The goal of meal planning is to help people living with diabetes eat healthy without placing too much restriction on your food choices. The carbohydrate counting method is a fairly new meal planning method for diabetics. It involves setting a limit on the amount of carbohydrate foods you eat.
We have been told in various diets that carbs are bad, but this simply is not the case. A healthy, well-balanced diet includes carbohydrates – just not too many. Most diabetics should eat about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. To use the carbohydrate counting methods, you will first need to know which foods have carbohydrates and how to determine the amount of carbs per serving. Carbohydrates are found in starchy foods such as breads, rice, pasta, fruit, vegetables, sweets and snacks.
The carb-counting method opens up the list of “off-limit” foods. With this method diabetics are encouraged to eat the foods you love, but monitor how much of those foods are consumed. While this may sound like a dream come true, it is important to focus on good carbohydrates – those found in vegetables, fruits and whole grain breads, versus those found in cakes, soda and snacks.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is the key to managing diabetes. Using the plate method can help you keep a watchful eye on your diet while still consuming the foods you love.
The plate method is simply putting smaller portions and more non-starchy vegetables on your plate when you eat. The plate method is typically the least overwhelming for diabetics. You simply measure portion sizes based on the amount of space each food takes up on a standard-sized dinner plate. For breakfast, half the plate should be starch and the other half fruit and lean protein. For lunch, eat half a plate of non-starchy vegetables and half starchy foods and lean protein. Add a low-fat milk product, an additional starch, and serving of fruit for both lunch and dinner.
Non-starchy vegetables have fewer grams of carbohydrates than starchy vegetables which can include potatoes and corn. The good thing is that there are far more non-starchy vegetables like carrots, asparagus, broccoli and much more to satisfy your hunger. Enjoying a variety of colorful vegetables will help you find success with the plate meal planning method. If you are still hungry after eating the food on your plate, go for a salad with low-calorie dressing. This will help you not only curb your appetite, but also get in a few more servings of non-starchy vegetables.
If you are one of the many folks who are managing diabetes, you know that the worst food choices are the ones that are going to spike your blood sugar. Foods for diabetics that are high in carbohydrates don’t necessarily have to be avoided. However, you do have to make sure they are the “right” carbs. Complex carbohydrates are going to offer your body the essential vitamins and minerals it needs, along with the necessary fiber to keep it going.
White flour is one of the worst choices. There are many breads and muffins available today that are made with whole grain flours, that it is much easier to make better choices. White rice is also among the worst foods. Choose brown rice instead. If you are a cereal-eater in the morning, stay away from ones made with little whole grain. Typically, these are also the worst offenders with lots of sugar. Peruse the cereal aisle and you are bound to see more wholesome cereals boasting about the amount of whole grain their product contains. And there aren’t too many people around who don’t understand how bad French fries are for you. If you are living with diabetes, there are a couple options if you are ordering out. Order the baked potato or ask if they can make steak fries that are baked and not fried.
Whole grain goodness is easier than ever to find thanks to a greater understanding of our nutritional health. Take a moment to choose wisely when at the grocery store, and you will easily be able to substitute the worst choices in grains for the best!