About the 1,500-Calorie Diabetic Diet

If you are carrying extra pounds, losing weight is one way to help control type 2 diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, a weight loss of one-half to one pound each week is the ideal way to drop the extra pounds. The recommended amount of calories is 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day for women and 1,200 to 1,600 calories per day for men. The 1,500-calorie diet is the most recommended diet plan for diabetics who need to lose weight.

A Unique Diet Plan

Most people find that they need to work with a nutritionist to develop a diabetes diet plan that will help to control their glucose levels. The benefit of a professionally developed 1,500-calorie diet is that it will be the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats. Portion sizes are also key to controlling the amount of calories that you consume each day. You will need to consider the time of the day that you should eat as well as what you eat. Most diabetics need to eat at regular intervals to control their blood sugar.

There is no one-size-fits-all diabetic food plan because all diabetics have different factors that influence their health. If you need to lose weight or reduce your cholesterol or blood pressure, your diet will be different than that of someone who does not have these issues. Exercise is also considered in a diabetic diet plan. If you work at a strenuous job or exercise for a substantial amount of time each day, you need to consume more calories than someone who does not get much exercise.

Diabetic Exchanges

Diabetic exchanges allow you to choose the foods that are healthy for you to eat. There are six lists that contain foods with similar calorie, carbohydrate, protein and fat content, so you can safely substitute one food from the list for another. Most diabetic diet plans allow you to have several exchanges from each of the food lists each day. Your nutritionist will help you to learn which exchanges are safe for you.

When you are first learning to use diabetic exchange lists, it can be a bit confusing. The most important rule is to choose only foods from the same list
when making a substitute. For instance, you cannot substitute a carbohydrate for a protein in a meal. Exchanges must be made only within the same list or category. There are also free foods that you can eat without limitation. These items are typically 20 calories or fewer.

A Healthy Meal Plan

Portions are small on a 1,500-calorie diet, but you will probably notice that you are eating more variety in your diet than you previously did. Meals are balanced with every food group. A typical breakfast includes a starch, fruit, milk, meat and fat. Lunch is two servings of starch, two servings of meat, one vegetable serving and one fat. A healthy dinner is made of three servings of meat, two of starch, three vegetable servings, a fruit and two servings of fat. Three snacks are also eaten daily, including a mid-morning snack, an afternoon snack, and an evening snack. Following a diabetic exchange diet that consists of 1,500 calories each day will help you control your diabetes and have the energy you need.

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

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