Diabetes meal plan
Having a diabetes meal plan is essential if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from diabetes.
There is nothing particularly complicated about implementing a diabetes meal plan. It is simply a matter of making sure that you eat at regular times each day and that you include a variety of foods that are full of nutrients and moderate the amounts you consume.
Most people who suffer from diabetes are usually given advice by their doctor about the foods they should include (and exclude) in their diabetes meal plan.
A healthy diabetes meal plan will however generally include relatively high amounts of fruit, vegetables and whole grains. It will also be low in calories and saturated fats.
In actual fact the foods that are included in a diabetes meal plan are also foods that form the basis of any healthy diet regardless of whether you suffer from diabetes or not.
Adopting a properly formulated diabetes meal plan helps tremendously when it comes to controlling blood glucose. Eating excessive amounts of fat and calories causes blood glucose levels to rise significantly. This can result in problems with the nervous system, the kidneys and even cause damage to the heart.
It is far easier to keep your blood glucose levels at a safe level if you make healthy food choices.
Following a diabetes meal plan can also be beneficial for anyone who wants to lose weight. If you are overweight and also suffer from diabetes losing weight can help significantly in helping you to control your blood glucose.
Foods that are recommended for inclusion in your diabetes meal plan
There are a number of foods that are recognised as being particularly beneficial for anyone suffering from diabetes and can always be safely included in any diabetes meal plan.
Sugars and starches (simple and complex carbohydrates) are broken down into blood glucose during the digestion process.
Carbohydrates that should be included in your diabetes meal plan should be focussed around the healthier forms of carbohydrates. These include the majority of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes such as lentils, peas and beans. Your diabetes meal plan can also include a selection of dairy products providing they are low fat.
Foods that are rich in fibre
It is essential that you eat sufficient dietary fibre as this will help to control blood sugar levels and also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Fibre rich foods that need to be included in your diabetes meal plan are vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, flour (whole wheat) and bran.
Eat fish for a healthy heart
Fish such as cod, halibut and tuna contain less saturated fat than meat and poultry. Mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon are all high in omega3 which help to promote a healthy heart and also lower blood fats (triglycerides).
Fish that contains high mercury levels such as king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish should be excluded from your diabetes meal plan along with any form of fried fish.
Good fats to include in your diabetes meal plan
All forms of fat tend to be high in calories but certain foods that contain fat can be included in your diabetes meal plan provided they are not eaten in excess.
Certain foods like almonds, pecans, olives, walnuts, avocados and canola contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and can assist in lowering cholesterol levels.
Foods to exclude from your diabetes meal plan
You should aim to limit your calorie intake from saturated fats to a maximum of seven per cent per day. High amounts of saturated fats are found in animal proteins such as sausages, bacon, beef etc and high fat dairy products.
If you are trying to eat healthy and balanced diabetes meals you need to control your intake of saturated fat.
A diabetes meal plan should not include any trans fats at all. Trans fats are found in products like stick margarine, most baked goods and the majority of processed snacks.
Foods high in Cholesterol
Your diabetes meal plan needs to limit the intake of foods that will increase your cholesterol level. It is suggested that you consume no more than 300mg of cholesterol each day.
Foods that you need to be avoiding include shellfish, liver, egg yolks, high fat animal proteins and full fat dairy products.
It is not difficult to put together a diabetes meal plan that is both healthy and appetising. It simply means that you need to consider which foods to include and which to avoid in order to ensure that you lead normal life.