Diabetes Diet Plan

Diabetes and Diabetes Diet Tips

Diabetes is a result of high blood sugar levels in the body.

Sugar levels are determined by the amount of glucose in the body. Glucose is derived from the individual’s diet and is responsible for providing the body with an energy boost. The body produces a hormone called insulin to help absorb and breakdown glucose. When the body doesn’t make any insulin or makes inadequate amounts of insulin, the glucose remains in the blood increasing blood sugar levels and general health. If left unchecked, diabetes can lead to serious health issues like permanent kidney damage, loss of sight, heart disease, and so on.

For those diagnosed with diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels is based on a triple pronged plan – medication, exercise and diet. Since glucose is derived from diet, diabetes patients benefit from certain specific foods. These provide basic nutrition without causing any imbalance in the body’s sugar levels. An effective diabetes diet menu helps the patient keep his condition in check.

Diabetes Diet Menu
Contrary to popular belief, diabetes diet foods don’t mean a lifetime of boring, bland meal.

In fact much like any food plan, the diabetes diet menu is all about providing a balanced meal, but with a lookout for certain types of food that need to be consumed in controlled quantities. It is also about making smarter food choices to ensure healthy being.

Given the condition, the goal of diabetes healthy food plan is to ensure the body’s sugar levels aren’t spiked with every meal. Again this doesn’t mean never eating sweet foods again; it just means controlling sweet and making the right dessert choices.

Most diabetes diet menus emphasize on a simple food plan:

Eating at least five small meals a day. It is very important to start with breakfast and not keep a long gap between meals if you want to keep your sugar levels in check.
Avoid foods that are rich in sugar content. This includes carbohydrates as well as processed foods. A simple way to make this transition is to replace simple carbohydrates with small portions of complex carbohydrates and candy and cakes with fresh fruit.
Keep the body active with some form of exercise. The body requires at least a minimum of twenty minutes of exercise – this can be anything from a walk in the park, a dance class, yoga, to a gym session.
Diabetes Healthy Recipes

It is best to consult your doctor or nutritionist when planning to chart a healthy diabetes meal plan. This plan is dependent on a number of issues. These include current health status and type of diabetes.

When choosing diabetes healthy food, there are certain foods that you should focus on more than others. For example fiber rich foods work better for a diabetes diet.

Fiber rich foods help aid digestion and also control sugar levels in the body. These foods include whole grains, bran cereal, oats, vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruits. Fibers can easily be added to your meal plan as they complement other food groups perfectly, making the meal healthier and diabetes friendly – for example oats or cereal with fruits as breakfast; fruits, vegetable sticks and nuts as snacks through the day; fruit and vegetable salads as accompaniments to meals; fruits for dessert. You also need to limit intake of saturated fats, processed foods, and foods rich in cholesterol. In addition remember that you can continue eating most of your favorite foods with clever (and healthier) substitutions. For example use margarine instead of butter; opt for skimmed milk; brown rice and bread; whole wheat pasta, and so on.

Gestational Diabetes Diet

 Diabetes a disease which affects the pancreas and it is not able to produce the right amount of insulin.

Insulin is necessary in the process of moving glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin also enables the liver to store the excess glucose. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs or when it is totally unable to produce it at all. The body needs insulin to help move the glucose from the blood and reach it to the cells in the body so that it can be used to produce energy.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that affects women when they are pregnant. Most non diabetic women become victims of gestational diabetes by the time they are into their fifth month of pregnancy and end a month or so after the delivery happens. Up to 6 percent of pregnant women become prone to it during pregnancy. At the time of gestational diabetes, even though a woman is able to produce the needed amount of insulin but this insulin gets blocked and is prevented for reaching the body cells.

Hormones like progesterone, estrogens and lactogen that are made in the placenta which is the organ that keeps the growing baby nourished while inside the mother’s womb.

As the pregnancy progresses into the 20th to 25th week the placenta also grows and it produces these hormones in large numbers making the body more insulin resistant. Sometimes during pregnancy the pancreas is able to make extra insulin too but at that time it will not be adequate to counter the effect of these hormones that are produced by the placenta. Though this disease is common women who have a family history of diabetes, are prone to high blood pressure, are overweight or have been affected by this in an earlier pregnancy they become more susceptible to gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes symptoms are pretty much the same as the normal diabetes symptoms. Constant hunger and thirst, a continuous sense of weariness and getting easily tired are some such symptoms. You might also notice that along with your pregnancy weight gain you have put on some extra weight. Excessive urination is a very common symptom and you might begin to get regular vaginal infections or itchy skin it could also be a sign of the onset of diabetes. Very often, these symptoms go unnoticed because these changes also occur in pregnancy. Therefore it is best that when you go for your regular check up, ask your doctor to do a glucose tolerance test for you so that if you do have gestational diabetes it can be diagnosed at the earliest.

