but educating yourself about what a good diabetic diet is all about. Learn just the amount of vegetables, starch and other food you might need to make the diet a success. Learn the fundamentals of what you need and do not need. And also the amount of sugar, iodine, and cholesterol your body needs. You can see a doctor and a dietitian as they can help give you the basic information you need
- Know your carbohydrate.
You should be aware of the power carbohydrate holds as can break down into glucose. do not starve yourself of carbohydrates as your body needs an appropriate amount in other to be functional. You need to do a study om how much carbohydrate intake your body can handle and just when it’s becoming excessive. Same with fatty foods and every other thing because the key is moderation in an appropriate manner.
Remember the healthy carbohydrates such as Fruit, milk, yogurt beans etc. Incorporating a bit of this into your meal is a good idea.
- Adopt the plate method
This is basically learning how to control your food sizes. It does not require calories count but rather, shows the amount of food you should intake from a particular group. To do this, you need a plate that’s about 9 inches. Now, you have to put any protein meal of your choice in one-fourth of that 9 inches plate. Then add a vegetable(preferably), now add the remaining one-fourth of the plate should have grains in it. You can choose to have a plate of fruits by the side and in addition, a glass of milk or water.
There are programs and centers that teach you how to proportion your food with household items and so on. You can visit them or visit a dietitian. Remember to do thorough research on the number of calories a food has before consumption.
Although the plate method doesn’t really require that, you should know nonetheless so If anything is going off, you can be able to tell. Avoid excess intake of snacks as the processed fats are in no way good for you and your diabetes diet.
Should I exercise too?
Yes, yes, yes and absolutely yes.
As a diabetic patient, just having a diabetic diet isn’t just enough as you need to regularly exercise to keep your blood circulation in check and to burn excessive sugar and fat.
Exercising and being physically active helps in:
- It helps in lowering your glucose level in your blood.
- It helps in lowering blood pressure.
- It helps in improving the blood flow of the body
- It helps in blood circulation
- It helps in burning out calories that are excess In the body. This encourages weight loss.
- It’s can help improve your general mood as people who exercise tend to be happier.
- It can help you in your sleep by encouraging you to sleep better and sleeping helps in the overall health of people such as improving memory capacity.
You do not need to go to the gym to reach your full capacity for physical exercising. Little exercise like jogging around your neighborhood, doing some jump ropes, and even taking a stroll in the park can come a long way. And you don’t need to go for 4 hours straight. Just as little as 30 minutes every day can get the Job done. Even small amounts of physical activity can help. If you would like to achieve more than just exercising for general health benefits, such as weight loss, then you can increase your exercise period to an hour or so. Remember, no pain no gain, right?.
Exercises do not work exactly overnight, you must realize that and know it is a process. Coupled with your diabetic diet, you would lose weight definitely, but it may take a long time. Remember, consistency is the key, skipping a week of exercise or diet can set you back by a considerable amount of numbers.
Little exercises you can fit into your daily routines.
Being idle for a long time makes us lazy and the thought of exercising an out most scare. There are little exercises you can add into your everyday routine that would form to be a habit, and soon, even exercising wouldn’t be as difficult.
- Do your chores yourself, such as doing the laundry, mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, cleaning out the house and washing your car.
- When watching a movie and the commercial come on, you can walk around your sofa until the movie comes back on.
- When you go to a place like a mall or an event center, don’t park your too close to the entrance as you might need an extra walk.
- When in a building with so many floors, try using the stairs instead of the elevator. And I mean when going up.
- Go for bike rides.
- Endeavor to not sit for too long a time as not only can this cause cramps, it can limit blood circulation.
- Do arm, leg, and torso stretches.
- Stand up and go get lunch instead of having it delivered to you.
- Practice lunges, planks(even on the bed, leg lifts, torso twists etc)
Can I practice Aerobic exercises as a diabetic patient?
The harder you breathe, the more you’re heart pumps blood and this is a good thing. So yes, practicing aerobic exercises even for a diabetic patient is very much advisable. You can make space for these exercises such as 30 minutes a day and 5 days a week. You can spread out these activities by doing 2 a day, 15 minutes for each. Or three. Whichever is better for you.
These are mild exercises that can also increase your heart rate.
- Running up the stairs
- Playing net games such as tennis and volleyball.
You can also attend dancing exercise classes. Remember to consult your doctor and your dietitians before starting all of this, they would let you know how to make any adjustments where it is necessary.