Tips for Health

Diabetic Diets for Adults

By on March 15, 2013 in Health with 0 Comments

Adult-onset diabetes – type 2 – is frequently caused by poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. For this reason it can often be controlled through diet and exercise.  Exercise stimulates the metabolism and burns calories so that intake need not be quite as rigorously controlled.  Carbohydrates affect the level of glucose in the blood so they are the primary focus when planning a diabetic diet.  At the same time, the intake of fats also affects blood sugar. This is because fat slows the digestive process, making insulin less effective and blood sugar levels continue to rise for some time after a fatty meal.

In addition diabetics should avoid fats and cholesterol as much as possible to reduce the danger of  heart attacks and stroke, to which diabetics are susceptible because of their history of poor eating in the past.

The recommended adult diabetes diet is nutritionally balancedwith a good selection from the different food groups at every meal, with, portion size strictly controlled.  This can be done in one of three ways, or a combination of the three:

  • Counting carbohydrate grams
  • Following the Food Pyramid
  • Using the Plate Method

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Counting carbs means reading food labels or consulting charts to keep your daily consumption of carbohydrates below a fixed number of grams. It is necessary to work with a dietitian to determine individual needs and limits.  With this information in hand, you can begin to plan meals that meet those needs and stay within the limits.

The Diabetic Food Pyramid specifies the number of portions of each food group that is acceptable.  For example, you can have 8-10 portions of carbohydrate, 2-3 servings of meat or other protein and 3-5 servings of non-starchy vegetables.

The Plate Method follow the new government guidelines of visually dividing the plate in half, and one side in half again.  The half is filled with leafy, colorful vegetables, one quarter with starch, and one quarter with protein.  You can have a glass of milk on the side.

The key is not to exceed the serving sizes.

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