Diabetic Diet Meal Plans: Which One Is Best for You?

The so-called "diabetic diet" is not a diet at all. In fact, there are several methods that can be used to create healthful meals that meet the needs of diabetics. A diabetic meal plan is nothing more than a healthful, balanced diet that anyone would benefit from, whether or not the person has diabetes. Rather than a prescriptive diet, where the diabetic is limited to eating certain foods and measured portions, the so-called "diabetic diet" encourages a range of foods with moderation as the key.

Catering to Individual Needs

Because of the range of morbidities that often accompany diabetes – obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, kidney disease – the recommended diet might be geared to address both diabetes and the comorbidity suffered by the patient. For instance, total calorie counts might be lower for someone needing to lose weight, and fats might be lower for the patient with high cholesterol.

Broadly speaking, a healthful diet includes foods from all of the food groups: fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (including sugar). The specific combination of these food groups for each meal can be impacted by insulin dosage, exercise, and general health.

Diabetic Meal Plans

There are a number of methods that can be used to attain a healthful meal plan. The American Diabetes Association website mentions the plate method, glycemic index and counting carbs.

The Plate Method

This method of eating invites the diner to divide a plate visually, first in half, then one half divided into three equal portions. Half of the plate should be full of non-starchy vegetables. Of the three smaller sections, one should be grains and/or starchy foods, one should be protein and the last should be a serving of fruit or dairy.

The Glycemic Index

This diet requires the diner to learn about the glycemic index of different carbohydrates. A high glycemic index (GI) means that the food item is likely to raise blood glucose levels substantially. Sugar has a high GI. A low GI would have a minimal impact on blood glucose levels. An example of a low GI food would be any food with whole grains.

Carb Counting

The experienced diabetic will have an understanding of how many carbs he or she can consume, based on insulin levels and physical activity. Meals can be planned in advance to include a broad array of food types and a measured amount of carbohydrates consumed.

If a diabetic wants to include sugar in his or her diet, he or she can calculate the number of carbs of sugar and subtract that from the total carbs allowed in the meal or snack. This allows a steady carbohydrate load and minimizes blood sugar spikes.

On the other hand, if the diabetic wants to lessen his or her carb load, he or she can substitute something with fewer carbs for the sugar. The best advice for diabetics is to make sure every carb counts, with the best nutrition available attached to each one.

Sources: American Diabetes Association, WebMD
Photo: Pexels

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.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...