A diabetic diet is helpful in maintaining a proper body weight besides providing the people with an adequate nutrition. The levels of blood sugar are also kept under check with the help of a diabetic diet. The diet plan of a diabetes patient is decided according to the weight, height, sex, age, nature of diabetes as well as the physical activity of the person. Complications that include high levels of cholesterol and a high blood pressure also need to be considered while setting the diet plan.
A diet program known as the exchange meal plan is useful in balancing the carbohydrates that we consume in a day. Carbohydrate releases glucose which is a sugar thus in order to control the level of blood sugar the intake of simple carbohydrates must be limited. Foods containing carbohydrates are provided in the form of value per portion which is termed as the exchange. The amount and type of food as well as the time taken to eat the food is decided according to this plan. A carbohydrate meal plan may also be set for a diabetic patient.
Some of the factors that need to be adhered to are the following:
- Intake of fibres –minimum of 1.4 oz in a day
- 4-5 mid interval meals which are short should be preferred instead of 3 meals that are heavy.
- Fast foods as well as bakery products should be avoided as far as possible. Instead simple cooked cereals should be taken.
- Vegetables as well as fresh fruits should be consumed at least five times in a single day.
The diet of a diabetic patient needs to be taken special care of. However that does not mean that only bland diet which is quite boring needs to be consumed. The following points need to be kept in mind regarding the diet of a diabetic patient:
- Oatmeal which is cholesterol lowering should be taken for the breakfast
- Nuts such as walnuts, pecans as well as almonds that are rich in unsaturated fats should be taken.
- Pastas, stews, leafy salads and beans such as chick peas, kidney beans, navy beans and dry beans should be eaten
- Yogurt, milk which is fat free as well as cheese should be consumed
- Diet should include the egg whites
- Fish as well as the white meat chicken are also good