Some of the key steps in a diabetes mellitus diet are weight control by checking calories, avoiding saturated fat, checking blood glucose levels and customizing guidelines for carbohydrate intake.
Besides, a diabetic has to adopt some lifestyle changes such as switching over to a balanced diet and daily exercise. Most often people think that one has to give up eating sweets completely. But the truth is that treating yourself with a sweet candy is okay once in a while. Here is a step-by-step overview of diabetes mellitus diet plan.
Diabetes Mellitus Diet Plan
Control Blood Sugar
A diabetic should have control on his/her blood sugar level. 1% reduction in blood glucose level implies around 40% reduction in risk of diabetic complications. Blood sugar levels can be lowered by resorting to a carbohydrate-and lipid-rich diet backed up by regular exercise.
Besides, type of food, time of meals and amount of food determine the success rate of blood sugar level reduction. Whatever you eat should have recommended calorie content and you should try to eat at a particular time everyday e.g. lunch at noon. Eating at a particular time every day enables the blood sugar level to stabilize.
Also, schedule your medication and stick to a particular time for taking medications. Same goes for time as well as amount of exercise done. Besides, one should not skip meals and give up on carbohydrates. Giving up carbohydrates totally would decrease blood sugar to risky levels.
Check Blood Glucose Levels
Before a meal the blood glucose level is normally 90mg/dl to 130mg/dl which increases to 180mg/dl two hours after a meal. However, 180mg/dl is not normal for a diabetic. Get a glucose testing device and monitor the glucose levels twice daily. Test frequency depends on the diet plan.
What to eat?
Limit saturated and trans-saturated fat such as LDL to 7 to 10% of daily calorie needs. Limit protein intake to 15-20% of daily calorie needs. Poultry, skinless fowls, lean meats such as chicken, beans, etc. are good sources of protein for a diabetic. Also, carbohydrates should be limited to 45% of daily calorie needs. Some good sources of carbohydrate for diabetics are brown rice, whole grain breads, vegetables, fruits, cereals and beans.
Fiber intake is an essential part of diabetes mellitus diet plan. Fiber reduces glucose absorption and urinary glucose excretion, lowers blood sugar level rise, sets back intestinal transit time and slows down stomach emptying. Fiber intake prevents frequent hunger cramps and hence helps in weight loss. Some complex carbohydrates that also contain fiber are bread, brown rice, pulses, etc.
What not to eat?
A person suffering from diabetes mellitus should avoid tubers and roots such as colocasia, potato, sweet potato, tapioca, yam, etc. Carrot and radish are an exception here and are safe to be consumed. One should totally give up fried foods such as French fries and chips.
In addition, honey, jaggery, jams, nuts and sweets should be avoided. Salad dressing such as mayonnaise should be avoided. Oil used to cook food should be limited. To top it all, a diabetic should strictly avoid alcohol. Fruits can be included except mango, chikoo, banana, custard apple, etc.
Photo Credit: Diabeteshealthysolutions.com/diabetic-meal-plan/