If you’ve been diagnosed as diabetic, questions about a diabetic diet plan may be on your mind. To plan your diet for diabetes, consult a dietitian or nutritionist to ensure you get enough calories and nutrients for your individual needs. Read some frequently asked questions about diabetic diet guidelines.
Q. Why do I need a special diabetic diet plan if I’m taking insulin or other medicine for diabetes?
A. Controlling your blood sugar is essential for managing diabetes, and the food you eat directly affects your blood sugar level. A diabetic diet allows your insulin and or other medications to do their job and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Q. Do I need to eat special diabetic foods?
A. No. A diabetic diet is made up of regular foods in moderate amounts, eaten at regular times. Your diet will be a balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins.
Q. Can I eat foods that contain sugar if I have diabetes?
A. If you control your blood sugar well, you’ll probably be allowed a small amount of sugar and sweets. Eating sugar in large amounts is not healthy because:
- Sugary foods fill you up without nutritional value.
- You’ll risk weight gain and diabetic complications.
- Your blood sugar will become too high.
Q. Why do I have to watch my weight with diabetes?
A. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can help diabetics lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.
If you have type 2 diabetes, a healthy weight may reduce your insulin resistance, making it easier for your body to lower blood glucose levels. You may even be able to reduce your need for medication.
Q. Can I go out to eat?
A. Yes! Your diabetic diet plan will include foods found in most restaurants, and many restaurants can accommodate special requests if needed. Restaurant portions are usually larger than what you’re supposed to eat, so you may have to bring home leftovers (or share with a friend). Good choices for diabetics include broiled, grilled or roasted chicken, fish or lean meat. You can enjoy vegetables, however, you may want to avoid the butter or cream sauce.
Q. Is it OK to fast if I have diabetes?
A. Complete fasting is generally considered unhealthy and unsafe for diabetics. If you wish to partially fast for religious reasons, check with your doctor to make sure this will be safe, and to find out what you should eat during a partial fast.
Q. Are certain carbohydrates better for diabetics than others?
A. Yes. Complex carbohydrates are best because they are absorbed and digested slowly, which keep your blood sugar levels stable. Complex carbohydrates include:
- Brown rice
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain pasta.
Doctors recommend against simple carbohydrates because they are quickly absorbed and digested, causing sudden surges in blood sugar. Avoid simple carbohydrates such as cake, cookies, soda and other sugary drinks and white rice, pasta and bread.
Medical professionals generally recommend that diabetics eat only small quantities of these carbohydrates, or avoid them completely.
Diabetic Diet Information. (2010). Diabetic diet â€“ FAQ. Retrieved June 2, 2010, from http://www.diabetic-diet-recipes.com/diabetic_diet_faq.htm.
Mayo Clinic. (2010). Diabetes nutrition: eating out when you have diabetes. Retrieved on June 9, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-nutrition/DA00131.