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Diabetic Diet Calories

It is a popular misconception that a diabetic diet is a ‘sugar free diet’ or people with diabetes need to eat a special ‘diabetic diet’. There are many misunderstandings too like refined sugar is bad, potatoes and rice should be avoided completely, natural sugars are good and many more. But can a person with diabetes eat natural sugar in any amount or can he/she cheat once in a while? A diabetic diet is not so different than a regular healthy diet, but yes certain modifications and restrictions need to be followed by a person with high or low blood sugar levels. For most of the people a diabetic diet is simply eating a variety of foods but in moderate amounts and more important sticking to regular meal times.

Diabetic diet calories are important in terms of carbohydrate distribution in a day.
Each food we consume (except fats) provide some amount of carbohydrate. This carbohydrate is converted to its simple form; that is, glucose in the body by the digestive processes. Glucose is a source of fuel for all the body cells including the brain. Insulin a hormone secreted by the pancreas is a prerequisite for glucose to enter the body cells for energy. When there is excess glucose or low glucose levels in the body which the insulin can not manage then a condition called hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia arises. Carbohydrates thus play a very important role in managing your blood sugar levels. The main aim to manage your blood sugar levels is by taking your medications on time, eating a well balanced diet and increasing your physical activity.

Calorie Diabetic Diet Menu

Maintaining your ideal body weight is very essential. According to your weight you may be prescribed to eat 1500 calorie diabetic diet, 1800 calorie diabetic diet or a 2100 calorie diabetic diet. If you are underweight then a health care specialist may suggest you to consume a 2400 calorie diabetic diet. If you are overweight then a health care specialist may advise calorie restriction and may suggest a 1200 calorie diabetic diet. However a diet will also vary according to your height, weight, sex, body frame, activity level, lifestyle, medical history and likes or dislikes.

Like any other healthy diet plan, a diabetic diet also emphasizes on foods that are naturally rich in nutrients and low in total calories and fats.  Before changing your diet in a major way or for a detailed and personalized diet plan consult a registered dietician. Being consistent and regular can help to control your blood sugar levels in the normal range. Choose healthy carbohydrates in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grains, cereals and its products; pulses and legumes and low fat dairy products. These foods are not only low in fat but also high in dietary fiber which is an important component to maintain your blood sugar levels.

Diabetes can increase the risk of other diseases like heart diseases and stroke. This is the reason a person with diabetes also needs to follow a heart healthy diet. Quality of fats should be emphasized along with the quantity. The amount of saturated fats in the diet should not increase more than 6-7% of the total fat intake and trans fats should be completely avoided. Solid fats like butter, hydrogenated vegetable fats, and margarine should be avoided as far as possible. Aim for polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats like canola oil, olive oil, safflower oil and rice bran oil. But remember all fats are high in calories and should be included only in moderation. Cholesterol found in organ meats, egg yolk, shell fish, meat and poultry with skin should also be restricted in the diet. You can choose other healthy options if you prefer non-vegetarian foods like steamed fish, grilled fish, poultry without the skin, lean cuts of meat and egg whites.

Enjoy and embrace a healthy eating diet plan to prevent any diabetes complications and maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Remember to fit in a daily exercise regime and get your medications or insulin on time.
Submitted on January 16, 2014