Diabetic Diet Guidelines – Goals and Steps to Manage Diabetes

Diabetic diet guidelines are a very important thing to consider as you manage your diabetes. These diabetes guidelines serve two purposes, first they are designed to help you control your blood sugar levels, and secondly they help you create fun and satisfying meals that enhance the quality of your life.

Diabetic diet guidelines - what you can eat

"Many people think that having diabetes requires a special diet. The diabetes diet, however, is a healthy, enjoyable one, and suitable for the entire family".(1)

The foods you will choose from include whole grain carbohydrates, lean meats, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products, beans, fruits and vegetables. Sweets and other treats can be enjoyed in moderation.

Goals to achieve through a good diabetic diet

  1. The top goal is to keep your blood sugar level in the normal range. Food is not the only thing that will determine your blood sugar levels and you will need to monitor how your medications and exercise level are affecting your blood sugar.
  2. A good diet can also help you keep your cholesterol and triglycerides under control, which will protect your heart.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight or maintaining a normal weight will make managing diabetes easier.

Spelling out your diabetic diet guidelines

Now that you know what types of foods you can eat and what your goals for healthy eating are, let’s look at the specific diabetic diet guidelines.

  1. Eat smaller meals that are spaced out during the day. This will help you manage blood sugar swings and also prevent you from becoming too hungry.
  2. Aim for carbohydrates to make up 45 to 60% of your daily calorie intake.
  3. Plan your meals and snacks so you have the right foods available.
  4. Keep eating simple and sane. You do not have to change all of your eating habits at once. Begin slowly by aiming to meet a set calorie limit and then build more healthy habits.
  5. Don’t rush. When you slow down and enjoy your food you are less likely to overeat and more likely to feel satisfied.
  6. Enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. You can add limited amounts of foods that are high in fats and sugar to keep from getting bored.

Learning what to eat and how foods affect your blood sugar is vital to your overall health. By following these diabetic diet guidelines and consulting with your doctor about the foods you eat, you can make positive improvements to your health

(1) California Pacific Medical Center (2010). Dietary guidelines for diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.cpmc.org/learning/documents/diabetes-diet-ws.html

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