Diabetic Diets: All You Need to Know

Diabetic diets are engaged in a daily battle to keep their glucose levels in check. But this is easier said than done when you have to follow a typical diet, which is loaded with many unhealthy foods. We need to follow a diabetic diet since poor food choices can be a disaster for diabetes patients.   In fact, diet is such an important part of diabetes management that medical nutritional therapy is one of the best options diabetes patients have when dealing with this chronic issue. Medical nutritional therapy is more scientific to diet as it relates to diabetes management. The process involves the evaluation of glucose levels and the glycemic index of the foods that a diabetes patient consumes in each meal. 

Why is a diabetic diet so crucial? 

Generally speaking, typical foods that are bad for diabetes also harm everyone else. Among other things, these diets increase the risk of diabetes. So, we should all focus on a diabetic diet. A healthy diet that is appropriate for a diabetic ensures better blood sugar control. Additionally, this diet can prevent other health issues brought about by diets that can aggravate to cause diabetes. Some of these symptoms include high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.  

Principle of diabetic nutrition 

  1. Determine appropriate calorie intake 

The importance of calorie control for a diabetic diet cannot be overemphasized. That is why you should look for the trouble of finding out the recommended calorie intake for you based on your BMR (Basal metabolic rate) should give you an idea of how many calories you need every day. This can prevent excessive calorie intake. You can also use your weight and height to determine the number of calories you should consume in order to maintain a level of diabetic diets.  

  • Create diabetic meal plan

To ensure that you will remain within the demands of your diabetic diet, you should have a diet plan. Every food you take should be carefully planned to guarantee that it does not ruin the nutritional requirements of the day as a diabetic.  

  • Eat healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, low-fat meat, good fat

While carbohydrates pose the greatest risk to diabetes, they are still an essential part of a diabetic diet. The trick is consuming them in the right quantities and eating the healthier varieties. In general, you should be careful not to eat too many carbohydrates and to focus on those that have a low glycemic index.   While at it, you should focus on red meats that are low in fat and rich in fiber content. Taking enough fiber ensures that the absorption of nutrients in the body is more deliberate and less likely to cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, which is usually dangerous for diabetes patients. You should not avoid fats completely either, but rather focus on eating the healthy ones.  

  • Include vegetables in your daily meal

Vegetables are important to your daily diet, even for a diabetic diet. In addition, you should focus on taking vegetables that offer a low glycemic index. Besides, consuming vegetables is a good way to ensure satiety while keeping carbohydrate intakes low.  

Foods to avoid

Some of the foods diabetics need to avoid include 

– Sweetened Dried fruit  

– Sweetened breakfast cereals

– Flavored coffee drinks

– Sugary beverages

– Full-fat dairy

– Baked goods – Fruit juices    

Recommended Foods

Some of the foods to eat when you are following a diabetic diet include the following:

– Canned tuna

– Unsweetened whole grain cereal

– Whole fruits as opposed to fruit juices

– Canned vegetables

– Fat free refried beans

– Healthy fats from nuts, fish oil or avocados 

– Instant oatmeal

– Low calorie drinks

– Brown rice  

Foods to limit

Starchy foods can be consumed but only in appropriate serving amount.  There are 2 factors to be considered for starchy food consumption: the proportion of fiber content and the glycemic index.  Typically, the diabetes patients are urged to eat foods with high fiber content but low in the glycemic index. 

Apply Glycemic Index to Determine Foods Good for Diabetics

Diabetic diets put a principal focus on the glycemic index of the foods consumed. Therefore, this metric can be used to determine which foods to avoid and which foods to consume when adhering to a diabetic diet.   There is a formula for calculating the glycemic index in foods, but you need not master it. You can search and see the GI ratings on the foods you are considering as part of your diet and you can know if they are right for a diabetic.   As a general rule, you should eat foods with a GI value of 55% or less. Therefore, any food with a GI value above 55 should be avoided

Food Exchange

For those who don’t want to limit themselves to certain types of food may apply the food exchange rule for their own diabetic diets.  The American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetes Association have categorized food exchange into 6 food groups: dairy, vegetable, fruit, starchy food and whole grains, meat, and fat.  The principle of food exchange is based on the substitution of foods in the same food group.  For instance, you can switch from banana to melon which is in the same fruit group.  However, the suggested serving size of foods is different from each other depending on fiber content and glycemic index.  Please consult your local doctor for more information.  


You might think that a diabetic diet is nothing to do with you because you are not actually a diabetes patient. But the truth is that a diet that is bad for a diabetes patient is generally bad for everyone, including you. That is why we should concern more on the diabetic diet; not only to manage or avoid diabetes but also to ensure that we avoid other issues that come with diabetes, for instance, hypertension and high cholesterol levels.   Above are some tips on what constitutes a good diabetic diet, and some specific foods to eat or avoid while on this diet. Otherwise, you can also use a more general guideline to determine for yourself which foods would be good for you if you were a diabetic such as the glycemic index. So, do not hesitate to give the diabetic diet a try, it will be a worthwhile investment in your health.

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