A Healthy Meal For All

Diabetes Diet Type, Foods and Meal Plan

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Is Diabetic Diet Just A Diet That Is Free From Sugars?

The answer is no, a healthy  diabetic meal plan is a balanced healthy diet with appropriate mixture of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that provide essential nutrients as well as to create an even release of glucose into the blood of a diabetes patient. The main goal of the diet is to keep blood glucose as near as possible to that of a normal person.

In our body, foods that we consume are broken down into basic unit (as shown in the table below). By learning what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat we can keep our blood glucose levels within a target range.

Complex Food Basic Unit
Carbohydrate Simple Sugars (eg. Glucose)
Protein Amino Acids
Fat Fatty Acids and Glycerol

For a normal people, blood glucose levels are kept within 70 to 120mg/DL. This level will goes up after eating and return to normal after 1 or 2 hours. Following is a reference table for targeted blood glucose levels for normal a person.

Meal Time

Target Blood Glucose Levels For Diabetes Patients

Before Meal

90 to 130 mg/dL

1-2 Hours After Meal

less than 180 mg/dL

For people with diabetes the body do not produce enough or make well use of a hormone called insulin*. Without enough insulin, glucose will stay in the our blood and cause the blood glucose levels to raise. Over time, high glucose level will lead to serious damages in heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves and etc.

Diabetes Type And Meal Plan

There are generally three types of diet for diabetes. Before starting the diet plan it is important to understand that not all diabetes can be manage through diabetic diet alone.

Diet Type Disease Description Diet & Management Strategy
Type 1 Diet This form of diabetes is generally found in child and young adults with heart disease. It is also known as "juvenile" diabetes or "insulin dependent" diabetes. In type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin. Diabetes Type 1 must be treated by regular injection of insulin, it cannot be control with diet or exercise alone.
Type 2 Diet This is the most common type of diabetes. It is also know as non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or make well use of the insulin. Approximately 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are obese or overweight. In most cases it can be managed by engaging in a diabetic diet plan together with proper amount of exercise.
Gestational Diabetes Diet Gestational diabetes is a form diabetes that develop in some women during the late stages of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually disappear after pregnancy. Treatment for gestational diabetes includes special meal and scheduled physical activity. In some cases it may also include daily blood glucose testing and insulin injections.

A good diabetic diet plan will not only help you to improve your blood glucose levels but also help keep your weight on track. The diet plan differ from person to person due to our nutritional needs, daily activity and type of diabetes a patient suffers. Following are 10 important points suggested by the American Diabetic Association when planning a diabetic meal.

  1. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits

  2. Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products

  3. Include dried beans (like kidney or pinto beans) and lentils into your meal

  4. Include fish in your meals 2-3 times a week

  5. Choose lean meats like cuts of beef and pork that end in "loin" such as pork loin and sirloin

  6. Choose non-fat dairy such as skim milk, non-fat yogurt and non-fat cheese

  7. Choose water and calorie-free "diet" drinks instead of regular sugar-sweetened drinks

  8. Choose liquid oils for cooking instead of solid fats that can be high in saturated and trans fats

  9. Eating too much of even healthful foods can lead to weight gain. Watch your portion sizes

  10. Cut back on high calorie foods like chips, cookies, cakes, and full-fat ice cream

Also, it is important for diabetes patients to discuss with their doctors before starting any diet plan.

* Insulin is a hormone that responsible for glucose to get into our cells and provide us with energy

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Disclaimer: We do not endorse the use, or effectiveness of any diet plan. All information provided on this site is for information purposes only.