A diabetes food pyramid is a guideline for all diabetics to both educate and eat within the parameters of to maintain and remain in good health. This is a teaching tool that has been created to help newly diagnosed diabetic patients learn about the foods to eat that will help them control their condition. Even men and women who have been living with diabetes for decades continue to use this tool as a reference to stay on track with healthy eating habits. The diabetes food pyramid is different from the USDA food guide because it focuses mainly on protein content as well as carbohydrates.
Looking at how the Diabetes food pyramid works.
This category is found at the base of the diabetes food pyramid and contains mostly carbohydrates. Here you will find bread, cereal, pasta and rice that are made mostly of whole grains such as oats and wheat. The starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas also belong in this group because of their carbohydrate content. The recommended serving for this group is 6-11 per day.
Vegetables are full of vitamins, nutrients and minerals and are naturally low in fact which make them essential in a diabetic’s meal plan. The vegetables you want to pay close attention to are the dark green and yellow vegetables including broccoli, spinach, peppers, cucumbers to name a few. Fresh or frozen vegetables are better than canned. Recommended servings in this group are 3-5 per day.
Any dietician will tell you to consume whole fruits rather than simply the juices because of the fibre, carbs and nutrients you receive from the real thing. It is important to pay attention to the added sweeteners and syrups that are often found in fruits and fruit juices, as a diabetic you must avoid these particular fruits. The recommended servings of fruit per day are 2-4.
A recommended serving of 2-3 a day is quoted when it comes to milk products for diabetics. You want to try and purchase the low fat milk products so you are getting more of the calcium and natural nutrients instead of the fat.
Fish and poultry are generally recommended over red meat but red meat is not harmful in moderation. Every type of meat contains natural nutrients and minerals that our bodies need to function properly. By keeping your portion sizes small and eliminating the excess fat within the meat you are getting the most you possibly can from you meat, while still enjoying the foods you love.
Sweets, Fats and Alcohol
This category is at the very top of the diabetes food pyramid which means you should be eating very little within this category. Our bodies need sugar and fats to some extent but you can benefit from better forms of fat through the foods listed above. Generally in terms of sweets and junk food you are getting simple carbohydrates that provide quick energy but you are also taking in more calories and fat than your body can handle.
After reading all about Diabetes food pyramid I hope I have now taken away some of the mystery on how to use it when you have Diabetes.