4 tips for a great carbohydrate diet for a diabetic

Carbohydrates a very big impact on blood glucose levels as they are converted to sugar by the body in the process of turning the food into energy.  Too many carbohydrate servings can increase blood sugar levels.  It is important for a diabetic to control the number of carbohydrates that are eaten at each meal and balance the carbohydrates with protein while limiting fat intake.

In this type of meal plan foods are grouped into three different categories:  carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  The majority of foods that you eat contain carbohydrates and this will be the largest food group.  Foods in this group include:

* Grains – breads, crackers, rice, cereal, pasta * Dairy – milk, yogurt * Vegetables that are considered starchy – corn, peas, and potatoes * The rest of the vegetable family * Fruit, including fruit juices * Desserts and other treats – chosen in limited amounts

This diet will require you to measure your foods for serving sizes and read food labels to determine how many servings are carbohydrates it should be counted as.  It is standard to consider 15 grams of carbohydrates as one serving.  For instance, if you are having crackers as a snack and are allowed one serving of carbohydrates you would look at the food label to figure out how many crackers you can have.  If the serving size is 20 crackers and that equals 30 grams of carbohydrates, for a diabetic that would be considered two servings.  In this example, you would have the serving size and eat 10 crackers to equal 15 grams of carbohydrates.

After some time and experience you will become adept at counting carbohydrates and knowing what foods work well with your blood glucose levels and what ones don’t.  No two diabetics respond the same way to every food, you will need to learn what your own ideal diabetic diet is.

Finding the right diet for you is the key. Everybody with diabetes is different. Carbohydrates has the biggest impact on your diet when you’re a diabetic. The blood glucose levels must be monitored always. Finding the right balance will determine your health in the long run.

The carbohydrate counting diet groups foods into three main groups:  carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  You dietician will provide you with the number of carbohydrates you can have in a day and how that is divided up amongst your meals and snacks.  Your dietician will also educate you on how you can determine the numbers of carbohydrates are in some of your favorite foods by reading food labels.

The biggest benefit of the carbohydrate counting diet is that it does not eliminate any foods.  A diabetic can choose any food they wish to eat as long as they only eat enough of it to meet their carbohydrate needs.  The trick to this is to choose wholesome foods that will fill you up longer.  The same amounts of carbohydrates that are in a small handful of potato chips are not equal to the two slices of bread you can have instead.  But it is nice to know that if you really want to – once in awhile – you can treat yourself.

Another benefit is keeping a consistent amount of carbohydrates in your body.  This can help regulate your insulin needs and control.  If your body has the same amount of carbohydrates to process at the same times each day it will be beneficial to your health and blood glucose readings.

When you choose a carbohydrate counting diet it is important to make sure you are doing it correctly.  If you don’t you can too much or too little and both situations can be detrimental to your diabetes.  Have a dietician teach you how to properly count carbohydrates and closely monitor your blood sugar levels to make sure the diet it working for you.

As with any new diet, give it time for you to adjust and learn how to plan your meals properly.

4 Tips for diabetics switching to a vegetarian diet

If you are a vegetarian who has been diagnosed with diabetes, you can still maintain your diabetic diet.  In some cases a vegetarian diet may be a healthy way to keep your blood glucose levels stable – that is if you are eating lean high-quality proteins and are following other rules for eating as a diabetic.

As a lot of vegans and vegetarians eat a larger amount of fruits and vegetables in a day than a non-vegetarian and their fiber intake is much higher too.  An increased amount of fiber in a diabetic’s diet can help blood sugars because it slows down the process of the body digesting carbohydrates.  A vegetarian’s diet is usually lower in cholesterol as well and it can help ward off cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes.

If you are diabetic and are considering a switch to a diabetic diet some of the benefits you might derive include a higher rate of weight loss and better blood sugar readings.  This is dependant on the types of vegetarian meals you choose as some meatless meals can be just as fattening as ones that contain meat.

Speak to your doctor and dietician before making the switch.  You will need information on how to transition yourself to your new diet.  You will also get a list of meat alternatives you should eat in order to get enough protein in a day.  These can include tofu, nuts, eggs, and seeds.

As with any change, once your switch to a vegetarian diet give yourself and your body time to adjust.  There are many recipes and ideas for vegetarian dishes and you will find a lot of variety and flexibility in the meals that you prepare.  Check your blood sugars frequently to make sure your blood glucose levels remain stable during the change.

Being a vegetarian will help you in a big way if you are a diabetic. You will see a dramatic change immediately. With the right focus and discipline you will become healthier in no time.