A diabetic meal plan is an important key in living a happier and healthier life despite having diabetes. Diabetic meal plans are designed to help you keep track of your calorie and sugar intake so you can easily keep an eye on your blood glucose level and body weight.
Method of Meal Planning
Here are some simple, easy, and effective ways of planning your meals that you can choose from and employ in making your own customized diabetic diet plan.
- Plate Method. This method allows you to divide your plate into three sections with a ratio of 50% for non-starchy vegetables, 25% for grains and starchy foods, and the remaining 25% of your plate for your protein intake. The method also allows small servings of fruits and dairy.
- Carbohydrate Counting. This method helps you to keep track of your carbohydrate intake by reading your food labels. You can also estimate how much carbohydrate is in your non-labelled food by keeping a general serving size in mind. Also, taking into consideration the saturated and trans fats and sodium contents of what you eat can help you control your blood glucose levels.
- Glycemic Index Method. This kind of diabetic meal plan allows you to include in your diet foods that have a low or medium Glycemic Index or GI. With this method, you can also combine high GI foods with low GI foods to balance your meal.
Whether it’s plate method, carb counting, or glycemic index, make a meal plan that will fit in with your schedule and eating habits.
One can also incorporate in their weekly diabetic meal plan menu a vegetarian diet that is high in non-starchy vegetables and fibers. A vegetarian diet is very helpful and is advisable for people with diabetes because most vegetables that are high in fiber have low GI and less fat.
In planning a diabetes meal plan beware of the following foods:
- Sugar-rich foods
- High-cholesterol foods
- Fruit juices
- Fruits and vegetables with high glucose and sucrose content
- Sodium-rich foods
- Fast foods and processed foods
- Fried foods, especially those that are fried with hydrogenated oils
- Alcoholic beverages because these tend to increase blood sugar levels
Keep it Balanced and Consistent
A good diet plan for diabetics should consist of adequate and suitable quantities of each food type. Different varieties of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and most specially low-fat and low sugar foods should be incorporated in each diet meal. It is important to be consistent in one’s carbohydrate, sugar, fat, and sodium intake so one can easily monitor and control one’s blood glucose and weight gain.
Keep it Simple
Make your diabetes diet plan fast and easy by having a list of foods and produce that are easily available in your area and that are in season. Also, keeping in mind your method of meal planning can make things easier for you.
Dieticians can share pertinent information on nutrition and diabetes that are very helpful in making meal plans. For a diabetic meal plan that is especially tailored for your diabetic needs, consult a dietician who specializes in making meal plans for people with diabetes.