Diabetics must closely monitor their food choices. Diabetics can eat the same foods as non-diabetics; they must simply be sure to restrict the amount of the foods they eat. Although foods are marketed to individuals who are diabetic, there are no real “diabetes foods.”
Diabetes food choices are those that closely follow the rules of the diabetes food pyramid. The diabetes food pyramid is a bit different from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food pyramid in that the diabetes food pyramid groups foods according to their glycemic index – the effect that the food has on blood glucose levels. Diabetics must be very aware of how foods will affect their blood glucose levels (otherwise known as blood sugar level, blood sugar, or just sugar). Each item on the diabetes pyramid is grouped according to its effect on blood sugar.
The diabetes pyramid groups starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes and peas with grains and beans because they have the same effect on blood glucose levels. Cheese is grouped with meats. For some foods, the serving sizes are different in the diabetes food pyramid. Serving sizes of rice and pasta are smaller in the diabetes food pyramid than they are in the USDA food pyramid. Similarly, serving sizes of fruit and fruit juices are smaller in the diabetes food pyramid. The idea is to make the food groups in the diabetes food pyramid relatively equal in carbohydrate content so that they have similar effects on blood sugar levels.
Diabetics need to make smart food choices. Understanding the effects that foods have on blood sugar levels is important to ensuring ongoing health. Diabetics may find that there are many foods marketed to their condition. Foods that are low in sugar and other carbohydrates may or may not be the best choice in the long run. Diabetics may find that foods that are low in carbs may be high in fat. Although diabetics need to cut carbs, they don’t want to trade one health condition for another. Making sure that their diets are high in vegetables and low-carb foods, and low in foods that are high in fat and cholesterol is the best course of action for diabetics. As mentioned earlier, there are not actual diabetes foods. Diabetics eat the same foods as everyone else. There is really no need to purchase special foods for a diabetic diet. A diabetic who eats as close to nature as possible is choosing the best diet for him or her.
Diabetes food choices should be as natural as possible. We’ve all heard the hype about healthy eating. Eating foods that are close to nature makes choosing foods easier for diabetics as well as anyone who wants to follow a healthy eating plan. Diabetes food choices should include many fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains – foods that are natural. Processed foods tend to be high in salt as well as sugar. Purchasing foods and cooking them yourself will ensure the healthiest diet possible.
Ideally, the best way to ensure you are eating a healthful diet is to make as much as your own food as possible. Purchase tomatoes and make your own sauce. Purchase whole grain flour and make your own bread. And be sure to make your own sweet treats. Perhaps take one day a week and cook large quantities of foods and freeze them for use later. Many foods freeze well. For those that don’t, or for individuals who cannot find the time to make their own foods, be sure to read those labels!