The most common diabetes is type 2 diabetes and happens when the body does not produce enough insulin or cells ignore insulin. For the body, insulin plays a major role in using glucose and converting it to energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all the sugars and starches and converts it into glucose. The glucose is then used as the fuel for cells throughout the body through insulin.
And for those who have type 2 diabetes, they are in danger of suffering from complications such as
- heart disease,
- kidney disease,
- eye complications and
- nerve damage.
So, the first step is to get treatment from your physician and the next step is dieting and weight loss through exercise. For most people with diabetes, a healthy diet consists of 40% to 60% of calories coming from foods that supply carbohydrates, 20% from protein and 30% or less from fat.
It’s typically recommended that a diet consists of 4-6 small meals during the day instead of three full meals. The reason is that your blood sugar can be normalized.
For your diet, carbohydrates can be found in foods such as fruits, beans, dairy foods and starchy foods. A good diet to practice when it comes to carbs is to focus on whole wheat breads, pasta and brown rice. Also, consuming dry beans or fresh fruits (canned fruits if packed in water).
For protein, you can find these in meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. If eating meats, it’s all about practicing moderation in consumption, practicing eating smaller portions and to not fry these in oil or fat. Eating poultry and fish is recommended over red meat. Also, if you do eat poultry, remove all fat off of it. As for dairy products, focusing on low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.
There are low-fat alternatives to fats and oils. You can find low-fat margarine and butter, including mayonnaise. It’s important to avoid fried foods and high fat dairy products.
Other practices in the diet are to count carbohydrates and calories. Many going through a diet try to focus on eating foods that tabulate up to 2800 calories and then lower it when they feel they can and adjust their lifestyle to it. So, in a daily regiment, when eating or purchasing foods, look at the labels, so you can keep track of the carbs and calories you are taking in.
Counting calories, counting carbohydrates
As for counting carbohydrates, this is good for meal planning. One carbohydrate serving is equal to 15 grams of carbohydrates. You plan your carbohydrate intake based on what your pre-meal sugar is and you take an insulin dose that can be adjusted to what you eat.
If you eat more carbs than your insulin supply, your blood sugar levels go up. You eat to little, your blood sugar levels may fall too low. So, carbohydrate calculation is important. Refer to blood sugar levels chart for more information.
With any diet, working with your physician and dietitian is important. Not only can they help you plan out your meal plan but help you and be a positive support in your goal for weight loss. Also, your physician can monitor your blood sugar levels, insulin levels and weight loss throughout your diet.