It can be more than overwhelming when you are diagnosed with diabetes and your very first question will be what can a diabetic eat? There are many misconceptions floating around regarding what diabetics can and can’t eat and before you can even begin to choose the correct diet option for you, you must be completely aware of the actual diabetic diet guidelines. Within this article we are going to discuss the use of the glycemic index in terms of understanding which foods are acceptable and which foods are off limits. As a diabetic there will be some foods you will be forced to eliminate completely but you may be surprised to learn just how many foods you can continue eating.
Have you ever wondered what can a diabetic eat?
You first want to understand the glycemic index chart. This particular chart has been created to help diabetics and people in general, understand the two different types of carbohydrates. As someone with type 2 diabetes you will want to focus on what are known as smart carbs and these are located on the low end of the GI chart. Smart carbohydrates can be found within fruits, vegetables and whole grains. What makes these different from the carbohydrates that can be found within the common white breads and flours is that they release small amounts of glucose into your system over a longer period of time. You will need to stay away from the rest of carbohydrates because they explode large amounts of glucose into your system all at once and this greatly affects your blood glucose levels.
Fibre is just as important in your diet as carbohydrates but because your carbs have been cut down to a specific few, it can be difficult to accumulate the amount of fibre your body needs. About 50grams of fibre within your diet per day can actually help you keep your blood sugar at a lower and more consistent level. Once the fibre is in your system is creates a thick gel wall which helps filter the glucose in your system so it doesn’t become too high; keeping your levels consistent.
Protein is another diet fixture that cannot be ignored. A healthy amount of protein can help slow digestion and therefore keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel. You can find protein in the following foods: lean meats (chicken, fish), eggs, tofu and peanut butter to name a few to get you started.
Now, when it comes to dairy you have to be very careful as to how much fat and sugar you are consuming from these products. For a balanced diet, dairy cannot be missed but it is important to consider skim milk products and low fat yogurts for best results.
You have no doubt noticed that traditional breads have not been mentioned. This is one of the foods that diabetics will learn to stay away from. Because they are 80% starch they release far too much glucose into your system at one time and this becomes dangerous for your blood sugar levels. Small amounts of whole grain breads can pass but this is not a major part of your new diet. Now, when the question comes up, what can a diabetic eat, you know the answer!