What To Eat When You Have Diabetes
When you are a diabetic sometimes when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Keeping a steady stream of food in your system without causing high blood sugars can be hard to do. But once you figure what works for you, you will have more flexibility and better control of your diabetes.
It is recommended that diabetics eat many small meals throughout the day or three main meals and three snacks in between. A typical day may go like this:
* Wake-up and have breakfast * Mid-morning snack * Lunch * Mid-afternoon snack * Dinner * Bedtime snack
The timing in between each meal or snack should be two to three hours. This variation will depend on what you have eaten at the previous meal, how active you have been and what you feel like. If you are feeling hungry or light-headed and you normally wouldn’t have eaten for another 30 minutes – don’t wait.
Test your blood sugar and move up your meal. The time it can take for you to wait the 30 minutes can be the time it takes for your blood sugar to drop dangerously low.
The only time you may want to wait a longer period of time is between dinner and your bedtime snack. Most times dinner is the biggest meal of the day and you will not need food again for a longer period of time.
Another reason to wait longer is to ensure that you have enough food in your system before you go to bed to last you through the night without your blood sugars dropping too low.
If eating this many times in a day is too much for you, consider eating smaller means and smaller portion sizes. Eating this way (less more often) makes it easier for your body to regulate blood glucose levels.
Diabetic Diets – Consistency And Variety
It may sound like a hard thing to do – be consistent and have variety in your diet at the same time. But it is possible and it is the best way to control your diabetes with your diet. The consistency comes in at specific meal times and the same servings from the different food groups. And the variety refers to trying as many different foods in the food groups as you can.
It can be easy to find a few meals that work well with your blood sugars and are easy to prepare and just stick with them. You are more than likely to get bored with this and you probably aren’t getting all of the nutrients you need from a set amount of foods.
Whether you are on the carbohydrate counting diet or the exchange diet, you have a lot of room for flexibility. You can combine different foods together for something new or try foods you have never had before.
You can meet with your dietitian to get additional ideas for recipes and other foods that you can eat to add more variety to your diet.
There will be times that you try a new food and your blood sugars are higher as a result. Think back about anything else that you had done differently that day – less activity or taking your insulin later than usual.
If the new food is the only change you experienced talk to your dietitian. You may be able to prepare the food differently or eat it with something else or you may have to avoid that food if it doesn’t work for your diabetic diet.
Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean that you can” be adventurous and try something new, just do it at regular meal times and within the recommended portion sizes.