People who must live with diabetes need to learn much more about ways to make healthy food plans that will fit into their lifestyle and are suitable for their taste. But it’s a tough call to make because of all the fake news and misinformation that floats around the internet these days. Luckily, members of the American Diabetes Association review the most recent research articles looking for what has been proven safe and effective for those at risk or already managing diabetes. The consensus among diabetes experts is that one of the key ingredients to successfully managing diabetes is to find an eating pattern that is realistic for your needs and sticking to it. Not only will this kind of planning help your overall health, but it will give you a sense of accomplishment that can really boost your self-esteem and optimism for the future.
Basically, a meal plan consists of:
Having your meals at the same time each day
Measured portion at each meal -- not eating any less or any more
Food selections, from a broad variety of fruits and vegetable, and in some cases selected starches and carbohydrates. A doctor’s and/or certified nutritionist’s input should be sought for this -- as they will be able to tell you exactly which food groups are unsuitable for your meal planning, or need to be strictly regulated.
Each individual, whether pre-diabetic or already suffering from the full-blown disease, should have their own individually crafted meal plan and pattern. But generally speaking, here are some types of meal plans that are both practical and appetizing:
To improve blood sugar and maintain weight loss, the Mediterranean meal pattern is an ideal plan for people who don’t want to lose the zest and relish of a good meal just because of their diabetes. Olive oil is the main fat source, which can be used lavishly in sauteeing many fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, garlic, eggplant, and Sicilian cabbage. There is also a heavy use of fruits such as grapes, figs, and dates. Meat should be limited to chicken, veal, and fish -- except for shellfish, which contain too much heavy metal residues even when freshly caught and sold. Legumes are especially tasty when mixed with traditional Mediterranean herbs like oregano and capers. The Mediterranean plan also has been shown to protect against stroke, high blood pressure, and and some cancers.
Vegan or vegetarian
A vegan or vegetarian diet is a good idea for many diabetes sufferers, with the caveat that protein must not be neglected. Whole grains, legumes, and eggs, in combinations such as frittatas and casseroles are a good way to stay away from meat products while still getting much needed protein in a form that will not spike blood sugar. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, are more problematic. Try introducing a small amount of dairy into your breakfast eating pattern to see how much can be tolerated during the day. At night, only fruits and vegetables should be eaten, as our circadian rhythm often causes the metabolism to slow down in preparation for sleep.
Watch your sodium
Diabetic often find it difficult to flavor their food without plenty of salt, but that just isn’t a good idea. It creates a feeling of constant thirst that can get out of hand with sweetened drinks. Try flavoring your food with a touch of red wine vinegar or lemon juice to bring out the flavor without using salt.