What exactly is a “diabetic diet”? Diabetic diets are not related to fad weight-loss diets. The word “diet” actually just refers to the food that a person eats each day. Everyone in the world who is eating is on a diet! It’s kind of a surprising concept, actually. There is actually no such thing as a single “diabetic diet”, because the diet that a person with diabetes follows to help manage his or her blood sugar levels is based on the same nutrition principles that any healthy person, with or without diabetes, should follow for good health.
If you are diabetic, there are some things that you may want to change about your eating habits in order to help you maintain your blood sugar levels at a healthy level. Your dietitian can help you to plan your personalized diabetic diet plan, meaning that you will have a simple plan to follow to help you make food choices for each meal and snack throughout the day.
Someone with diabetes needs special care because it can no longer handle drastic changes in eating, especially when it comes to carbohydrates. Someone without diabetes may be able to skip breakfast and lunch, and then eat a huge dinner late at night, and this person’s body will be able to compensate. If you are diabetic, this type of irregular eating can be hazardous because your body cannot handle the lack of and then inundation with food (shown in your blood sugar level).
The diabetic diets were created to help diabetics feed their bodies in a very controlled, regular way. Diabetic individual cannot skip meals or overeat at meals. They need to eat certain amounts of food at regular intervals, just to maintain a consistent blood sugar level.
This might sound confusing, but don’t worry- your diabetic diet will make it easy for you to keep track of your food intake. Let’s take for example, the popular exchange list from the American Diabetes Association breaks foods up into similar groups. There are, for example, the “lean meats,” “the dairy,” “the fruits,” and more. A dietitian would create your daily diet plan specifying the number of servings of each of group to be eaten at each meal or snack.
For example, if you have to have one fruit and one carbohydrate for your morning snack, you know that you can choose one item from the list of fruits and the list of carbohydrates. You may want to have an apple and a small handful of pretzels today and some strawberries and an English muffin tomorrow, but you will always choose one serving of fruit and one of carbohydrates at the morning snack, if that is what your dietitian has recommended.
In this way, your diet is not really bounded to any specific fruit or bread, but you are guided in how much to eat and in which food lists to choose from at any time. This quickly becomes habit for people using this diet tool, and will help diabetics to maintain good blood sugar levels throughout the day.