To obtain an individualized meal plan the American diabetes association recommends that you talk to your registered dietician, who will recommend a 2000 calorie diabetic diet to stay healthy. However, you have at your disposal several methods to reach your goal and stay healthy with a free 2000 calorie diabetic diet. There are two common methods for this type of diet. One is diabetic exchange system and another is carbohydrate (“carb”) counting.
Diabetic exchange system has grouped the foods into six categories, such as meat and meat substitutes, vegetables, starches, milk, fruits and fats. Similar amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrate are available in foods of each category. This would mean that each food in a particular category can be exchanged for another food in that same category. For breakfast you may be allowed some sugar free skimmed milk or sugar free yoghurt two slices of bread or alternatively rice cakes or pasta plus an egg and some fruit. A snack might comprise of a half cup of coffee or tea with substitute sweeteners with a couple of crackers and some more fruit in the afternoon. In order to vary your diabetic diet you may replace your coffee or tea by yoghurt or a cup of skimmed milk. There is general myth that as you are restrained to a diabetic diet you can no longer savor your favorite food. However, this myth is busted as diabetic recipes are so designed that they have plenty of variety.
Foods that are high in carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels the most. These carbohydrates are sugars, milk, fruit, starches and sweets. If you take insulin shots then the carbohydrates counting is particularly useful as it balances food intake with insulin. Carbohydrate counting focuses only on carbohydrates in different foods and that is why it is more flexible than the exchange system. People with diabetes should consume between 45% to 65% of their calories as carbohydrates and the rest from protein and fat. You should distribute your serving of food in such a fashion that blood sugars can be kept within your target range. As such you should space out your carbohydrate requirements into at least three meals per day. Blood sugar levels will be more stable if the carbohydrates consumed have higher fiber content.
When you are carb counting you should ensure that you eat foods which mainly consist of fat and protein like margarine and meat in moderation, despite the fact that they are not technically counted. In case they are eaten in excess chances are you will exceed the 2,000 calories per day target and gain weight. The average carbohydrate content of different foods and food categories are listed on the diet exchange lists. Books are also available which provide comprehensive count lists. Carbohydrate counts are also listed on most packaged foods.
Hence, if you want to stay healthy with a free 2000 calorie diabetic diet you should do the following
* For each category of food you should watch the serving sizes.
* You should be aware of the carbohydrate content in the different categories of food.
* You should spread out your carbohydrate or exchange servings during the course of the day. For example three meals and two or three snacks. In case you observe that your blood sugar is high at any time of the day you will have to adjust the amount of the carbohydrate in your next meal accordingly.
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