Diabetic foods

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that results from having too much sugar or glucose in the blood. The pancreas is not producing sufficient amounts of insulin to convert food into energy. When a person has diabetes it is critical that they monitor and maintain their blood sugar levels on a daily basis. Eating diabetic foods can help achieve these goals.

Diabetics must also on the consumption of certain types of foods to help maintain their blood sugar levels. Diabetic foods are:

  • low-fat
  • low sugar
  • low in salt
  • high in fruits and vegetables
  • high in carbohydrates
  • high in fiber content
  • high quality proteins
  • low fat dairy products

Diabetic foods include a wide variety of wholesome and healthy foods. Whole grains fruits and vegetables and small portions of lean meat and dairy products are included on the list of diabetic foods. Healthy fats like olive oil, safflower oil, canola oil, coconut oil and avocados are also included on the list of diabetic foods. Other healthy and nutritious foods that should be eaten are nuts and seeds.

People who have diabetes should eat whole grains, beans and starchy vegetables. Raw vegetables should be included in the diet like onions, radishes, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, etc. It is best to eat vegetables raw because cooked vegetables can cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly. Whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread and brown rice are diabetic foods. Whole fruits like kiwifruit, apples and citrus fruits, should be part of every diabetic diet and are best eaten whole rather than canned. Fruit juices are high in fructose and can cause blood sugar levels to spike and should be avoided or only used on a limited basis. Hydrogenated fats, foods containing trans fats, butter, margarine, sugars and alcohol should be consumed on a limited basis or avoided completely. People with diabetes should also eat non-fat dairy foods like skim milk, non-fat yogurt and non-fat cheese and plain yogurt.

Processed foods, foods made from white flour and junk foods like potato chips, and ready to eat snack foods are not diabetic foods and should not be eaten when you have diabetes. Ice cream, candy and soft drinks should be totally eliminated from the diet unless they are sugar free and then, only on a limited basis. You should refrain from eating foods that contain preservatives and foods that are high in salt as well.

The manner in which diabetic foods are cooked is important also. Frying foods should be avoided because of the added fat needed to cook them. It is better to steam, sauté, and bake or broil diabetic foods. You can also cook them safely in a crock pot as well.

When shopping for diabetic foods it is imperative to read the labels. The label will list the nutritional information on packaged goods. You should really read the labels on any packaged foods that are labeled as being sugar or fat free. Diabetic foods of this sort should have less than 20 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Buying foods labeled as being fat-free does not necessarily mean you are making a wise choice.

Diabetic foods can also be sweetened sugar substitutes like splenda or Aspartame. However, sugar substitutes should be counted as part of your daily carbohydrate intake. Not all pre-packaged foods using artificial sweeteners are diabetic friendly. It may be better for diabetics to include foods sweetened with trace amounts of real sugar than foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners.

The bottom line is that all natural whole foods are diabetic foods. The best diet a diabetic can eat is a well balanced diet made from whole foods. Prepackaged and convenience foods should be kept to a minimum.

Last updated on Feb 19th, 2011 and filed under Diabetes Mellitus. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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