Diabetes is running rampant in our country. If you are one of the several million who have this condition, then this article is for you. It will teach you how to manage your food and therefore manage your blood sugar.
Type I diabetes is a condition in which the body produces very low amounts of insulin or none at all. Type II diabetics have low insulin receptors. Either way it creates a no-holds-barred situation for your internal system, and that's exactly how you need to fight back… NO HOLDS BARRED!
Your body uses insulin to convert the food you eat into energy. Here's how the process works in a non-diabetic person: calories are consumed, blood sugar rises, then the pancreas releases insulin to convert the sugar into energy. Any sugar not used as energy will be stored as fat to be used as energy later.
However, if you have diabetes the process works differently: you consume calories, insulin is released in response to the increased blood sugar but your body is unable to use the insulin effectively. Your brain sees that your blood sugar is still going up, so it asks your pancreas to release more insulin. But since your body can't use it's insulin to convert sugars into fuel, these sugars are now stored as fat, or they float around your blood stream. None of this is good.
Fortunately, there's a food plan you can use to give your body only the type and amount of food that it can effectively manage. It's called a food plan because it's not a quick fix diet; it's for life.
To use this food plan effectively, you should be familiar with the following food groups and how to best use them to your advantage:
Foods To Use To Your Advantage
Proteins: Proteins include meat, eggs, and low fat cheese. They raise your blood sugar only slightly and keep your belly full.
Fats: Fats are not the enemy. Some are better than other, though. Low polyunsaturated fats are good fats. They raise your good cholesterol (LDL) and encourage your body to use stored body fat as fuel. Try to avoid hydrogenated and trans fats. Fats do not raise your blood sugar.
Carbohydrates: These are the enemy! Again, some are better than others depending on their glycemic index reading. Lower glycemic carbs raise your blood sugar to a moderate level over a longer period of time. High glycemic carbs raise your blood sugar really high, really fast. Avoid high glycemic carbs!
So in this food plan, you can eat:
Unlimited Amounts Of Proteins Such As:
- Chicken breast
- Lean pork
- Eggs - No really! They raise good cholesterol as much as bad.
- 90/10 ground beef
- White fish
- Egg beaters
Unlimited Amounts Of Veggies Such As:
- Green beans
- Yellow squash
Unlimited Amounts Of Fats Such As:
- Pine nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Olive oil
Limited Amounts Of Carbs Such As:
- Oatmeal - Slow cooking type
- Whole grain bread
- Brown rice
Limited Amounts Of These Proteins & Fats:
- Cottage cheese - Be careful with this! It converts to a carb during digestion.
- Natural peanut butter - Peanuts are a bean not a nut so this is a little higher in carbs but loaded with healthy fat.
Avoid These Foods At All Costs:
- White flour
- White potatoes
- White rice
- Processed cereal
- Juice of any kind
- Citrus fruit
- Sugary peanut butters
Keep track of your blood sugar levels. Always check before each meal or snack and before and after exercise. Your body will usually be able to handle a carb better after exercise.
Sample Daily Menu
Here is a sample daily menu:
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup oatmeal
- Celery sticks
- 4-5 cheese cubes
- Chicken breast
- Salad with 1 tbsp. Olive oil and vinegar
Mid afternoon snack:
- 1 oz. nuts
- Lean steak
- Salad with 1 tbsp olive oil and vinegar
Observe These Meal Planning Rules:
- Always eat breakfast
- Use sugar free condiments
- Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. Your second snack can be after lunch or after dinner
- Eat carbs at only one meal per day
- Take a multi-vitamin
- Drink at least eight cups of water per day
- Never eat a carb alone. Have a protein or a fat with it to slow down it's absorption into your blood stream
Good luck. You may feel terrible for the first few days on this plan. It's your body detoxing from the sugars. Stick with it. It will be worth it in the long run.