This is question of what is a diabetic diet, is one that I’ve asked myself in the past, as well as a few of my diabetic friends.
What is a diabetic diet really?
From the opinions I’ve heard and the feedback I’ve received over the years, I believe there is no one definitive answer that explains a diabetic diet.
However, in this article I want to present you several options on what I believe can be the best diabetic diet for yourself.
By understanding the many food options available, being a diabetic doesn’t mean boring and limiting when it comes to preparing your next meal.
“WHAT IS THE DIABETIC DIET”
Not so many years ago, when a nurse or doctor told someone they have diabetes. After the initial shock of the news, one of the first thoughts tends to be; I’ll never be able to eat my favorite foods again? Followed by, what can I eat now I have diabetes?
When I checked the online definition on Wikipedia to what a diabetic diet is. The following definition was given: “A diabetic diet is a diet that is used by people with diabetes mellitus or high blood glucose to minimize symptoms and dangerous consequences of the disease.”
I don’t know about you, but after reading this definition I am none the wiser on what a diabetic diet consists of, except that it needs to minimize symptoms and dangerous consequences.
The rest of this article will give you options on what the diabetes diet can be for yourself. I want to present this information to you an easy straightforward fashion. Instead of the definition from Wikipedia you read above, I will instead give you food options so you can personalize your best diabetic diet.
Starting from breakfast, followed by lunch with lastly dinner. I want to give you ideas and meal choices for your own daily diabetic diet.
BEST DIABETIC IDEAS FOR BREAKFAST
Breakfast is thought be many people to be the most important meal of the day. Getting a good start to the day with foods that will maintain a healthy and consistent blood glucose level is crucial. Breakfast is especially important for diabetics to have. There is evidence to show that weight loss can be supported through a healthy breakfast. In terms of diabetic symptoms this can result in an improvement in blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.
Breakfast food ideas that you can add to your own diet include the following:
- Smoothies (These can include fruit and vegetables including kale, berries, avocado and bananas. This will include both fiber and ensure that you are filled up when drinking. Add a scoop of protein powder or one half-cup of Greek yogurt to slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates).
- Eggs (A great time saver tip is to make a batch of hard-boiled eggs at the start of the week, so you can grab one just as leave the house).
- Oatmeal (Make sure it is unsweetened, you can add nuts, seeds, berries and plain Greek yogurt to add flavor. In addition this can also add healthy food groups to your diet.)
- French Toast or Pancakes (Make sure you use wholegrain bread, limit your portion size and toppings. Ideas to add flavor can include a tablespoon of peanut butter and non-sugar added fruit. Make sure to avoid adding sugary syrups.)
- Muesli (this contains resistant starch, this results in less carbohydrate sugars into the bloodstream, and a decrease of your insulin resistance.)
- Fruit ( A good option, but can cause large blood sugar spikes in large quantities and on its own not very filling. The major exception to this is the avocado. They are healthy and filling, with the option to add the likes of low-salt cottage cheese or egg)
BEST DIABETIC IDEAS FOR LUNCH
Whether your diabetic or not, it is important to take time for lunch. As I’m sure your aware Lunch is even more vital for diabetics to keep blood sugars levels on target. Remember the best diabetic diet, is one that you are in control of yourself.
Here are a few lunch ideas to help you keep fueled for the day:
- Salads (Salad is a brilliant lunchtime option, as you can rotate the toppings to give you that important variety. Suggested toppings I would recommend using would include grilled chicken, fish and shrimp. Avoid bacon and heavy cheeses where possible. Use raw vegetables on your salads where you can. I would suggest using celery, cucumbers, carrots and radishes. Seeds and nuts sprinkled on top is another great option for you. For a diabetic-friendly diabetic dressing I would suggest low or fat free olive oil and vinegar. This will avoid adding unnecessary sugars to your dishes. Also, limit yourself to between 1-2 tablespoons of dressing per portion.)
- Soups ( This is an easy to prepare healthy option. With a wide variety of diabetic-friendly choices, including: Chicken noodle, Butternut Squash, chunky vegetables and non-cream bases tomato. Its best to avoid chowder and cream based soup recipes.)
- Sandwiches ( Choose whole grain bread over white and brown bread. Whole wheat tortilla is another great option. Stay away from fatty greasy foods such as chips and french fries. Look to add lean meats like turkey, chicken and ham. For added flavor, look to add mustard, humus, low fat mayonnaise. To bulk up and add healthy calories also add chunky and leafy vegetables, such as onion, lettuce and beans.)
- Pasta ( Like the sandwich advice, I would go for whole grain pasta. Penne and Spaghetti are two great options to try. Add a non creamy tomato based sauce, along with toppings such as fish, shrimp and turkey meatballs, lastly for the extra crunch add salad, seeds, nuts and vegetables.
- Pizza ( Make sure you choose a thin crust variety, also see this as more of a treat than a regular lunch, moderation is the key here. Stay away from steak and pepperoni toppings, instead opt for light cheeses and vegetables.)
BEST DIABETIC IDEAS FOR DINNER
Dinner for many people is the largest meal of the day. It is especially important for diabetics not to overload on both the calories and sugar levels.
Here are some ideas for the best diabetic diet with the following dinner options:
- Risotto ( stick to lean meat and vegetable options. These include Chicken or Mushroom risotto).
- Potatoes ( Go for baked and sweet potatoes. Avoid high fat containing fillings; including bacon, sour cream and heavy cheese. Instead, go for Greek yogurt, light cheese and vegetable fillings.)
- Fish ( go for fish choices such as Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Tilapia, Tuna and Herring.)
- Lean Meats ( Go for lean meats including Chicken, Turkey and Ham. Avoid meats such as pork bacon, ribs and poultry with skin).
- Steak ( Limit yourself to 3oz portions, and make sure not to cook with butter. Where possible go for the center cuts away for the fat edges. Also, try to limit yourself to one read meat portion a week.)
- Burgers ( go for lean meat burgers where possible. For example, turkey burgers. To limit your carbohydrate intake, wrap the bun with lettuce, eat half, and refrigerate the other half to have another time).
WHAT IS A DIABETIC DIET? : SUMMARY
After doing the research for this article, I was shocked in a pleasant manner for the sheer variety of different foods you can have as a diabetic. For many years diabetics were left wondering what is the best diabetic diet, and what can I eat without risking a hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia event.
So if anyone asks you what is a diabetic diet, you now know the answer to this.