Earlier, there wasn’t any source for people battling diabetes to have a proper and strict diet, but now, there are plenty of options with so many amenities. Well, it’s not just about having options. When you have diabetes, medications should not be the entire thing you take. Rather they should be the least you can do to maintain your insulin level. You will require a proper diet, a whole workout schedule, and a health tracker too.
Things indeed change once you are diagnosed with diabetes, but how you take, it is what changes everything. The disease won’t affect you much if you give proper attention and care to your body. And accept it or not, just the medications can’t do this. Well, medications are the most important but not the only important thing. Having the right amount of nutrients and vitamins in your diet is equally indispensable. The right amount and the right meal can help you maintain your blood sugar level and your glucose level.
People might assume that taking a good diet that covers all the major nutrients would be the most tasteless one. But well, here’s the twist, a good diet is something that comes with all the nutrients and your taste while matching your lifestyle. Well, if you get everything just by rescheduling your meals, why not go for it then?
Not perfect, but a good diabetes meal plan will have plenty of things like:
- Vegetables with no starch like broccoli, spinach, and green beans.
- Refined grain and fewer added sugars, including white bread rice, and pasta, but with less than 2 grams of fiber per portion.
- Try not to focus on processed food and focus more on whole food.
Your blood sugar level is mainly raised by the carbohydrates you take through your food. The food you take has the power to increase your sugar level through the carbs present in it. For instance, having fruit juice will raise your blood sugar level faster than eating actual fruit. On the other hand, eating food with carbs that also have a certain amount of protein, fiber, and fat, slows down the increase of your blood sugar level to a certain extent. This is why it’s important to plan a proper diet with a proper meal that controls your blood sugar level. Taking a good diet is essential to avoid getting high blood sugar levels and low blood sugar levels. The point is to maintain a normal insulin level. That’s it.
To maintain a normal blood sugar level, you will have to plan your meal. The planned meal can have the same amount of carbs, and the same amount of carbs can help you maintain a blood sugar level that is under your target range. There are two major methods that you can use to plan your meal. One is counting carbs, and the other is the plate method. Let’s have a look at them:
The pate method in diabetes is the easiest way to achieve your blood sugar level maintenance goal. The method is used to create a healthy meal with perfectly portioned nutrients you require in a meal per day, i.e., vegetables, fruits, protein, and fiber, without counting or measuring them with a scale. Now, you might be wondering how you would proportionate the perfect meal with the desired amount of nutrients. You don’t really need to measure each and every meal when you use the “plate method”. Let’s learn how.
For this, you will require a plate that is not too big and not too small either. When you have the right size of the plate, imagine there are two lines drawn on it that are dividing the plate into three sections.
- Fill one section of the plate with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, etc.
- Then, fill the other quarter of the plate with lean protein food or plant-based food if you are a vegan, like chicken, turkey, eggs, lean pork, salmon, tuna, etc., and plant-based food like beans and falafel tofu, etc.
- And fill the last quarter of your food with carbohydrates like brown rice, oats, tortilla, yogurt, milk, green peas, and some fruits.
- Along with the plate, have something to drink too, a calorie drink like unsweetened tea or coffee, water, diet soda, etc.
The other method of maintaining your blood sugar level to your desired target is by counting carbs. Having a count of the number of carbs you intake with each and every meal will help you maintain your insulin level. This method varies with each and every individual. You can discuss what amount of carbs you should or should not intake during a day with your doctor or the dietician. There are three different kinds of carbs:
- Sugars-there is natural sugar in fruits and milk that you take or the packaged food and added sugar in sodas and other drinks.
- Starches-starch is in the wheat and the oats you take. It can also be in vegetables like corn, potatoes, and dried beans.
- Fiber-fiber is that part of undigested food that helps you stay healthy.
Portion Sized Meal
A portion-sized meal is the portion of the meal you decide to eat every time. The portioned meal is quite different from serving-sized food. Serving size refers to the specific amount of food that you take, such as the desired quantity of bread slices or 5 ounces (0.19 kg) of milk.
No doubt, planning all this and following this routine can be really overwhelming and sometimes hectic. Because no one can follow a diet routine so strictly until you are a professional, this is why it is advised to consult your dietician or your doctor to help you plan your meal and maintain your blood sugar level. Plus, it is not mandatory to always follow the diet routine. Sometimes it is also important to skip some things and have a little cheat meal.