When Should I Eat If I Have Diabetes
Some people with diabetes need to eat at about the same time each day. Others can be more flexible with the timing of their meals. Depending on your diabetes medicines or type of insulin, you may need to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at the same time each day. If you take mealtime insulin, your eating schedule can be more flexible.
If you use certain diabetes medicines or insulin and you skip or delay a meal, your blood glucose level can drop too low. Ask your health care team when you should eat and whether you should eat before and after physical activity.
What Foods Can Diabetics Eat Freely
Diet is the cornerstone when it comes to managing blood sugars, which is why its important to know what foods diabetics can eat freely and which ones they cannot. By having a diabetic friendly food list on hand, you will not only understand what constitutes a diabetic diet but it will also help you stay on track.
The best way to use this this list is while grocery shopping or you can pin it to the fridge as a reminder when you go to eat. Additionally, this list of foods can also be used for those who are prediabetic.
Now that we know the basics here is:
Many Of Us Rely On Carbohydrates As Our Main Source Of Energy Carbohydrate
All the carbohydrates you eat and drink are broken down into glucose. The type, and amount, you consume can make a difference to your blood glucose levels and diabetes management.
There are different ways to describe carbohydrates. One way of doing this is to group them into those that contain mostly starch , and those that contain mostly sugars, such as fruits , some dairy foods , sweets, chocolate, sugary drinks and desserts.
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What Is A Good Meal Plan For People With Diabetes
A good diabetes meal plan is one that provides you with all the healthy nutrition you need while helping you keep your blood sugar level in your target range.
According to the American Diabetes Associations 2019 nutrition guidelines, there are many different ways to create a healthy diabetes meal plan, but there is growing evidence to show that low-carbohydrate eating patterns can benefit people with diabetes and prediabetes.
This plan is what many will consider moderately low carb which means:
- Less than 25 grams of carbohydrates in each meal or snack
- Protein and healthy fats in every meal
- Plenty of fiber to aid digestion and help manage blood sugar levels
- No processed carbohydrates or added sugars
- Limited natural sugars that can cause blood sugar spikes
- Moderate in sodium
Of course, no meal plan will perfectly suit everyone. You may have specific dietary needs or food allergies to take into account or simply like different foods than whats included in this plan. If so, use this plan as a starting point and substitute the meals that dont work for you with something else with similar macronutrients.
How Does Carbohydrate Affect Anyone With Type 2 Diabetes
For people with Type 2 diabetes who may be overweight or obese, reducing the calories you eat helps to lose weight. This can be done through different means including following a low carb diet or simply reducing the current amount of carbs you eat. People have successfully followed low carb diets to lose weight and manage their diabetes including lowering their HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well as reducing the amount of diabetes medications they take. If you are taking diabetes medications that put you at risk of hypos, checking your blood glucose levels regularly and speaking to your healthcare team to review your medications will help to reduce your risk of hypos when you restrict your carb intake.
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Which Types Of Protein Are Recommended
Protein provides slow steady energy with relatively little effect on blood sugar. Protein, especially plant-based protein, should always be part of a meal or snack. Protein not only keeps blood sugar stable, but it also helps with sugar cravings and feeling full after eating . Protein can come from both animal or plant sources however, animal sources are also often sources of unhealthy saturated fats.
Good protein choices include:
- Tofu and soy foods
- Lean meats such as chicken and turkey
Pay attention to the balance of macronutrients in a meal to support stable blood sugar levels. Specifically, fat, protein, and fiber all slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and thus allow time for a slower, lower insulin release and a steady transport of glucose out of the blood and into the target tissues – this is a good thing.
Whats The Optimal Carb Intake For People With Diabetes
The ideal carb intake for people living with diabetes is a somewhat controversial topic, even among those who support carb restriction.
Many studies found dramatic improvements in blood sugar levels, body weight, and other markers when carbs were restricted to 20 grams per day (
The optimal amount of carbs may also vary by individual, since everyone has a unique response to carbs.
According to the American Diabetes Association , theres no one-size-fits-all diet that works for everyone with diabetes. Personalized meal plans, which take into account your dietary preferences and metabolic goals, are best .
The ADA also recommends that individuals work with their healthcare team to determine the carb intake thats right for them.
