Dieting for Diabetics: How to Lose Weight When Suffering from Diabetes
Weight loss is a common goal for diabetics. For people who suffer from this disease, dieting isn’t only to maintain a healthy figure. It is also to use insulin properly. The task of losing weight is already difficult for anyone. But, dieting for diabetics is much more complicated than it is for the average person. When you’re a diabetic, engaging in fad diets is definitely not recommended. You need to balance your food intake, physical activities, and insulin levels. Without that crucial balance, your blood sugar levels can go awry.
Even so, there are safe and effective ways for you to diet even if you are suffering from diabetes. Among the best ways is to develop a meal plan. This meal plan should get your body used to processing the same amount of food each time you eat. It is also recommended that you stick with an eating schedule. Consistency in daily meal patterns will help you control your blood sugar levels.
A typical diabetes diet involves counting calories. Today, there are charts, applications, and software that can help you do this. Generally, you should consume fewer calories than you burn through your physical activities. Also, balance your daily food intake between 65 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent protein, and 35 percent fats. This balance will help you achieve your nutritional needs as a diabetic.
The following tips will further help you in developing a healthful meal plan. Keeping these tips in mind, you can lose weight while preventing diabetes complications.
1) Eat Only Healthy Carbohydrates
Keep in mind that carbohydrates get broken down into glucose during digestion. So, limit your carbohydrate intake into the most healthful and beneficial types. These include fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
2) Opt for Foods That are High in Fiber
Taking around 30 grams of fiber every day will help you control your glucose levels. It will also lower your risk of heart disease. Most fruits, vegetables, and legumes are already high in fiber. Again, it is important to focus your carbohydrate intake on these types of foods. Doing so will also help you meet your recommended fiber intake. Other things you can do is opt for products that use whole wheat flour rather than the regular white flour. Also, try to increase your intake of wheat bran and oats.
3) Avoid Saturated and Trans Fats
The risk of heart disease is already high among diabetics. This is the reason why it is very important to pay attention to the type of fats that you consume. Limiting your fat intake will also help you achieve your goal of losing weight. Generally, you should avoid trans fat at all costs. You should also limit your saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of your daily calories. The rest of your fat intake should comprise monounsaturated fats from healthful sources. That might include olive oil and avocado oil. In moderation, polyunsaturated fats from seeds and nuts can also be beneficial.
There are other things you can do to lower your fat intake. This includes opting for low fat substitutes. For example, you can choose skim milk over whole milk. For salads, choose vinaigrettes over mayonnaise-based dressings. For toast, opt for sugar-free jam or jelly over butter or margarine. For soups, try clear stock over cream-based options. You should also take lean cuts of meat. Whenever possible, choose fish over beef, pork, or chicken. Fish has less fat and some variety offer the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids.
Losing weight is possible even if you’re diabetic. All you need is a balanced diet composed of intelligent food choices. Increasing physical activity will further help you achieve your weight loss goals. But, as with any other disease, it is best to consult with your doctor. That could be the only way to ensure proper nutrition for your specific condition.