A diabetic can greatly improve the quality of her diet by choosing foods in sync with the diabetes food list.
The diabetes food guide can be best comprehended by constructing a food pyramid from the various food groups. The food pyramid should classify foods into 6 different food groups. The foods located at the base of the pyramid are those that can be consumed in the greatest quantity. The foods at the top of the pyramid need to be eaten in strict moderation.
The bottom, or largest, group on the diabetes food guide consists of beans, grains, and vegetables. This is the food group from which you should choose the largest portion of your daily food. The top smallest group consisting of fats, sweets, and alcohol comprise the group from which you should severely restrict your intake.
The diabetes food guide is a bit different from a daily food guide of a non-diabetic. It’s usually recommended that diabetics eat many smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. The smaller meals act to equalize the body’s glucose production instead of causing highs and lows.
The diabetes food guide differs from the normal food guide in that it pays greater attention to proteins and carbohydrates. For example, some foods, such as potatoes are counted as starches instead of vegetables. The same goes for most beans. Cheese is considered to be a meat instead of a dairy product. Let’s take a look at the various groups and try to understand the foods in each of the groups.
Grains and starches are the foods at the base of the pyramid. These are foods such as potatoes, peas, corn, bread, beans, pasta, and cereal. You can usually have 6 to 11 portions of these foods daily. If you are watching calories you will want to stay nearer the 6 mark instead of 7.
Vegetables are naturally low fat foods and can be eaten either raw or cooked. When cooking it is best to stay away from oils and fats. Steaming is a good way to enjoy fresh vegetables. Also a fresh salad can be savored as long as you stay away from the heavier dressings and stick with the lighter vinegar or lemon juice dressings with a small amount of olive oil. Fruit is the next layer and should be eaten two to four times daily. Fruit is usually high in natural sugar so you need to choose wisely when making your fruit choices.
Milk is another group which allows you two to three servings daily. It’s best if you choose low fat or non fat dairy products so you can avoid the extra calories and fat servings and still get the nutritional values. Meat and meat substitutes includes chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, cheese, and peanut butter. In this category you will need to limit you intake to four to six ounces per day.
The last group in the diabetes food guide is fats, sweets, and alcohol. This should usually be reserved for a special treat and not a part of your every day diet. You can have these items on occasion but you need to limit the portion size and the frequency you eat them.
Hopefully this diabetes food guide will help you get started in the right direction. A qualified nutritionist can take these foods and help you work out an eating plan that you can live with without feeling deprived.