To figure out your ideal amount of carbs, you may want to measure your blood glucose with a meter before a meal and again 1 to 2 hours after eating.
As long as your blood sugar remains below 140 mg/dL , the point at which damage to nerves can occur, you can consume 6 grams, 10 grams, or 25 grams of carbs per meal on a low carb diet.
It all depends on your personal tolerance. Just remember that the general rule is the less carbs you eat, the less your blood sugar will rise.
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Choosing Low Glycemic Foods Can Curb Blood Sugar Spikes And Lower Risk Of Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you know all too well that when you eat carbohydrates, your blood sugar goes up. The total amount of carbs you consume at a meal or in a snack mostly determines what your blood sugar will do. But the food itself also plays a role. A serving of white rice has almost the same effect as eating pure table sugar a quick, high spike in blood sugar. A serving of lentils has a slower, smaller effect.
Picking good sources of carbs can help you control your blood sugar and your weight. Eating healthier carbohydrates may help prevent a host of chronic conditions, especially diabetes, but it is also associated with a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
One way to choose foods is with the glycemic index . This tool measures how much a food boosts blood sugar.
The glycemic index rates the effect of a specific amount of a food on blood sugar compared with the same amount of pure glucose. A food with a glycemic index of 28 boosts blood sugar only 28% as much as pure glucose. One with a GI of 95 acts like pure glucose.
Healthy Carb: Brown Rice
Whole grains like brown rice contain all three parts of the fiber-rich grain kernel, while white rice and other refined grains have only the endosperm intact. The fiber helps to slow the speed at which carbohydrates hit your bloodstream. Have 1/3 cup cooked.
Make rice pudding: Mix rice with equal parts light coconut milk, and combine with dried cranberries and cinnamon cover and soak overnight.
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What Is Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a scale that ranks carbohydrates-containing foodsor drinks from 0 to 100 depending upon how much they raise blood glucose levels after its consumed. Low GI foods are considered better for diabetics due to there slow and steady increase in blood glucose levels. High GI foods increase blood glucose at a higher and faster rate and should be avoided as much as possible for those with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
How Does Carbohydrate Affect Anyone With Type 1 Diabetes
All carbohydrate is converted into glucose. In someone without diabetes, the body produces insulin automatically to deal with the glucose that enters the blood from the carbohydrate-containing food that we eat and drink.In Type 1 diabetes the same principle applies, but because your body doesnt produce any insulin, you have to take insulin, either by injections or a pump. This will help to lower the glucose in the blood after eating carbohydrate-containing foods. Most people follow twice-daily or basal bolus insulin regimes.
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How To Use The Meal Plan
This is a 1600-calorie meal plan that can be adjusted to whatever number of daily calories you choose.
The meal plan has 3 main meals and 2 snacks per day and it tells you how many calories and carbohydrates are in each meal and snack.
If you need to adjust the calories, start by adding or removing a snack. If that isnt enough to reach your calorie goal, adjust the servings of one or more main meals.
Vegetables are included as a separate line for each day but its recommended to split them up so you eat some vegetables with each main meal . Vegetables are also great for grazing on throughout the day to keep hunger at bay.
Vegetables in this plan mean low-carb veggies like salad, broccoli, cucumber, etc. NOT carbs like beans, potatoes, etc. You can see a list of great low-carb veggies at the end of this post.
You can download a day-by-day overview of the meal plan HERE and print it and hang it on your fridge so you always know what to eat next.
Work On Getting These Things Off Your Diabetes Food List
But lets also cover some foods that many people think are healthy but theyre not, along with a few other foods people often ask us about.
- Sweet potato no better than potato. It is a high carb food.
- Fruit juice just like a sugar injection even though it is natural sugar.
- White bread, brown bread its all the same. They have a very similar carb content.
- White rice and brown rice both have high carb counts.
- French fries these are a potato, so sorry, they are best left off your list.
- Artificial sweeteners beware of sugar free items, in many cases, they are not what they appear to be.
- Canned fruit choose the fruits outlined above but beware of added sugars to canned items, as this can quickly raise the carb content and lead to blood sugar spikes, too.
- Apples they may keep the doctor away for the general population, but with diabetes they are a high carb fruit.
- Ice cream you might as well eat a few tablespoons of pure white sugar, because thats what youre doing when you eat ice cream!
