When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, your nutritionist may advice you about the foods to eat and the foods to avoid. Even well meaning friends and advisors may caution you about sugars and sweets in your diet. However, a diabetic menu need not be very different from what you are eating now, but in moderation. Just a little bit of additions of some sugar-lowering foods and going light on the elevating ones should help you maintain your blood sugar levels at the normal value. Here are some pointers to help you plan the diabetic meal.
- Include more vegetables in your diet. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and collards. If you don’t like the taste, then make a smoothie by mixing other vegetables that you like with these.
- Eat grains that are non-refined. Opt for brown rice and brown bread made from multigrains.
- Include fruits, especially the citrus ones and munch a fruit whenever you are hungry. But check the glycemic index first as many fruits are high in sugar which can elevate your blood sugar levels.
- In a diabetic menu, you need not lay off meat totally. You can still eat meat but not more than thrice a week in small portions. Opt for lean meat like chicken and restrict eating red meat to once a month.
- Try and include fish in your diet. Fish rich in Omega 3 content are good for you.
- Go light on the fats by avoiding butter and margarine and only use little oil for cooking. Do not use shortenings as they are high in fat content. Switch to baking or grilling and avoid foods that need to be deep fried.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. You need to keep the fluid intake high. Keep a bottle of water close to you so that you can sip from it anytime you like.
- Go for variety to make the diabetic menu more exciting. Mix and match different kinds of food to make your dinner table look tempting. Check out recipes that suit your blood sugar levels and experiment. Browse online and you will find many diabetic recipes that actually taste delicious.
- Completely avoid foods that are high in sugar content. Stay away from carbonated drinks even if they are ‘lite’. Even flavored fruit drinks are not advised in a menu to control blood sugar. Do not addd sugar to sweeten your tea, coffee or hot chocolate. You can opt for stevia instead if you cannot do without sweeteners.
- Don’t skip meals; instead eat smaller portions and at frequent intervals. Do not go hungry at all as this will create havoc with your sugar levels.
- Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Reduce your alcohol intake to a glass per day. Try and have it with your meal.
A diabetic menu need not be boring as you get to eat almost everything that you used to eat before you were diagnosed with diabetes. In fact following a diabetic diet can be good even for people who have normal sugar levels. The key to planning the diabetic diet is moderation. This will not only bring down your blood sugar levels but also help you to lose weight. Try out recipes that spice up your meals and enjoy your food.
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