Gestational diabetes treatment includes following a proper diet, regulating your pregnancy weight to make sure that you do not let yourself become overweight and monitor glucose levels. Gestational diabetes diet should include lots of carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, grains and cereals, avoid sugar and foods with high sugar content. A low fat but high fiber diet is always good to control diabetes.

As snacks you could eat fresh salads or cereals and oatmeal as they are healthy and will keep a check on your blood sugar levels. Ask your doctor or dietician to draw up a sample gestational diabetes diet plan for you so that you are able to know which foods are safe for you and the correct amount that needs to be consumed. You could also get a list of gestational diabetes recipes that will help to make you careful about your food. Apart from a healthy diet, exercise will help you to control your gestational diabetes and also help to keep your pregnancy weight in check.

Pre Diabetes Diet

What is pre diabetes?
Pre diabetes is a serious condition that can be described as the stage that comes prior to type-2 diabetes.

Previously known as impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, pre diabetes is not regarded as pure diabetes. This is because during pre diabetes, even though the levels of sugar are high in the body, they are not as high as they would be, if it were a case of diabetes. While there are no pre diabetes symptoms as such, it is possible to notice the symptoms that are normally associated with type-2 diabetes, like frequent urination, unexplained weight gain or loss and excessive thirst. It is also quite common to experience weakness and fatigue during pre diabetes.

Although it is a serious condition, it can be treated. However, it is best to prevent this problem, by following a pre diabetes diet and increasing physical activity.

What is a pre diabetes diet plan?
Most pre diabetes diets should consist mainly of pre diabetic foods, i.e., foods that have reduced amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, calories and fat. The main focus of a pre diabetes diet is to reduce the risk of progress to type-2 diabetes.

Including plenty of high fiber foods, certain fruits and non-starchy vegetables like beans, carrots, broccoli and spinach can help in pre diabetes weight loss too. While the most ideal foods for a pre diabetes diet are green vegetables, it is important to include vegetables of other type too, in order to maintain a variety in the diet.

One of the most important features of a pre diabetes diet is the exclusion of foods that contain simple carbohydrates, as they lead to weight gain and food cravings in most people. However, it is good to consume foods that contain complex carbohydrates, like high fiber foods, as they improve digestion and stabilize the levels of blood glucose in the body. Foods high in fiber help in providing energy to the body. Moreover, they keep a person full for a longer period of time, which abets weight loss.

A pre diabetes diet can also include beans, like split peas, pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans and soy bean. The fruits that are good for pre diabetics are apples, plums, strawberries, prunes, pears, grapefruit, oranges and dried apricot. Sufficient portions of fish, skinless chicken and turkey, lean beef sirloin and pork loins are also important in a proper pre diabetic diet plan. Liquid fats like olive oil should be used for cooking, in place of solid oils.

Some of the best pre diabetic recipes can be found in diabetic cookbooks or though online resources. While looking for pre diabetic recipes, it is important to get information about the nutritional facts, to stay within the allotted sodium, fat and caloric intake, for the day. It may be a good idea to get all your recipes approved by a dietician. Following a pre diabetic diet plan is a habit that can be developed over a period of time.

With little efforts, it can become a regular part of your daily routine, in a short period of time.

Once your blood glucose level returns to normal, you no longer have pre diabetes. However, this does not mean that you can go back to a diet that is high in sugar and fat. In order to prevent your blood glucose level from going too high again, it is best to strike a balance between a pre diabetic diet plan and a regular diet plan at all times.

However, before going on to a pre diabetic diet plan, it is important to check with a doctor or a qualified dietician.

Type 2 Diabetes Diet

Diabetes is a disorder where your body cannot produce or respond to insulin in order to convert sugar into energy.

Your body will become resistant to insulin so it will not be able to regulate sugar. If you do not take care of this condition and treat it in time it could lead to serious problems like; a heart attack, kidney damage, blindness, strokes and blood circulation problems which cause foot ulcers. There is no real cure for this condition; but you can maintain a healthy diet mixed with exercise to balance the sugar levels in your body, lower your cholesterol and control your weight.
Some of the Type 2 diabetes symptoms are;
An increase in hunger because of lack of insulin moving sugar in your cells which makes you low on energy.

