Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Diabetics: Nutrition and Meal Planning

All of us benefit and improve our health by eating healthy foods and exercising. Studies support the benefits of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy foods, lean meats and healthy fat. If you are diabetics, you need to manage your meal plan by keeping your blood sugar well in target range, while at the same time allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods.
Generally, all foods fall into one of the following groups:
*Carbohydrates: liver and muscle convert carbohydrates to energy.
* Proteins: made up of amino acid. It is vital in the growth and repair of tissues.
* Fat or fatty acids: are important for maintaining the membranes of all cells and regulates many body processes which include inflammation and blood clotting.

1. Carbohydrates:
Carbohydrates are the best source for body energy. In oder to determine the best meal plan for diabetics, monitoring the glucose in the bloodstream after each meal becomes very important. If the blood sugar reading is high, you must decrease a portion of the carbohydrates in your meal. Since adding fiber can slow down the release of glucose to the bloodstream, changing carbohydrate intake with more fiber such as whole grain will help. On the other hand, if the blood sugar is too low you must add more carbohydrates. After many tests, you will find the best balanced diet plan that puts your blood sugar well in the healthy range.

2. Protein:Poultry, meat, and dairy are protein containing saturated fats that are the major contributors of cholesterol building up in your arteries. Therefore, it is for a diabetic's benefit to reach out to other better protein sources such as fish, egg white, soy product and white chicken meat. Limit your daily protein between 15-20% of your total energy intake is the best for diabetics. Protein does not directly effect blood sugar levels after a meal, but does stimulate secretion of significant amounts of insulin and half of the protein eventually convert to glucose.

3.Fat:Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil and
polyunsaturated fats such as oils made from nuts, seeds and sunflowers are the best choice for a diabetic's diet because it not only gives the same nutrition profile as in saturated fat, but also helps to lower triglyceride levels and increase your HDL cholesterol.

By understanding and choosing a correct percentage of carbohydrates, proteins and fats for your meal planning, you might already have a healthy, nutritional meal plan that helps to keep your sugar level in a normal range.

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