November is National Diabetes Month. People often ask about a “diabetic diet.” The reality is there is no such thing as a “diabetic diet.” Rather, people with diabetes should follow a meal plan approved by their healthcare provider which focuses on a variety of healthy foods with the right amount of carbohydrates…
Is there such thing as a Diabetic Diet?
There is NO such thing as a Diabetic Diet!
A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is similar as a healthy meal plan for anyone. However, once diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, it is extremely important to monitor your carbohydrate intake. There is no “one size fits all” diet. Your nutrient needs are specific to your body, physical activity level, and any medications you may be taking. With diabetes, your diet is not about completely restricting entire food groups, but more about keeping track of the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Finding the right balance can make a huge difference in managing your blood glucose levels and help you feel great.
Foods Containing Carbohydrates include:
- Starchy-Vegetables like beans, peas, and lentils
- Milk and Yogurts
- Sweets, desserts, and sweetened beverages
These foods can be part of a healthy eating plan for a person with diabetes and can be done through counting carbohydrates.
How Much Carbohydrates do People with Diabetes Need?
- Finding the right balance is important to help you feel your best and manage your diabetes.
- Many people with diabetes have success using the carbohydrate counting method to help track and balance carbohydrate intake each day to manage their blood sugar.
- 15 grams of carbohydrate is equal to 1 carbohydrate choice
- As a general rule most people with diabetes do well with 12-16 total carbohydrate choices throughout the day. This comes out to 3-4 carbohydrate choices (or 45-60 grams carbohydrates) per meal with room for a snack or two.
- You may need more or less depending on your specific needs and how you manage your diabetes. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider and find the right amount for you!
Using Food Labels
- Carbohydrate counting is easier when food labels are available
- Look at serving size
- Look at grams of total carbohydrates
Make Your Carbs Count
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks
- Eat whole fruit instead of drinking juice
- Choose whole grain breads and whole wheat pasta over regular white (enriched) grains
If you would like to know more about how to help manage Type 2 Diabetes, contact your local county agent to participate in one of our three diabetes education programs!
Some information from: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/