Loss of weight because the ability to use glucose is lost, so your body pulls out energy from the fat in your body.
Increase in thirst and urination as excess sugar is built in your bloodstream.
Blurred vision as fluids are pulled from your lenses because of high blood sugar.
Slow healing of wounds and cuts.
Disorientation, Dark patches on skins especially in armpits and neck area.

Many health professionals suggest that good type 2 diabetes diet plans consists of foods that are high on fiber but low on glycaemic index. Foods that are high in fiber release the energy slowly into your blood thus helping it to keep the sugar levels stable. Your Type 2 diabetes sample diet should include foods that have a high supply of protein as protein helps in building the muscles and bones in order to give you more energy. Some high protein foods are; meat, seafood, eggs, dairy products, nuts, beans, soy foods, fresh leafy vegetables and poultry. When preparing a soup or curry you should add beans, pulses and lentils instead of meat. Dairy products such as low fat yoghurt or skimmed milk are healthier than the regular dairy products available. Fresh fruit and vegetable should be a part of your daily diet and are more beneficial if consumed raw as salads. Eat small meals frequently throughout the day rather than eating two heavy meals as this will reduce your hunger and prevent low blood sugar. Doing this will also help you spread the intake of carbohydrates and calories throughout the day. This would also make it easier for the body to keep the sugar levels in control. A person suffering from type 2 diabetes can eat sweets but provided it is in small portions and not eaten too often.
Always remember when planning a diet it should have a good combination of foods that will provide the correct level of fats, proteins, fiber and carbohydrates. There are several foods that could form part of a good meal that will help supply the required nutrients for the body to keep healthy.

One could include a single serving of whole grain bread for the carbohydrates, a single serving of any dairy product like milk, cheese or low fat cream and half a cup of fruit juice. The person may also include a bowl which will fill 3 ounces of chicken, fish or lean beef as this will supply protein to the diet and finally some salad in a bowl the size of your fist. You can add some table margarine or salad dressing to the salad in order to supply a little unsaturated fat to the diet. A few mouth watering meals which are low on fat and can be part of the type 2 diabetes diet are a Spanish omelet, potato or green salad, shrimp marinated in lime and a grilled chicken sandwich with some yoghurt.

Diabetes Diet Recipes

Diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, and this kind of diabetes is a metabolic disorder.

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is not able to produce the right amount of insulin, a hormone that the body needs or when it is totally unable to produce it at all. The body needs insulin to help move the glucose from the blood and reach it to the cells in the body so that it can be used to produce energy. Insulin is vital to the process of moving glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin also enables the liver to store the excess glucose.

Some of the most drastic and visible symptoms are excessive hunger and thirst, there would be a considerable amount of weight loss along with bouts of exhaustion and frequent energy drops. Apart from this excessive urination and urinary tract infections becomes a common feature together with nausea and dehydration. If, at this stage, it is not controlled, it could lead to blurred vision and impotence. One of the best ways to control diabetes is through following a strict diabetic diet plan.

A diabetic diet can be followed alone or can become a part of your insulin doses. The purpose of a diabetic diet plan is to help you to stabilize your body weight and retain your energy levels with the correct amount of diabetic diet nutrition. A diabetic diet plan has to be prescribed by a doctor or dietician as it is done in accordance with a person’s age, gender, height, weight, amount of physical exercise and the category for the diabetes. Keeping all this in mind, diabetic diet calories can be counted. This kind of plan helps to categorize the food and the right amount of it and also a time schedule for your meal can be listed to make it easier to make a daily diabetic diet meal plan. As you plan your diabetes diet you should also keep in mind the chances of high blood pressure and raising cholesterol levels. As you draw up your plan pick food that is high in nutrition and low on calories as it would keep you healthy and stop you from adding on any extra weight. Fiber should be an integral part of your diet; limit your intake of sweets and desserts you can reduce fatty foods and increase whole grain cereals, fruits and green leafy vegetables in your diabetic diet menu. Avoid foods with high sugar content like carrots and beetroot. Make sure you steer clear of alcohol, limit your intake of wine and beer. Substitute bakery products and fast food with healthier food like salads and whole grain cereals. And instead of eating three big meals in a day eat five to six small meals at specific times during the day.

This will help you to stay healthy and active instead of putting on weight.

Other than sticking to a strict diet plan you also need to get adequate amount of exercise which will help to treat your diabetes better. But make sure that you do not hurt yourself while exercising as healing takes a long time for a diabetic patient. There is no specific diet that works for everyone nor is there a guarantee that the diet would work for the duration of the disease , as each one’s body build and general health condition is different the diabetic diet plan would also differ from person to person. Therefore it is best that you plan your own diet with the help of you dietician and always keep your doctor informed of your health condition.

