Monday, November 9, 2009

Diabetes Diet Guidelines

By Glen D. Williams

Diabetes is proving to be one of the most frightening diseases I've ever had but easy to manage so far. Over the past 6 years I've done very well controlling my Type 2 Diabetes with a healthy diet and exercise, the lack of which having been the cause of my problem in the first place. I'm not a doctor and don't play one on the internet so don't do anything in this article without checking with yours. But, because it seems so difficult at first, I want to share with you some things I've discovered which simplified the whole diet thing for me.

Diabetes Diet programs are everywhere, but many are so severe or so complicated we can't follow them. When my doctor diagnosed me, he gave me a copy of a typed diet sheet that really took all the joy out of my sugar, bread, rice, cake, ice cream...etc. Fortunately, he sent me to a diabetes diet class which taught me you don't have to give up sugar or other carbohydrates...all you have to do is manage them. That's made all the difference! In fact, to manage Type 2 Diabetes, all we have to do is eat the balanced diet we should have been eating all along.

The American Diabetes Diet recommends we get 50-60% of our calories from carbohydrates, 12-20% from proteins, and less than 30% from fats. In my personal diet, I lean toward 50-30-20% in those groups. As you can see, 50-60% carbohydrates isn't exactly eating it? We'll get into easy ways to mange this balance later. I found the biggest dietary adjustment I had to make was taking 3 big meals a day and turning them into 3 small meals and 2-3 snacks. This is necessary to keep a balanced level of blood sugar (glucose). The funny thing was, after about a week, I noticed I had more energy and never felt hungry. Needles to say, I started getting excited.

Eat Generally Healthier: The smallest adjustment was to eat know the drill: More fresh fruits and vegetables, more fresh meat, fish and poultry (lean cuts) and less fruit juices and processed foods. More crackers and fewer chips. More whole grain breads and pasta and fewer white, processed flours. More brown rice and less white. Low or non fat milk, cheese, yogurt, salad dressings. Eat cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream, sodas, etc. less often and preferably low fat, sugar free varieties if possible. The amazing thing to me was, there was literally nothing I couldn't eat...I just had to control the way I ate. This isn't as hard as people think.

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