Are Diabetic Diets Effective?

A careful diet is the most important factor in diabetes care. Many diabetics are able to control the disease using diet alone.

The foods you eat have a definite effect on your blood sugar level. If you eat fast food, candy bars, cookies and other simple carbohydrates, your sugar level will spike, even when you take medication to treat your diabetes.

Foods to Avoid

You may choose to avoid foods that are obviously full of sugar, like candy and other sweets. Unfortunately, this is not enough to control the disease. There are many foods that are high in simple carbohydrates that will spike sugar levels as much as candy. Simple carbs like white bread and white rice turn into sugar quickly in the body to provide an immediate boost of energy. They also cause glucose to quickly rise in your blood if you are diabetic.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are certain foods that diabetics should avoid altogether. Because people with type 2 diabetes have a greater chance of developing heart disease or stroke, they should avoid saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are animal proteins that are found in meat such as sausage, bacon, hot dogs and beef. Trans fats should be avoided as well. These are found in processed cakes and snack foods, shortening and stick margarine. It is also important to avoid excessive egg yolks, liver and organ meats that are high in cholesterol. Sodium should also be eaten in low amounts, with less than 2,300 mg daily.

Complex Carbs and Portion Control

Complex carbohydrates like brown rice, whole grain bread, vegetables, fruits and beans digest slowly in the body. The sugar contained in them is a complex carbohydrate that takes longer to digest. For this reason, complex carbohydrates should be the main part of the diabetic diet for it to effectively control sugar levels.

Diabetic diets are most effective because of portion control. Instead of eating a heaping serving spoon of rice, you will probably be told to eat about one-third of a cup of rice. Foods need to be measured carefully to maintain the right amount that will provide a healthy balance of proteins, fats, vegetables and fruits. Adhering to the recommended portion sizes will help you stick to your diabetic diet and to maintain control over your blood sugar level.

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