Diabetic foods

There are several health food brands that cater mainly to people who suffer from diabetes, by offering a wide variety of foods that are either sugar-free or contain no added sugar. It is quite common to see ads for sugarless foods as well as desserts, for example, ice cream without sugar, sugar-free cookies, sugarless gelatin and even frozen desserts or cakes and pastries that contain no added sugar. Such foods are usually known as diabetic foods, as it is believed that it is safe for diabetics to consume them, in moderation. A diabetic food list mainly includes foods that are not made with real sugar, as people who are suffering from diabetes cannot consume sugar. You can also easily find many books, programs and online resources, specializing in diabetic menus that consist primarily of diabetic recipes for various food courses, which include diabetic snacks and appetizers, salads, soups, desserts and main course items.

Most companies that sell diabetic foods use artificial sweeteners in place of sugar. At times, these sweeteners can be very harmful, leading to several side effects. Unfortunately, people who are following a diabetic diet, tend to assume that they can consume large varieties of diabetic foods, just because they do not contain any sugar. However, there are several reports that state that while diabetic foods may not contain any amounts of added sugar, some of them could be quite high in fat, sodium and calories, which is even more than regular food at times. Therefore, it is advisable that diabetics should not consume high amounts of any food, just because they are labeled as sugar free or diabetes diet foods. Find out about the nutritional facts of the food and check with a doctor, before including it in your diet.

Instead of buying processed or packaged food, with the sugar-free label, it is better for you to make your own diabetic foods at home, so that you can monitor the ingredients are used, the quality of the ingredients as well as the amounts that go into the preparation of certain foods. It is possible to use natural ingredients to make recipes that are healthy and taste great, for example:

Applesauce and Raisin Cookies


Whole wheat flour 2 ½ cups

Frozen apple juice concentrate                             1 cup

Unsweetened applesauce                                     1 cup

Pureed white beans                                                 1 cup

Raisins                                                                       Two third cup

Chopped nuts                                                           ½ cup

Egg whites, beaten                                                  2

Nutmeg                                                                     ½ teaspoon

Ground cloves                                                         ½ teaspoon

Cinnamon                                                                 ½ teaspoon

Baking soda                                                             1 teaspoon

Salt                                                                             ½ teaspoon

In one mixing bowl, mix the flour, raisins, nuts, spices and salt and keep the mixture aside.
In another mixing bowl, blend the apple juice and pureed beans together, till it forms a smooth and creamy mixture. Place this mixture aside too.
In a third bowl, mix the applesauce with baking soda.
Then, place the beaten egg whites in a large mixing bowl and add all the ingredients to it. Start with the flour mixture, then add the apple juice and bean mixture and
Then add the dry spices, i.e., the nutmeg, ground clove and the cinnamon. Mix the ingredients well, till they are well blended.
If the cookie dough is too wet, you can add some more flour to it.
Drop teaspoons of cookie dough on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or till the cookies are golden-brown.

This recipe should yield about 5 dozen cookies (60 pieces), of approximately 58 calories each.

It is absolutely essential to consult a doctor or a qualified dietician, before making any diabetic foods a regular part of a diabetic diet.

Diabetic Snacks

It is very important to take care of your diet when diagnosed with diabetes.

A good diet will help keep your blood sugar levels in control. If you eat 2 meals a day and have long gaps in between, then it would lead to a lot of fluctuation in your blood sugar levels. So in order to keep the blood sugar level stable it is recommended to have smart and healthy snacks in between meals. This will help in keeping your blood sugar stable and also help you loose weight. A few tips on how to make healthy diabetic snacks are; eat foods that give you proteins and fats. For example, you could eat nuts and seeds and also combine it with foods that supply carbohydrates in every snack you have.

You should cut down or completely avoid processed and sugary snacks like candies, cookies, cold drinks, chips, as they have a high supply of sugar. Keep every snack to 150 calories or less. Eat fruits, as they are naturally sweetened and rich in proteins, fibers and do not harm the blood sugar levels. Eat healthy and light foods such as carrots, hummus, low fat yogurt mixed with crushed nuts. Use whole wheat bread to make sandwiches. A turkey sandwich with mustard is very good.

Eat foods that are high on fibers, as it will slow down the digestion process and make the rise and fall of blood sugar more stable. Whole grain crackers with peanut butter as also cottage cheese with an apple would make a good snack to eat.

