Meal Planning Is Key To Diabetes Control

December 3, 2007

I always tell my patients that there are three things that affect ones blood sugar: the food, the activity and the drug!  Almost always patients blame the drug as a failure for not controlling their blood sugar when in fact the main culprit is the poor planning of the meal!

The food is the source of sugar.  If one overeats then it amounts to overloading the pancreas with work.  The pancreas then has to pump out more insulin to drive the sugar inside the muscle.  However in a diabetic…the pancreas is already sick meaning…it’s capacity to produce insulin is already limited or insufficient therefore the blood sugar goes up.  Planning a meal therefore is very important for a diabetic.

A meal plan should consist of three main meals ( never skip breakfast) and three snacks.  The purpose of snacking is to reduce patient’s craving for food in between meals.  There should be consistency in timing ( same time of the day) and portion sizes of food ( balance the carbohydrate , protein and fat content).  The main issue is the total amount of food being taken in and not only the rice in the meal that one has to be careful about! Patients always tell me that…”doc I only eat 1/4 cup of rice…BUT unlimited in other stuff!”  Remember…one has to be extra careful not to overload the system with these “other stuff”… like fruits because they can be a source of sugar too!  It’s the total calories in…that counts!

A balanced meal plan for a diabetic should include a complex carbohydrate source from high fiber grains that is low in glycemic index( its the capacity of the food to increase ones blood sugar) ; good source of protein from lean meats, as well as fruit and vegetables.  Since diabetics are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than people without the disease, a good meal plan should be one that not only controls blood sugar but should likewise help reduce the risk for heart disease.  It  should therefore be low in saturated fat and cholesterol as well as low in salt. 

As to what foods and how much to take for each food group will be determined by a registered dietician who will calculate the total daily caloric requirement and the portions of each food according to what doctors recommend.

What You Eat Is What You Become In Health and Illness! 

Please check my other post: Foods To Eat If You’re A Diabetic

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Notes From Our Marketing Friends: 

People are getting crazy to loose weight and become slim and trim. They are in taking food supplements, weight loss diets and much other stuff in this respect. Many herbal diets are now available in market. One of them is zantrex 3 by “Zoller Laboratories”. Another weight loss aid is weight loss pills like xenadrine and many others. One should consult his physician before taking any kind of diet supplement.
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