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Diet and diabetes

If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor has probably mentioned that you should pay careful attention to nutrition and diet as part of your treatment program. Nutrition experts say that there is no one diet for diabetes, but people with diabetes should follow the nutrition guidelines in the Food Pyramid, while paying special attention to carbohydrate intake. People with diabetes should also eat about the same amount of food at the same time each day to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Getting Started With Nutrition Treatment

If you've never attempted to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet before your diabetes diagnosis, it can be difficult to know where to get started. Try these tips: Eat more starches such as bread, cereal, and starchy vegetables. Aim for six servings a day or more. For example, have cold cereal with nonfat milk or a bagel with a teaspoon of jelly for breakfast. Another starch-adding strategy is to add cooked black beans, corn or garbanzo beans to salads or casseroles.

Eat five fruits and vegetables every day. Have a piece of fruit or two as a snack, or add vegetables to chili, stir-fried dishes or stews. You can also pack raw vegetables for lunch or snacks.

Eat sugars and sweets in moderation. Include your favorite sweets in your diet once or twice a week at most. Split a dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth while reducing the sugar, fat and calories.

Soluble fibers are found mainly in fruits, vegetables and some seeds, and are especially good for people with diabetes because they help to slow down or reduce the absorption of glucose from the intestines. Legumes, such as cooked kidney beans, are among the highest soluble fiber foods. Other fiber-containing foods, such as carrots, also have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. Insoluble fibers, found in bran, whole grains and nuts, act as intestinal scrubbers by cleaning out the lower gastrointestinal tract.


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