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Printable List Of Foods For Diabetics
Almost all foods contain a certain number of potassium. Foods that contain saturated fats when cooked in ways that improve nutritional intake are actually good enough for you. Creating a well-balanced meal is much easier if you have the ideal food in your home. Food or type of positive blood is inserted into meat, vegetables and fruit, although the intake of carbohydrates has been limited. Corn flour is composed of GMOs.Fortunately, my recipe always meets my initial needs. Vinegar vinaigrette dressing sauce recipes tell how to get the difference in your kitchen. As soon as it is better to avoid artificial ingredients, what is more important to consider when looking at artificial flavors is that you do not get a clue what it really means. Knowing what you consume is very important, so avoid artificial flavors. Therefore, if you are really dealing with fructose syrup, it really does weigh on your heart. If you notice a high or very low blood sugar, you should consult your doctor immediately. So coconut is fantastic, but many men and women are allergic or intolerant.
Which Carbs Raise Blood Sugar Levels
In plant foods, carbs comprise a combination of starch, sugar, and fiber. Only the starch and sugar components raise blood sugar.
Fiber thats naturally found in foods, whether soluble or insoluble, doesnt break down into glucose in the body, and doesnt raise blood sugar levels .
You can actually subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carb content, leaving you with the digestible or net carb content. For example, 1 cup of cauliflower contains 5 grams of carbs, 3 of which are fiber. Therefore, its net carb content is 2 grams.
Prebiotic fiber, such as inulin, has even been shown to improve fasting blood sugar and other health markers in people with type 2 diabetes .
Some of them, especially maltitol, can actually raise blood sugar levels in people with diabetes .
For this reason, use the net carb tool cautiously, as the count listed on a products label may not be accurate if all the carbs contributed by maltitol are subtracted from the total.
Furthermore, the net carb tool isnt used by the Food and Drug Administration or the ADA.
This carb counter may be a valuable resource. It provides data for hundreds of foods on total carbs, net carbs, fiber, protein and fat.
Starches and sugars raise blood sugar levels, but dietary fiber does not. The sugar alcohol maltitol may also raise blood sugar.
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Knowing How Much Carbs Is In You Food
If youre living with diabetes, and take insulin, youll need to take that into account when eating carbs. Learn about which foods contain carbohydrates, how to estimate carbohydrate portions and how to monitor their effect on blood glucose levels.
There are special courses available, such as the DAFNE course for people with Type 1 diabetes, which your diabetes healthcare team can tell you about.
Our downloadable PDF e-book, Carbs Count, provides an introduction to carbohydrate counting and insulin dose adjustment. It takes you through the essential information, with practical examples and exercises. You can .
What Foods Should I Limit To Control My Blood Sugar
To keep your blood sugar under control, you may need to cut back on foods and drinks that are high in carbs. This doesn’t mean that you can never enjoy them. But you will need to have them less often or in smaller amounts.
The high-carb foods and drinks you should limit include:
- Sugary foods, such as candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, sweetened cereals, and canned fruits with added sugar
- Drinks with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks
- White rice, tortillas, breads and pasta – especially those made with white flour
- Starchy vegetables, such as white potatoes, corn, and peas
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What To Think About When Meal Planning
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the bodies main source of energy and the nutrient that impacts blood sugar the most. People with diabetes need to monitor their carbohydrate intake because excess carbohydrates, particularly in the form of white, refined, processed and sugary foods, can elevate blood sugars, triglyceride levels and ultimately result in weight gain. When thinking about carbohydrates, youll want to think about portions as well as type.
Diabetes Donts Are Foods That Should Be Limited And They Are:
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Add Extra Activity To Your Daily Routine
If you have been inactive or you are trying a new activity, start slowly, with 5 to 10 minutes a day. Then add a little more time each week. Increase daily activity by spending less time in front of a TV or other screen. Try these simple ways to add physical activities in your life each day:
- Walk around while you talk on the phone or during TV commercials.
- Do chores, such as work in the garden, rake leaves, clean the house, or wash the car.
- Park at the far end of the shopping center parking lot and walk to the store.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Make your family outings active, such as a family bike ride or a walk in a park.
If you are sitting for a long time, such as working at a desk or watching TV, do some light activity for 3 minutes or more every half hour.5 Light activities include
- leg lifts or extensions