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Using the Food Guide Pyramid for Weight Management When You Have Diabetes

written by: weborglodge • edited by: lrohner • updated: 12/19/2010

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides the information you need in its food guide pyramid for diabetes and weight management which can help you control your condition. Simple changes can have a profound health impact.

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    Benefits of the Food Guide Pyramid

    weight control scale As a diabetic, your diet needs to address to vital issues: controlling your blood sugar and weight. The food pyramid deals with these issues on several fronts. With its clearly written guidelines, you have the information you need to make good choices. The guide will help you with nutrition support as well as information regarding serving and portion sizes. Another helpful feature is the food guide pyramid for kids if you have young ones in the home.

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    Diabetes and Your Weight Management Plan

    The food guide pyramid helps manage your diabetes by limiting foods with added sugars. Sugary foods and beverages can elevate your blood sugar to unhealthy levels. It can also set up a harmful cycle of overeating when your blood sugar drops precipitously. This makes the food guide pyramid for diabetes and weight management an effective health tool.

    The food guide pyramid also includes recommendations for a healthy diet including recommendations for fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The latter is especially important in the diabetic diet since these foods can keep you feeling sated longer which can complement your efforts to control your blood sugar.

    The guidelines focus on choosing nutrient-dense foods. In this way, the foods you choose have the best health value. The food guide pyramid emphasizes the smart choices within each of the major food groups.

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    Fat Control

    Controlling your fat intake is an important feature of a weight management plan. The food guide pyramid emphasizes lean sources of protein and a limit on saturated fats. Too much fat in your diet can lead to extra pounds and an increase in insulin resistance. A 2005 study in the journal, Cell, found that a high-fat diet causes the suppression of an enzyme which is vital for the body to regulate insulin.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005, provides the documentation of the food guide pyramid. The guidelines call for between 20 and 35 percent fat in your diet, with no more than 10 percent from saturated fats. This basic recommendation is one of the guiding principles of using the food guide pyramid for diabetes and weight management. For each gram of fat you eliminate, you will reduce your caloric intake by 9 calories.

    The food guide pyramid provides the basis for a healthy diabetic diet as well as an effective weight management plan. Armed with the knowledge of what a good diet choice, you will be able to choose wisely whether it is at the grocery store or eating out. By following its recommendations, you can control your diabetes and improve your quality of life.

    Photo by Tara Bartal, stock.xchng

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    K. Ohtsubo et al. Dietary and Genetic Control of Glucose Transporter 2 Glycosylation Promotes Insulin Secretion in Suppressing Diabetes. Cell, December 2005; 123(7): 1307-1321.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services : Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005