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List of Diets for Diabetes

written by: Ravneet Kaur • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 3/13/2011

Rigorously following your diabetes diet list is one of the best ways to keeping yourself from complications. Being a diabetic, you know your choices are limited, but you need adequate amounts of all nutrients to stay healthy and your food preferences to keep you interested in eating.

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    Importance of Healthy Eating for Diabetics

    If you think merely controlling your sugar intake is the right way to fight diabetes, think again. Diet plays a significant role in controlling diabetes. Though controlling sugar intake is necessary, following a proper diabetic diet list is equally important. A proper diabetes diet must help keep normal blood glucose levels, achieve ideal weight and prevent heart diseases.

    For diabetic patients, the recommendations for protein, carbohydrates and fat are much the same as those for non-diabetics. However, diabetics must be careful about the quantity of each of these important elements of their diet. The most important consideration in your diet is carbohydrates, which can greatly influence blood sugar levels; however, carbs are an essential component of a nutritious and healthy diet.

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    Important Components of Diabetes Diet List

    When you are diagnosed with diabetes, you must start taking a conscious approach toward your food intake and choose food that would not adversely impact your blood sugar levels. American Diabetes Association recommends the following foods that are essential to diabetes management and must be a part of a diabetes diet:

    1. First of all, vegetables form the most essential component of any diet. For diabetics, broccoli, spinach, green beans, lettuce, cauliflower, radish, squash, tomato, cabbage and carrots are recommended.
    2. Second, fruits, such as apples, berries, rose apple, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, strawberries, pears, plums, tangerines and bananas, possess anti-diabetes properties.
    3. Third, whole grains and cereals, such as wheat, barley, rye, bulgur, bran, brown rice and oats, are considered good for diabetics. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health claim after a study that risk of diabetes is less in the case of individuals eating a diet rich in whole grains.
    4. Fourth, dairy products, such as yogurt, skimmed or low-fat milk, reduced fat cheese and reduced fat sour cream, can be taken by diabetes. However, a study published in the December 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine claims that whole fat dairy products are rich in a fatty acid, trans-palmitoleic acid, which have properties to lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
    5. Fifth, protein-rich foods, such as fish and shellfish, tofu, eggs, nuts, dried beans, cod, clams, lobster, salmon, shrimp and tuna.
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    Increase Your Intake of Fiber Foods

    American Diabetes Association recommends a diabetes diet comprising 50 to 60 percent of calories from carbohydrates, about 30 percent from fat, and 10 to 20 percent from protein. Carbohydrate foods containing dietary fiber foods, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, are encouraged for diabetics, as these help control diabetes-related risks to a great extent. According to researchers, dietary fiber has the tendency to reduce the need for insulin, as it maintains blood-glucose levels, and helps with weight loss. Moreover, a high fiber diet also lowers the risk of colon cancer.

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    Importance of Counselling

    Diabetic diet is considered a myth, for no one diabetic diet fits all. Thus to a diabetic patient, a registered dietician will provide required help and guidance related to the choice of an appropriate nutrition plan. Any kind of food can fit into the diet of a diabetic, provided the intake is within the recommended limits depending on individual needs. So you don’t have to give up your favorite foods, including desserts and sweets, to manage your blood glucose levels. Successful diabetes management is all about making regular necessary assessment of your glucose levels and choosing your diabetes diet list depending on that.

    Research is still under way to find out whether foods rich in sugar raise blood glucose levels higher than those rich in starch.