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Diabetes Diet

Author: Dr. Tedd Mitchell
Source: USA Weekend, November 10-12, 2006

Variety And Consistency Are Key

The more we’ve learned about diabetes, the more we’ve come to understand that those who suffer from it don’t need to be on a specific diet, but rather they should follow certain guidelines for eating. By doing so, they’ll better control their diabetes and general health. In fact, the following guidelines are helpful for us all:

Choose Colors – Eat multicolored, not monochromatic, foods. Fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products and low-fat meats all offer different nutrients. A diet that revolves around just a handful of foods won’t provide balanced nutrition.

Focus on Fiber – Shoot for 30 grams of fiber daily in whole-grain products and in high-fiber fruits and vegetables.

Avoid Portion Distortion – It’s not just what you eat but how much you eat that counts. As a general rule, people who are sedentary may require about 10 calories per pound per day (so a 160-pound person would need to eat roughly 1,600 calories). More active people may need a lot more calories. Your doctor and a nutritionist can help you determine the correct portion size for every meal.

Be A Horse, Not A Camel – Horses need food and water throughout the day, but camels can go a long time without either. Our grandparents’ habits were more like a horse’s, eating meals at regularly scheduled times. But many of us now eat like camels: We skip breakfast, sometimes lunch, and then hit it hard at dinner. Diabetics should eat regularly scheduled meals throughout the day so they’re not going without food for more than four to five hours. By doing so, they improve their blood sugar control.