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Understanding Diet Plans for Diabetics

Irene | June 18th, 2012

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Diet plans for diabetics are instrumental in controlling and in some cases, reversing a diagnosis of diabetes. Patients who practice a recommended diet can expect to lower blood sugar, improve cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and lighten stress on the joints. Under the supervision of your physician, you can expect to achieve weight loss goals quickly as you take back control of your overall health along with your diabetes.

Blood sugar levels

Diabetics must take great care to lower and maintain blood sugar levels.  Though losing weight lowers blood sugar, skipping meals is not the right way to regulate either your weight or your blood sugar. Rather, the best diet plans for diabetics  offer well-balanced, timely spaced, and portion controlled meals in addition to prescribed medication and a safe fitness routine.

Blood sugar, or glucose levels should be monitored both before meals and one to two hours after eating. Before a meal, blood sugar levels should be within a range of 70-130. After the meal, they should measure less than 180. Measuring glucose levels will help determine if your diet is serving your goals.

Portion control

American Diabetic Association spokeswoman Christine Gerbstadt, told WebMD that a 500-a day reduction in calories is an acceptable diabetic diet for weight loss. Gerbstadt recommends that patients devise a daily menu that includes 55 % carbs; 30 %fat; and 10 to 15 % protein.

The easiest way to follow these recommendations is by implementing consistent serving sizes:

  • One serving of meat is about 3 ounces, or the size of your palm
  • One-cup serving of vegetables is the size of your fist
  • One half-cup serving of rice or noodles is about half the size of your fist
  • One tablespoon of salad dressing is the size of the tip of your thumb
One of the biggest culprits in raising blood sugar levels is simply the ingestion of sugar. Dr. Kaplan, founder of the Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL), one of the largest networks of weight loss doctors in the country, cautions his diabetes patients about the dangers of ingesting too much sugar and educates them about how to find “hidden” sugars that might be sabotaging their diabetes diet plan.

A diabetic diet for weight loss should include exercise

According to the American Diabetes Association, the best diet plans for diabetics result in a 10-15 pound weight loss. Total health management should also include a fitness regimen.

The National Institutes of Health says that adding exercise to any diet can reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. Most health care professionals recommend that a diabetic consult his or her physician before starting an exercise program. A physician can help assess your current fitness level and design an exercise routine in line with your needs and abilities.

Doctor-prescribed health management

Dr. Larry C. Deeb of the American Diabetes Association reminds patients, “Don’t lose weight on your own. With a doctor and a good nutritionist, it’s very safe to do. This is very important if you’re taking insulin or medications.”

Physician-assisted weight loss programs for individuals with diabetes have grown steadily as more patients seek to reverse their diagnosis by losing weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Kaplan reports, “We see diabetic patients all the time who lose weight and no longer need insulin.”  Driven by these claims, patients have begun to flock to the over 450 Centers for Medical Weight Loss nationwide.

No one has a better understanding of the best diet plans for diabetics than a medical professional. If you want to learn more about the physician directed weight loss programs offered by CMWL, there might be a Center in your area. To find out, simply enter your zip code in the box above. Remember to ask about bonus offers and other special incentives offered to first time visitors at some locations.