Meal Planning for an Active Diabetic

Physical activity is recommended for any person to stay healthy.  But for a diabetic it
now only increases energy levels and can help maintain an ideal body weight it also helps
to control blood sugars.  But an active diabetic needs to take extra care and precautions to
ensure they are getting enough fuel for their body so their blood sugars do not drop
dangerously low – known as hypoglycemia.

The amount you exercise is going to determine how much you are going to eat on your
diabetic meal plan.  The more physically active you are the higher your nutritional
requirements and the higher your risk is for developing hypoglycemia.  The best practice
when you are just starting out is to monitor your blood sugars before and after working
out and during if you feel it is necessary.  It is important to listen to your body and stop if
you are feeling light-headed or are experiencing any of the other signs associated with
low blood sugar.

Before you work out, have a snack that is going to sustain you for a long period of time
without spiking your blood sugar levels.  A granola bar eaten with a handful of nuts is a
good choice as it combines a carbohydrate that is high in fiber and a high-quality protein. 
The food that you eat before working out should have a high-fiber content, this will slow
down the breaking down process of the carbohydrates in your system and you will be
sustained for a longer period of time.

Drink plenty of fluids (preferably water) when you are working out to stay hydrated.  In
case of an emergency, carry glucose tablets with you at all times or some hard candy that
will quickly raise your blood sugar.  At other times of the day, eat balanced meals to
maintain your energy.
read more "Meal Planning for an Active Diabetic"

High-Fat Foods and the Affect on Blood Sugars

All diets should use fat in moderation as it can lead to an unhealthy body weight and
heart disease.  For a diabetic, controlling fat intake is important for the previous reason in
addition to the negative affect it can have on blood sugars.  Fats can be put into many
different categories – healthy, non-healthy, saturated, non-saturated, trans-fat, and more. 
But the bottom line with any of kind of fat is to enjoy in moderation.

When you eat food that is high in fat (for instance a cheeseburger), your short-term blood
glucose reading may come back as fine.  But since fat acts much like protein and it slows
down the digestion of carbohydrates you may notice a higher than normal blood sugar
many hours later.  It is hard to plan for such a spike because it is quite delayed compared
to other foods that are eaten that raise blood sugar.

The best advice is to choose natural, healthy, unsaturated fats and oils whenever possible. 
You can do this by reading your food labels carefully as the different kinds of fats are
listed on most food labels.  Excessive fat intake will also cause you to gain weight and
that is another way blood sugars can spiral out of control.  Extra body weight that you
carry around is taxing on your systems and will affect how your body uses and needs
insulin.

Healthy fat choices include:

*    Avocado – oil or the fruit itself
*    Sesame, olive, or canola oil
*    Black or green olives
*    Peanuts and peanut butter (this doubles as a protein choice)
*    Sesame seeds

Additional fat choices that should be used in moderation:

*    Butter or margarine
*    Walnuts
*    Salad dressings
*    Mayonnaise
*    Pumpkin and sunflower seeds

If there are any questions about a type of fat and what a serving size should be, contact
your doctor or dietician for more information.
read more "High-Fat Foods and the Affect on Blood Sugars"

Keeping on Track with your Diabetic Diet

Once you have taken the time to plan your meals for the week including snacks and have
gone grocery shopping you are all set for a week’s worth of healthy eating.  Well, if you
can stick to your plan and only eat the foods that you bought you will be.  This is easier
said than done though.  Everyone needs a break from a strict eating plan, but you need to
know how to get back on track and stay motivated to follow your diabetic diet.

Different people with have varying reasons as to why it is hard for them to stay on track. 
For some it may be they are not giving themselves enough variety in their diet from day
to day or even week to week.  This is an easy dilemma, do some research by talking to
other diabetics and your dietician for suggestions on how to mix up your eating plan.

If you are feeling alone and a bit resentful that you can’t eat what you want and when you
want.  You should consider joining a support group for diabetics.  Not only can they help
you through the times you want to cheat on your diabetic diet they can also provide
emotional support.  If you are the only person in you family with diabetes you may feel
quite alone and if they are not supportive (and eat things in front of you that you cannot
have) you also may feel angry.  Talking to someone that has been through the same thing
will help and provide the motivation that is needed to stay on your meal plan.

Sometimes money can be a factor in not being able to stick with a meal plan.  The higher
quality foods can be more expensive than the quick and easy convenience foods. 
Whenever possible, try and make foods that have been processed as little as possible like
produce. 
read more "Keeping on Track with your Diabetic Diet"