Foods for a Diabetic Diet
A diabetic diet is notable for the foods you should avoid as much as the foods you can eat. The aim is to provide steady, regular glucose levels without an undue rise in blood sugar. That precludes a lot of foods which people love to eat, but it needn’t completely eliminate tasty dishes from your diet. Plenty of healthy foods can make delicious meals, while simultaneously lowering your cholesterol and controlling your diabetes.
Foods to Avoid
Diabetics need to stay away from foods high in cholesterol, those containing a lot of salt or sodium and those full of sugar. That includes fatty meats (fast food meats in particular), candy and sweets, soda, high-fat dairy products, alcohol, egg yolks and anything made with saturated fats. While you don’t need to cut such foods out of your diet entirely, they should be severely limited and saved for special treats: consumed no more than once a week, if that. Dairy products can be consumed more readily, but they should always be low-fat or non-fat varieties such as skim milk or cottage cheese.
Meat is an important part of any diet, but for diabetics, it should be as fat-free as possible. That often means fish such as tuna and salmon, but it can also mean beef and poultry if they are prepared properly. Grilling or baking meats tends to lower their cholesterol levels a great deal, and you can use canola oil or olive oil to prepare them instead of hydrogenated oils.
Grains and Starch
Experts suggest basing a diabetic diet around healthy starches and grains, such as rice, potatoes, cereal, high-grain bread, oatmeal, bran muffins and pasta. Six to eleven servings a day are recommended, and like lean meats, they should be prepared in a healthy manner such as baking or grilling. Avoid garnishing them with butter, jelly or sweeteners, since that only adds cholesterol and sugar.
Fruits and Vegetables
In addition to the starch, a good variety of fruits and vegetables can help maintain healthy glucose levels. In particular, high fiber vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach make for a healthy diet, as do fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries and pears. Experts recommend at least 3 to 5 servings of vegetables and 2 to 4 servings of fruit each day for diabetics.
As important as the diet itself is, it can be just as important for diabetics to maintain regularity in their eating habits. This means consuming approximately the same amount of calories each day (from the same type of sources), taking meals regularly and eating each meal at the same approximate time every day. That keeps glucose levels from rising or falling unnecessarily, which is essential to a diabetic’s good health.