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Meal Planning 101

Posted on December 14, 2021 | No Comments on Meal Planning 101

One of the cornerstones in the management of diabetes is a healthy diet. One way to achieve this is through a good meal plan that is tailored and acceptable to the diabetic person. Today, healthy eating, right exercise and blood glucose monitoring remain as the basic management for diabetes.

People with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as anyone else. Good control of blood sugar requires careful monitoring of food intake, which may be done by following a well structured meal plan. Eating well-planned and balanced meals at the right time and in the correct amount will greatly help diabetics to keep their blood glucose level as close as possible to the normal level and thus, enjoy an active and healthy life.

A very important tool used in the meal planning of diabetic people is the use of the Food Exchange List. Food are listed and grouped into seven categories with corresponding amount equivalent to an exchange or serving or choice. They are the following:
Vegetables (leafy and non-leafy) Fruits (and its juice)
Rice and other Cereals
Meat and Fish

Of course, consumption of simple sugar should be avoided or omitted in the daily meal plan of a diabetic. One serving of a particular food is called an exchange or choice which is approximately equal in calories and in the amount of carbohydrate, protein and fats to all food listed in the same group. They also contain more or less similar amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Understanding the use of the food exchange list can help diabetics to stick to their meal plan, adhere to the regimen of their diet and even make and plan their own food menu.

In addition, the following nutritional tips and guidelines are recommended:
• Maintain an acceptable body weight. Staying fit makes you active, alert and full of energy.
• Eat foods high in fiber (rice, wheat bread, yellow kamote, corn, fruits and vegetables). Fibers in foods help lower blood-glucose and blood fat levels.
• Eat less fat and foods high in cholesterol. Too much fat may cause heart and blood vessel disease.
• Avoid sugar to maintain good control of blood glucose level.
• Use less salt. Too much sodium can cause body water retention and may raise blood pressure.
• Avoid alcohol. Ask your doctor and dietitian if you like to drink now and then. It can be allowed if your blood sugar is controlled.
• Follow a regular meal time and never skip meals if possible. Your body needs food spaced regularly throughout each day.
• Eat according to your meal plan. Consult your dietitian for your individualized meal plan and diet requirement.

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