The Diabetes Diet

The good news about a diabetes diet is that it isn't as bad as you might think. The bad news is….Hold it! There isn't any bad news! Even diabetics with a sweet tooth can have their cake and eat it too, so to speak.

Everything In Moderation

"Everything in moderation" is the perfect axiom for a diabetes diet that is not only healthy-it's satisfying! Following your doctor's and nutritionist's directions and remembering these rules will go a long way in keeping your blood sugar (glucose) under control.

  • Plan meals and snacks in advance. Eat multiple small meals and snacks every day, monitoring your portion sizes and calorie, protein, fat and carbohydrate counts as recommended by your physician or nutritionist. Include all of the food groups.

  • Keep an exchange list handy, especially when eating out. Exchange lists show what foods have similar amounts of carbs, protein, fat and calories. So if you're planning to have a small apple (which qualifies as one carbohydrate serving) but you're tempted to have pasta, you can substitute one-third cup of cooked pasta (which also qualifies as one carbohydrate serving) for the small apple.

  • If you like sweets, substitute apple sauce (without added sugar) or artificial sweeteners for sugar in cake, cookie and muffin recipes. Go easy on eating or cooking with sugar.

  • Eat the same proportions of calories and carbs at the same time of day every day. DO NOT splurge occasionally on calories and fat and DO NOT skip meals, because the changes in your dietary routine will cause your blood sugar to rise.

  • Get plenty of fiber. Whole grain breads, fruit and low-fat, low-sugar high-fiber cereals are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They help reduce cholesterol and improve blood sugar, too.

  • Eat a wide variety of fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables, plus baked, broiled and grilled fish, poultry and lean meats. They offer important nutrients without adding fat and cholesterol to your diet. There are so many varieties to choose from you'll never be bored.

  • Ask your physician if you can drink alcohol. It's processed in your body similarly to fat.

  • Get your family on your diet. A diabetes diet is healthy for everyone. Combined with exercise, it can even help prevent the onset of diabetes.

Learn more from the American Diabetes Association.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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