Healthy Eating Plan for Diabetics

Meal plans for diabetics are slightly different from traditional diets that include hidden sugar and sodium. Nondiabetic meals might not require advanced planning. A healthy diet is one key to success in treating and managing diabetes. Diabetics should eat nutritionally dense foods like whole-grain carbohydrates, fresh vegetables and fruit, lean proteins and healthy fats. Daily meal plans make is easier to establish healthy eating habits.
Breakfast is the most important meal, because eating the right breakfast helps to balance blood sugar levels that have dropped during the night. Good breakfast foods for diabetics include a 2 oz. whole-grain bagel with 1 1/2 tbsp. of light cream cheese and 3/4 cup blueberries, with 1/3 cup plain, fat-free yogurt. Hope S. Warshaw, also recommends oatmeal as a breakfast choice. Start with 1 cup oatmeal with 2 tsp. ground flaxseeds and 1 tbsp. raisins, together with 1/2 cup fat-free milk, 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt and small banana. For those who crave protein breakfast dishes, it is acceptable to have 1 fried egg with 2 slices whole-wheat toast and 2 tsp. no-sugar jelly, half a pink grapefruit and 1 cup fat-free milk.

Lunch meal plans for diabetics include satisfying and creative sandwich fillings, such as half a whole-wheat pita pocket filled with 2 oz. salmon salad made with 2 tsp. mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sliced cucumber, 1/3 cup alfalfa sprouts and half an avocado. Some side choices with the pita pocket include 1 oz. of baked tortilla chips and a nectarine.

If you like tuna better than salmon, try tuna salad made with 2 oz. water-packed tuna, 1 tbsp. light mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. diced onions and fresh tomato slices on two slices of whole-wheat bread. Add a side vegetable of steamed broccoli, 1 cup of fat-free milk and half a large apple.

Salads help diabetics get plenty of fresh vegetables. Chef salad made with 1 1/2 cups romaine lettuce, 2 tbsp. chopped mushrooms, 1/3 cup canned beets, 1/3 cup fresh tomatoes, 1/2 cup sliced drained, canned peaches, 2 oz. roasted chicken, 2 tsp. canola oil and a dash of vinegar creates a satisfying dinner. Have a whole-wheat dinner roll with the salad.

Fresh salmon is a treat, and a dinner of 3 oz. grilled salmon with lemon and herbs is no exception. Add a side of stir-fried vegetables consisting of 1/4 cup onions, 1/2 cup snow peas, 1/2 cup red peppers and2 tsp. canola oil. Serve over a cup of brown rice.

For a fast dinner, heat a cup of turkey chili and place it over a medium baked potato with 1 oz. grated low-fat cheese. On the side, have 1/2 cup baby carrots, 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers, 2 tbsp. light ranch salad dressing and a sliced kiwi.

Healthy Meal Planning Basics
The American Diabetes Association booklet "What to Expect When You Have Diabetes" contains recommendations to eat more fresh or frozen vegetables daily, especially greens such as romaine, watercress, spinach and arugula. Drink six to eight glasses of purified water each day, and eat a good breakfast, preferably oatmeal with healthy nuts on top. Use olive oil as the healthy fat, especially combined with vinegar for a homemade salad dressing. Try to avoid processed foods, especially those that contain partially hydrogenated oils.

Diabetics should eliminate added salt from the diet by substituting fresh herbs and spices on foods

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