Let us refer to this diet as a healthy diet, and not as a diabetes diet, for a healthy diet plan is good for anybody. With diabetes, what one needs to be careful about the amount of carbohydrates in his or her diet. For some, the protein and fat content of the diet also needs to be taken care of. Thus, it should be about making a healthy meal plan with a variety of nutrients, in moderation. Eating at regular times is also equally important when you have this condition. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper medication will help keep blood sugar levels under control.
The diet should help in regulating the blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. This is often mentioned as the “ABCs” of a diabetes nutrition plan. ‘A’ refers to HbA1c, the average measure of blood sugar for the past few months, ‘B’ stands for blood pressure and ‘C’ for cholesterol.
- Choosing foods that are low in the glycemic index is the ideal way to control blood sugar levels. Glycemic index is a measure of the influence of the particular food in increasing blood sugar level. Thus, foods with a higher glycemic index tend to increase blood sugar levels and vice versa.
- Eat a variety of nutritious food with plenty of vegetables and fruits, and ensure that calorie content is just enough for a healthy body weight. Opt for high-fiber foods like, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as it helps in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Eat the right amount of food, as excess calories will be converted to fat and stored in the body. One must discuss with his or her dietitian to decide on the calorie content he or she needs to maintain a healthy body weight.
- If you are having, or have had, sugary foods, let it substitute other carbohydrates in the diet. But, moderation is the key word, as sugary foods can be fattening too. So, you need not totally avoid sugary foods.
- Limit the amount of foods that contain saturated fat. This is important to control cholesterol levels, and to avoid related complications.
Diabetes does not require a special diet or menu plan in most cases. What one needs is good control over total calories, carbohydrates, and other nutrients that can alter blood sugar levels.