The diabetic patient should consider meeting with a dietician or nutritionist to develop a diabetes diet with which the patient feels comfortable. The dietician can not only device a dietary plan that can help control the diabetes, but can also include provisions that will help the diabetic lose weight if that is recommended or desired.
The typical diabetes diet includes a specified number of portions from each food group. The diabetic patient frequently has the freedom to select foods from the food groups as long as they follow the portion guidelines.
For example, if the diabetes diet specifies that breakfast needs to consist of one protein, one bread, one fat, and one fruit, the diabetic patient has the freedom to chose which foods they will eat to fill those specifications. Among the various options, they may chose to have an egg, toast, butter, and juice or toast, peanut butter, and an apple.
A typical diabetes diet includes two servings of milk, six to eight starches, three to four vegetables, two to three fruits, up to four fats, and four to six ounces of meat or other protein. These portions are often outlined into the meals and two snacks. The dietician can provide a wealth of information on how best to structure and fill the dietary requirements.
Following a diabetes diet becomes easier with time. The diabetic patient is likely to learn what combinations of food are most pleasing and most healthy for the maintenance of the diabetes. Consuming large portions of starch without protein will often cause a spike in blood sugar levels as a non-diabetic dessert would. Therefore, just avoiding sugary sweets is not enough. Fruit juice also tends to raise blood sugar levels more than a piece of fruit would.
The diabetic patient should feel comfortable asking questions and being directly involved with the development of the diabetic diet. If the diabetic patient has a favorite food, it can often be worked into the diet with the help of the dietician. Just because the patient has to follow dietary specifications to control the diabetes does not mean that the patient must feel deprived or hungry. The formation and following of a diabetes diet can be a rewarding experience.