It is very important to follow the proper diets for diabetics. People with Type 2 diabetes (95 percent of diabetics) generally are put on a 1500 to 1800 calorie diet for diabetics per day. This promotes weight loss and the maintenance of ideal body weight. The amount may vary depending on the diabetic’s age, sex, activity level, current weight and body style.
More obese individuals may need more calories in their diet until they lose weight because it takes more calories to maintain a larger body. A 1600 calorie diet for obese people may promote weight loss that is too fast to be healthy. The diet for diabetics who are large will have more calories to start with.
Men have more muscle mass than women and therefore require more calories. Muscle burns more calories per hour than fat so people with more muscle mass can consume more calories without gaining weight. This is a good reason to exercise regularly – you will build up muscle. Diabetics with low activity levels will have fewer daily caloric needs.
Generally diets for diabetics recommend that carbohydrates should make up about 50 percent of the daily calories. Acceptable ranges for carbs are in the 40 to 60 percent area.
Lower carbohydrate intake tends to be associated with lower blood sugar levels. However, high fat diets also pose health problems such as heart failure and cancer. So, balancing carbs and fats and using monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in the diet for diabetics is important.
Most diabetics find sitting down with a dietitian or nutritionist as a consultant for the best diet for diabetics to be quite helpful. They can find out what the best diet for them is and determine exactly how many calories they need. It’s very important for diabetics to understand how to help control blood sugar levels through proper diet and the principles of carbohydrate counting.
The diet for diabetics starts with counting carbs. Carbohydrates make your blood glucose level rise. If you know how many grams of carbohydrates you’ve eaten, you will have a good idea about what your blood glucose level will do. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar will go up.
The carbohydrates we eat comes from three main food groups: starch, fruit and milk. While vegetables contain some carbohydrates, they are not the main source. Foods in the meat and fat groups are very low in carbohydrates.
Knowing how to read labels is important on any diet for diabetics. Sugars may be added to foods (as in cookies) or may be naturally present (as in fruits). Sugars can also be identified by looking for -ose at the end of an ingredient ( i.e. glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc. are all sugars).
Each gram of carbohydrate has 4 calories. 1600 calorie diets for diabetics should contain 50% of the calories from carbohydrates. This means 800 calories or 200 grams of carbohydrates (at 4 calories per gram) should be spread out over the day.
Carefully controlling the grams of sugar is the mainstay of the diets for diabetics.
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