Patients who are newly diagnosed with diabetes have many questions and concerns.
One of them is food and the inevitable question “What should I eat?”
But do not worry. We have simple tips on how to eat healthy with this chronic disease, and how to form an individual meal plan.
The Importance of Having a Meal Plan
Knowing how to properly plan healthy meals is vital when it comes to managing a diabetes diet for all types. It is like that since food might raise blood glucose levels.
The amount of food and the type will impact how fast and how high the blood glucose levels will rise. It’s vital to make healthy choices about what to eat and when to eat.
What to Eat
We should eat the same size of snacks and meals on a daily basis. Usually, people have a small breakfast, lunch of medium size, and large dinner. But this is not a good idea since the body will process most of the food at the end of the day.
It would be better to eat all three main meals of the same size. Meals of the same size mean balanced meals during the day. We should make healthy choices when it comes to food.
Eat food rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber, like brown rice and lean protein such as white chicken. The fiber needs longer in order to break down, which means that blood glucose will rise slower.
In that way, we will have better control over blood glucose levels. Moreover, this is how the body will better process all the sugar which comes from the food.
Furthermore, there is one more thing we should remember, and that is not to skip meals. In case we take medication or insulin, we should not skip meals. Why? Because skipping meals can lead to dangerously low blood glucose levels.
In addition, skipping one meal might lead to overeating at the next meal. However, if we don’t take insulin or pills, even then with balanced meals, we will have better control over the blood glucose levels.
When to Eat
We should make sure to eat our snacks and meals at the same time on a daily basis. Why? Because in that way we will have control over our blood glucose levels. We need to space meals 4 to 5 hours apart.
In between, we can eat our healthy snacks. In case we take insulin or related medications, we need to keep the proper balance between these medicines and food.
We should find out how long the insulin or the pills take to lower the blood sugar levels. In that way, we can plan when we will eat. Bear in mind that snacks are vital, especially if we have more than 5 hours between meals.
A Balanced Diet
Try to consume different foods from each food group. Why? Because no food group can meet all the requirements of mineral and vitamin.
It is essential to follow a healthy eating plan which includes most of the food groups. This means that we can still eat what we love.
The Emotional Side of Eating
At first for sure it will be challenging to have a healthy meal on a daily basis. But we should try our best. And in case we make a mistake we should not give up, our next meal can again be healthy.
It is very important to not be hard on ourselves. A positive attitude can help us a lot, in that way we will feel good and stay motivated.
One more thing which can help us a lot is to prepare our meals. If we prepare our meals, we will be aware of the food we consume. Last but not least, preparing our meals costs less in comparison to dining out.
Our Doctor Can Help Us with This
In case we need help when it comes to making a proper healthy meal plan, we can consult our doctor. As a matter of fact, they will probably recommend a dietitian. In addition, our doctor can explain how our medication or insulin impacts blood glucose levels.
Our doctor might inform us about any necessary dietary needs. For example, to lower sodium in order to control high blood pressure. That’s why we need to talk to our doctor and ask for everything we don’t understand.
Things to Remember
- If one has diabetes, they must have a meal plan. Get help from a proper meal educator or a dietitian.
- Plan each meal.
- Meals should be of the same size, and one should spread them during the day evenly.