A complete meal plan is your guide for what, when, and how much you need to eat to get the nutrition while keeping your blood sugar levels in your target range. A good & healthy meal plan will take into consideration your goals, tastes, and lifestyle, as well as any medicines you’re taking.
Why do you need to have a healthy diet plan?
When you consume extra calories and fat, your body creates an undesirable rise in blood glucose. If blood glucose isn’t monitored, it can lead to serious problems, such as a high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) that, if continues, may lead to long-term issues, such as nerve, kidney, or heart damage. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, you should see a doctor and or dietitian and create a healthy diet plan to help you control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight, and prevent heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high blood fats.
What does a diabetes diet involve?
A Diabetes diet is based on eating ‘three meals a day at regular times. This helps optimize the insulin that your body produces or gets through a medication.
Achieve your calorie count with these nutritious foods, including healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, fish, and “good” fats in your meal plan.
a. Healthy carbohydrates: Sugar (a simple carbohydrate) and starch (complex carbohydrate) break down into blood glucose during digestion. So, focus on healthy carbohydrates, such as:
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese
- Legumes, such as beans and peas
Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugars, and sodium.
b. Fiber-rich foods: Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber controls how your body digests and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include:
- Legumes, such as beans and peas
- Whole grains
c. Fish-For heart Health: You should eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, preventing heart disease. Avoid fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury, like king mackerel.
d. ‘Good’ fats: To lower cholesterol levels, you should eat foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These include:
- Canola, olive, and peanut oils
(But don’t consume too much of it, all fats are high in calories also.)
A diabetic patient should avoid unhealthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugar, and sodium.
e. Foods to avoid: Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by increasing clogged and hardened arteries. Foods containing the following can work against your goal of having a heart-healthy diet.
- Saturated fats: Try to avoid high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as butter, beef, sausage, and bacon. Also, limit coconut and palm kernel oils.
- Trans fats: Avoid trans fats like those found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening, and margarine.
- Cholesterol: Cholesterol sources include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Ideally, consume no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
- Sodium: Try to limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day. Your doctor may suggest you consume even less if you have high blood pressure.
Creating a healthy diet plan is all you need:
Try to choose a few different methods to create a healthy diabetes diet that will help you keep your blood glucose level in the normal range. With the help of a good dietitian, you may find that one or a combination of the following methods works for you:
1. Meal planning: Diabetic people should plan meals that help them have a balanced and healthy diet. Considerations to take into account when planning meals for Diabetics include: Balancing carbohydrate intake with activity levels and the use of insulin and other medications
- Increasing fiber intake will help manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of high cholesterol, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues.
- Limiting processed carbohydrates and foods with added sugars such as candies, cookies, and soda
- Understanding how dietary choices can affect the complications of diabetes, for example, salt increases the risk of high blood pressure.
- Managing weight can help manage the development of diabetes and its complications
2. Counting Carbs: Keeping track of how many carbs you are eating and setting a limit for each meal can help you keep your blood sugar levels in your target range.
Another way to manage the carbs you eat is by using the glycemic index external icon (GI). The GI ranks carbs in food from 0 to 100 according to how much they affect blood sugar. Low GI foods are more slowly digested and absorbed by your body, so you stay full longer. Additionally, low GI foods don’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar. Meanwhile, high GI foods are digested and absorbed more quickly, They have a more substantial impact on your blood sugar, and you’ll get hungry sooner. Some examples are:
- High GI: Bread (white and wheat), mashed potatoes, watermelon, fruit juice
- Low GI: Beans, brown rice, tomatoes, yogurt, apples, milk
3. The Plate Method: The plate method is a simple, visual way to make sure you get enough non-starchy vegetables and lean protein while limiting the amount of higher-carb food with the greatest potential to spike your blood sugar. Start with a 9-inch dinner plate:
- Fill half with non-starchy vegetables, such as salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots.
- Take one quarter with a lean protein, like chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, or eggs.
- Fill a quarter with a grain or starchy food, such as potatoes, rice, or pasta (or skip the starch altogether and increase non-starchy veggies).
4. Portion Size: Portion size and serving size are not always the same. A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat at one time, while a serving is a specific amount of food, for example, two slices of bread or 8 cups of milk. Be aware that Portions in restaurants are larger than the recommended size for most foods. (American restaurants have always had large portions). Results show that people eat more food when they have been served more, so decreasing your portion size is important for managing weight and blood sugar levels.
If you’re eating out, have half of your meal wrapped up to go so you can enjoy it later. At home, measure out snacks and don’t eat straight from the bag or box. At dinnertime, dish out just one serving of each food served per plate. Reduce the temptation to go back for seconds by putting away leftovers immediately.
Starting a healthy diet plan is the best way to keep your blood glucose level under control, prevent diabetes complications, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. And consuming low-fat dairy products can reduce your risk of bone loss in the future. Also, regular health checkups and tests will help you monitor and plan your diet more effectively. Take care of your health with a diet plan, and check your blood glucose levels regularly. myOnsite offers blood draws at home with a licensed and experienced professional who can come to you on your schedule. Our phlebotomist will drop the blood or specimen at your preferred laboratory, and results will be directly sent to your doctor. Now serving 22 states.
To book an appointment online, visit www.myonsitehealthcare.com or message or call us at 9412710701.