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Diabetic Food Pyramid - An Effective Solution To Health Problems

Posted by Dean Shainin on Jun 15th, 2007 in Foods & Eating, Health & Exercise

Controlling your diet can be the key to reducing the risk of diabetes as well as improving your symptoms if you are already affected by this disease people often refer to as “the silent killer.”

Using a diabetic food pyramid can be an effective solution to help improve and control your health.

The Diabetes Food Pyramid, released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is composed of six food groups (arranged according to how much you should eat from the least to the most and based on carbohydrate and protein content):

  • Fats, sweets, and alcohol
  • Milk
  • Meat, meat substitutes, and other proteins
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains, beans, and starchy vegetables

Fats, sweets, and alcohol are the one food group that diabetes patients should avoid.

Eating healthy involves eating a wide variety of foods that encompasses the whole diet spectrum with the help of the diabetic food pyramid of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, poultry, and fish.

With food labels, it all comes down to the nutrition facts. This is where you should start to get an idea of a diabetic food pyramid. It’s that list of nutrition information found on the package of foods sold in the grocery store. Reading food labels can help you make wise choices about the foods you buy. The labels will tell you what ingredients were used, the amount of calories, and other pertinent information essential to a diabetes patient.

The problem with diabetes involves a certain malfunction in the way our bodies make use of glucose in the blood. It is either there is too much glucose in our blood because we ate too much food rich in sugar so that the hormone responsible for regulating glucose – insulin – is unable to cope. Or, our cells are defective so that even though we have enough insulin to handle the job, our cells do not respond.

In order to control the levels of glucose in the blood stream, controlling diabetes diet is important. The intake of fats, sweets, and alcohol and other generally “unhealthy” foods should be minimized as mentioned and only for special treats.

As for the rest of the food groups, here are the serving sizes recommended by the American Diabetes Association from the diabetic food pyramid to consider for your diet.

  • Meat and Meat Substitutes: 4-6 oz. per day and divided between meals. This is equivalent to ¼ cup cottage cheese, 1 egg, 1 tbsp peanut butter, or ½ cup tofu.
  • Milk: 2-3 servings per day
  • Fruit: 2-4 servings per day
  • Vegetables: 3-5 servings per day
  • Grains and Starches: 6-11 servings per day, equivalent to 1 slice of bread, ¼ of a bagel, or ½ of an English muffin or pita bread.

Use this Diabetic Food Pyramid only as a guide in planning your meals. If you want a more individualized option, consult your dietician.

Once you have removed the tempting items from your kitchen, replace them with stocks of foods that are better for your health and more conducive to the success of your health plan, it will be easier to stay on track. Keeping a good stock of fruits and vegetables in the fridge will make it easier for you to eat them when you crave snacks.

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