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Diabetic Diet Basics

Ava Lawson | December 27th, 2012

Embracing a nutritious diabetic diet is the best way to keep your blood sugar levels in check and prevent diabetes-related complications. Beyond managing your condition, this type of diet provides other health benefits, too. Heavy on fruits, vegetables and fiber, the dietary plan reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

Individuals who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or pre diabetes, are often aided in their quest to stabilize blood glucose levels by losing weight. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) confirms that losing just 10 to 15 pounds can have a positive impact on a patient’s diabetes. The Center for Medical Weight Loss is the country’s largest network of weight loss physicians, and has achieved impressive results in diabetic patients by offering customized diabetes diet for weight loss plans that keep blood glucose levels within a normal range.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, Chief Medical Officer of the Center explains, “Understanding the principles of proper eating is very important for diabetic patients. Our programs include a counseling component which is instructional and motivational. Our patients can make the right choices in everyday situations when business or travel plans interrupt normal eating patterns.”

Recommended foods

Also known as medical nutritional therapy (MNT), a diabetic diet suggests the following foods:

  • Healthy carbohydrates: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas and lentils
  • Monounsaturated fats: avocadoes, olives, walnuts, almonds, and pecans
  • Omega 3 Fish: Salmon, mackerel, cod, tuna and halibut
  • Fiber-rich foods: Whole wheat, wheat bran, fruits, vegetables and legumes

Helpful tips

It’s crucial to eat right every day to keep your blood glucose levels steady. Here are a few tips:

  • Variety is key; make your plate as colorful as possible to ensure you’re getting enough fruits, vegetables, meats, and other healthy forms of protein.
  • Consult with your physician regarding daily caloric intake.
  • Eat 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. Studies reveal that fiber helps improve both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Creating a diabetic diet plan

A balanced diet to manage your diabetes should include 50 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent healthy fats and 15 percent protein. Nutritionists also suggest at least three meals a day, with frequent snacks in between to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Below is a sample daily menu used in a diabetes diet:

  • Breakfast: Whole-wheat pancakes or waffles, one piece of fruit, 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • Lunch: Chicken kabob, 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup of cooked rice, 1/2 cup of juice
  • Dinner: Pasta primavera prepared with broccoli, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash and Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • Snacks: Six corn tortilla chips, 1/2 cup fresh vegetables with a seasoned garlic sauce

Diabetes diet for weight loss

If you have type 2 diabetes and are interested in weight loss, it’s essential that you partner with your doctor to create a plan that works for you. Managing diabetes with diet is simple with the assistance of health experts at The Center for Medical Weight Loss. The Centers’ physicians focus on teaching clients how to limit certain types of carbohydrates, and choose appropriate foods according to glycemic index ratings. Using a comprehensive plan that incorporates exercise, behavioral counseling and a balanced diet that includes low-calorie, low-sugar foods, patients on the Center’s program lose weight while improving their overall health.

To get started just enter your zip code in the box at the top right to find a Center in your area. Be sure to inquire if special introductory offers are available in your location.