Diabetes is caused when your body becomes resistant to insulin, which increases the level of blood sugar levels after the food you consume is broken down. Even though the effect of diabetes is irreversible, you can take measures to control the adverse signs. Meal planning is not just about crafting a balanced diet but also incorporating ways to control the adverse effects of any disease and stick to it with consistency. The diet plan should incorporate food items that maintain your blood sugar levels and avoid spikes of glucose content.
Follow this guide to prepare an effective diet plan for diabetic people.
Step 1: Choose Healthy Carbs
Since carbohydrates form a major part of any diet, they cannot be completely shunned. Carbs are high in fiber and sugar content, which is why diabetic patients must choose healthy carbs. When compared to other macronutrients such as fat and protein, carbs increase blood sugar levels at a faster rate. Avoid using unhealthy carbs such as white pasta, white bread, or any other food made with refined flour. Instead, choose healthy carbs such as whole grains and vegetables that will keep your blood sugar level at bay. Before incorporating any ingredient or food item in your meal, learn more about its carb content.
Step 2: Incorporate Protein
Another essential macronutrient found in every diet is protein as it helps build muscle mass and keeps you satiated for long. Unlike carbs, they do not raise blood sugar levels instantaneously. However, exceeding the limit of protein consumption can lead to weight gain. The amount of protein you consume should be utilized through weightlifting or by performing high-intensity exercises. Since protein enhances the function of insulin, it is wiser to stay away from protein shakes and similar mixes as they often contain added sugar and carbs. Meal planning also works for diabetic patients who are vegetarians. If you do not want to add meat options, you can look online to find some examples of vegetarian diet plans that are rich in protein. Include dietary fiber as it also helps control blood sugar levels. Some foods rich in dietary fiber are artichokes, green peas, lentils, beans, etc.
Step 3: Pick Foods Rich in Healthy Fat
Pick healthy fats to keep you full and regulate your blood sugar levels. Some food items you can incorporate include avocado, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds. Since most of these food items are high in calories, control your consumption as it can lead to weight gain.
Step 4: Measure your Portions
Since portion control will regulate the amount of carbs, protein, fiber, fat, and calories you intake, it is necessary to measure the amount of food you consume for each meal. Use the ‘plate method’ to control your portion sizes and food intake, which is dedicated to patients with type 2 diabetes. This is a visualization technique that will help diabetic patients understand the recommended food intake. Choose non starchy vegetables to fill half of the plate and a healthy carb to fill one-quarter. Pick a lean protein to fill the final quarter on the plate. This will also prevent overeating and weight gain. You can also calculate portion sizes based on your age, gender, height, and weight through health apps and online habit trackers.
At the same time, avoid food items such as full-fat dairy, processed grains such as white pasta and white rice, food items with a high glycemic index and added sweeteners, pastries, and food rich in saturated fats.
Take a look at this diabetic-friendly weekly diet chart as an example. The meals are in order of breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.
Day 1: Poached eggs, turkey-stuffed bell peppers, yogurt with berries, pan-fried salmon.
Day 2: Whole grain cereal with oatmeal, salmon with green beans, hard boiled eggs, mushroom and tofu stir-fry.
Day 3: Berries and Greek yogurt smoothie, pan roasted chicken, roasted chickpeas, Thai chicken.
Day 4: Omelet, Chicken and cauliflower brown rice, apple slices with peanut butter, salmon-stuffed avocados.
Day 5: Lentils on toast, spinach and salmon salad, a small cup of cottage cheese, egg and spinach scramble.
Day 6: Whole wheat muffins with 100% cocoa, braised pork stew, handful of almonds, Mediterranean lettuce wraps.
Day 7: Basil and cheese frittatas, shrimp and avocado salad, air-popped popcorn, tuna salad.
Some diabetic-friendly dessert options include berry yogurt bites, yogurt chocolate fudge, banana bread smoothie, and berry bowl with Greek yogurt.
Apply these tips to design a diabetic-friendly meal plan and experience the positive results within no time. You can also replace all non-vegetarian ingredients with veg food items. Individuals suffering from diabetes must pay special attention to their diet and eating habits, and designing a meal plan using these tips is the first step towards healthy living.