The New Diabetic Diet Plan
Having diabetes can wreak havoc on your day-to-day life. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where and what to eat, all while trying to keep up with the other responsibilities in your life. The good news is that there have been great improvements in the treatment of diabetes. Below are a few life-changing food and lifestyle hacks that can help with your diabetic diet plan. These can also reverse type 2 diabetes while helping you achieve a much more enjoyable life.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how the body can regulate glucose (sugar levels) within the digestive system. A study conducted in 2015 showed that over 30.3 million Americans suffer from diabetes. This means that almost 10% of the population suffer from insulin instability. Some of the common symptoms of diabetes can include nausea, fatigue, blurred vision, dizziness, and slow healing. The symptoms might seem small when viewed separately, but together it feels like a barrage on the entire body.
There are 3 core diabetic food considerations and “hacks” that nutritionists are now adopting for a more solid and reliable Diabetic Diet Plan.
The three core principles include:
- Type: Eating Anti-Inflammatory foods
- Time: Eating according to regular mealtimes
- Size: Eating moderate sided meals
Diabetic Diet Plan Core Consideration #1 — Type: Eating Anti-Inflammatory foods
Eating healthy foods that lower the body’s inflammatory load may sound like an impossible superhero task. For a person struggling with diabetes, this task can seem even more daunting. When you are living with diabetes it is important to focus on a diet that is rich in nutrients, while being low in fat and calories. The foods that are bad for you — foods that are filled with trans fats, dense foods, or those that contain nothing but empty calories — are very often packaged and processed foods. Your body reacts to these foods by creating glucose, and when your body is flooded with glucose over a short period of time, this can lead to long-term problems such as hyperglycemia, as well as damage to key organs including the nervous system, kidneys, and heart.
So which foods are most rich in nutrients and anti-inflammatory? Your body needs a balance of good fats, healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, and lean high-quality protein. Often, you may hear that fats are bad for you and should be off the table, but in reality, your body needs good sources of fats in order to perform at its full capacity. Good fats can be found in various nuts, seeds like chia, flax and hemp seeds, and fruits such as avocados.
Healthy carbs can be found in numerous foods like beans and whole grains. These work to break down the glucose in your body, reversing some of the harmful effects it can have. When we introduce additional glucose into our digestive system, we make it impossible for it to work properly. Because of this, it is important to avoid bad carbs such as breads, pastas, and drinks high in sugar, and sodium.
Examples of fiber-rich foods include fruits, nuts, vegetables, beans, and grains. For protein, fish provides a great source of nutrients including omega 3’s. Fiber also helps your digestive system to remove the glucose from your body. But in order to get the most from this diet, you should avoid fried fish, and fish that is high in mercury such as mackerel. Eating fish such as salmon or tuna twice a week can improve your health, not only by combating diabetes, but also by helping to prevent heart damage.
Diabetic Diet Plan Core Consideration #2 — Time: Stick to regular mealtimes
One of the easiest hacks to a diabetic diet plan is maintaining a routine. Sticking to regular meal times helps your body to perform the way that it should by ensuring that your body is provided with stable levels of nutrients. Without the spikes and crashes in sugar levels, your body can sustain itself the way that it is designed to. Focus on eating three meals a day with regular small snacks in between. For example, you could eat breakfast at 7 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m., and dinner at 7 p.m. This leaves ample room for snacks in between. The goal is to make a schedule that works for you and your work schedule, while not being so rigid or overwhelming that it can’t be maintained.
Most of us feel the pressure of work and the stress of keeping up a healthy personal life. In the midst of that, ensuring that you eat regularly can involve something as simple as an alarm. Use your phone or your watch, or set a timer to remind you when it’s time to take a break and eat a snack or prepare your lunch. Stopping to eat is just as important as not missing an important appointment — make it a priority! Plus, when you teach your body to eat before you feel hungry, you will find that you make smarter and healthier choices, rather than refueling quickly on the go with fast foods or unhealthy snacks.
Diabetic Diet Plan Core Consideration #3 — Size: Eat moderate amounts
When planning your meals, it is important to focus on food portions. The average American is reported to consume more than 3,600 calories a day. But most nutritionists and health care practitioners would advise around only 2,000 calories a day (although this varies depending on the person), while a person with diabetes should probably aim for only 1,500 calories per day. Consult your healthcare practitioner to find out what your threshold should be. Modern eating habits often include large portions, but this is not necessary, or healthy, and can lead to obesity and other health problems. Sticking with a regular eating schedule of the three main meals every day, 6 hours between meals, with snacks halfway between meals, is a great beginning point. But be mindful of moderate portion sizes. Planning a moderate meal means a balance of all the nutrients your body needs. The American Diabetes Association suggests that each meal should be 1/2 fruits and vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 whole grains. It is also good to add a fruit or low-fat dairy drink with your meals, whenever you are not drinking water.
Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how the body can regulate glucose (or sugar) levels within the digestive system. Type 1 diabetes is when the body does not produce insulin, and therefore is dependent on outside sources for insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still makes some insulin. The danger with type 2 diabetes is that the body can develop a resistance to glucose, causing the pancreas to begin to fail to produce this vital digestive nutrient.
Medically, there is no cure for diabetes. The good news is that often you can reverse the effects without medication. Following the 3 core principles above — eating healthy, moderately, and routinely — can offer relief from some of the typical diabetes symptoms. Sometimes this means a person can reduce the amount of medications they take for diabetes, or even, in some cases, come off of medications entirely. These hacks can lead to weight loss and lower blood sugars while allowing the body to function more normally and productively.
Dealing with the day-to-day stresses of life is easily more than enough to keep us busy. Food shouldn’t be an additional stressor. Using these life-hacks for your new diabetic diet plan will not only refuel your body but may also help reverse the damaging effects of diabetes. Eating healthy, moderately, and at regular intervals, could add years to your life. Diabetes can feel overwhelming and frustrating. Take back your life and stop letting your diabetes rule the day. Reduce the inflammation with these tips and start feeling like yourself again.