Diet plays a significant role in controlling the diabetes. The diabetic diet may be used alone or else in combination with insulin doses or with oral hypoglycemic drugs. Main objective of diabetic diet is to maintain ideal body weight, by providing adequate nutrition along with normal blood sugar levels in blood. The diet plan for a diabetic is based on height, weight, age, sex, physical activity and nature of diabetes. While planning diet, the dietician has to consider complications such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels.
With respect to the above factors, a dietician will assess calories to be given, like scheming the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, type of carbohydrate, amount of fiber and so on.
Exchange meal plan is a diet program which balances the amount of carbohydrate that we intake per day. Glucose is a sugar released from carbohydrate so, if we want to control blood sugar we have to limit the consumption of simple carbohydrate. Carbohydrate foods are given as value per portion, known as the exchange. This plan helps us to decide on the type of food to be taken, the amount of food and also the time to eat. You can plan for more flexible meals as you get more knowledge about the diet for a diabetic, may be like the counting carbohydrate meal plan or constant carbohydrate. But there is no common diet that works for everyone. Nor is there any particular diet that works perfectly for any diabetic over a long period. While planning diabetes diet we should adhere to certain important factors, they are as follows:
- Fiber should be at least 1.4 oz / day
- Instead of 3 heavy meals, we should go for 4-5 small mid intervals
- Replace bakery products and fast foods by simple whole cooked cereals, and don't eat carbohydrates 2 hours before bedtime
- Consume fresh fruit and vegetables at least 5 exchange/ day
Diabetics always need to take care of their diet and also about the food they eat. Care has to be taken because all foods contain not only carbohydrate, but also some energy value. Protein and fat available in the food are converted to glucose in the body. This glucose has some effect on the blood sugar level, which has to be taken care of. Furthermore, you needn’t have to eat only the bland boring diet. Instead, you can eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. All it means is that you need to select foods that are high in nutrition and low in calories.