There are plenty of diabetic snack foods available in the market as well as snacks that can be made at home. These diabetic diet snacks could very well be included into your diabetic snack list or your diabetic diet menu that you could use to keep a check on the food you eat. These are a few sample diabetic snack recipes you could try at home:

Crunchy Snack Mix Recipe: To make this tasty snack you would need one cup wedge shaped cheese crackers, three cups of mini pretzel twists, one table spoon of Worcestershire sauce and one tea spoon lime juice. Besides this you also require two cups of mini garlic rye toasts, half a teaspoon of garlic powder, quarter teaspoon pepper, one third of a cup filled with melted margarine and three fourth oz of Italian breadsticks broken into pieces and half a teaspoon of salt. Once you have all these ingredients ready you need to combine the pretzel twists, crackers, garlic rye toasts and the breadsticks. In another bowl mix the melted margarine with lemon juice, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Whisk it well and put it over the pretzels mixture. Now spread this on a pan and bake it for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve it after it has cooled.
Coconut sprinkle surprise: To make this quick snack you need some cream cheese, grated orange rind, artificial sweetener, chopped walnuts and unsweetened shredded coconut. Once you have all these ingredients ready, you need to beat the cream cheese to make it light and fluffy. Mix the grated fruit rinds and walnuts with the sweetener. Combine both well and then roll the mix into small one inch balls. Roll the balls in the coconut and put it in the refrigerator.
Diabetes cookies: To make this delicious snack you need some raisins, water, eggs, vanilla essence, baking powder, butter, soda dissolved in little water, a pinch of salt and cinnamon. You need to boil the butter, raisins and water for a few minutes.

Once the mixture is cool add the eggs, vanilla and soda. Mix the baking powder with flour, salt and cinnamon. Now combine both the mixture and add the nuts. Now bake this in 350 degrees for about 20 minutes for a delicious diabetic cookie.

Low Carb Diet Menu

Carbohydrates, more commonly known as carbs, are the main source of energy for the body that can be found mainly in plant based foods. Carbs can be used up by the body immediately, or thee body can convert them into fat, which is stored for later use. Carbohydrates are of three main types – Sugar, Starch and Fiber. The carbohydrates present in plant based foods can be divided into two types – simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple processed carbs are known as sugars and are commonly found in sweets, cakes, chocolates, soft drinks, cookies, jams and honey. They are unhealthy and should be avoided. However, complex carbs are known as starch or stachy foods and can be found in bananas, brown rice, barley, beans, lentils, chickpeas, oats, nuts, potatoes, parsnips, sweet corn, root vegetables, yams and a variety of whole wheat or whole grain products.

Low carb diet plans are mainly dietary programs, which restrict the consumption of carbohydrates. A person following such a plan consumes low carb foods in order to control obesity and lose weight. Foods like bread and pasta should be limited or can be replaced completely, by other foods that are either low in carbohydrates like green vegetables, or foods that are high in protein like soy products and meat. A good low carbohydrate diet menu should consist of foods that limit an individual’s carbohydrate consumption anywhere between 20 to 60 g a day (which should be less than 20% of the person’s total caloric intake for the day). In order to compensate for this reduction of calories, the consumption of foods that are high in fat and protein should be increased.

Several diet groups and programs have designed low carb diet menus, which consist mainly of low carbohydrate diet foods as well as customized low carb diet recipes. You could follow a low carb diet menu, for a certain number of days and then switch back to your regular diet for a few days, before going back on a low carb diet. Given below are examples of low carb menus, for different meals:

Low carb breakfast menu

Scrambled eggs with vegetables
Frittatas with meat or vegetables
Muffins (whole grain) with cottage cheese and sprinkled cinnamon
Flax bread
Yogurt with fresh fruits or fruit salad
Fruit smoothies or shakes

Low carb lunch menu

Salad with grilled chicken, avocado, romaine lettuce and vinaigrette dressing
Tuna walnut salad
Meat roll up (vegetables or Cole slaw rolled in slices of ham) with clear soup
Low carb tortillas filled with meat and vegetables
Tomatoes stuffed with salmon salad

Low carb dinner menu

Pan-fried or grilled steak, with vegetables like beans, mushrooms and peppers
Chicken club wraps
Broiled fish with steamed vegetables (no potatoes)
Chicken Marsala with a garden salad
Beef fajitas

Low carb snack menu

Devilled or boiled eggs
Sunflower seeds with shells, pumpkin seeds
Pepperoni chips
Pork rinds
Smoked salmon and cream cheese on cucumber

Following a low carb diet is not always easy, as there are many food items that will need to be limited or even eliminated from this diet. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to ensure that foods that are high in other nutrients are consumed in higher quantities, in order to make up for the lack of carbs. However, before you decide to follow a low carb diet menu, it is important to consult your doctor, or a qualified dietician, especially if you are suffering from any medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, heart problems and so on.

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