Diabetes Diet Plan
A diabetes diet plan can be extremely important in helping control a diabetic’s blood glucose level. Diabetes is a common life-long health condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot manage it properly. There are roughly 3.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 630,000 people who have the condition but don’t know it. In addition, it is estimated that a further 11.5 million people in the UK are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form of diabetes, accounting for around 90% of all cases worldwide. It is also this type of diabetes that can be triggered by what you eat. Therefore a ‘diabetes diet plan’ can be extremely important. This is whether you have diabetes already or are at risk of getting it.
Why it’s important to eat well
There are four risk factors for getting Type 2 diabetes laid out by Diabetes.co.uk. They are increasing age, living a sedentary lifestyle, bad diet, and obesity.
The NHS state that increasing fatty deposits, around your stomach area especially, increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. This is because chemicals are released that can disrupt your metabolic and cardiovascular system.
Cutting your body weight by 5% can decrease the risk of getting diabetes by more than 50%
Measuring your waist can be a good indicator of how at risk you are of developing diabetes. For example, women with a waist size of over 31.5 inches and men with a waist size of over 37 inches are at a higher risk.
Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly is extremely important to help reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, as cutting your body weight by 5% can decrease the risk of getting diabetes by more than 50%.
Can a diabetic diet include fruit?
It is a myth that people with diabetes can’t eat fruit as they have a high sugar content. It is true that someone with diabetes needs to be careful about their blood glucose levels. However, recommendations suggest starting to cut the fizzy drinks, cake, and biscuits first. Then if you are still having problems with your diet, advice suggests you cut down on starchy foods, firstly ones that are processed, with high fat, salt, and sugar contents.
Fruits and vegetables are the very last things a diabetic person wants to cut out of their diet. This is because they offer such important nutrients for the body. Fruits and vegetables can help lower the risk of health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, strokes, obesity and certain cancers.
Considering diabetics are more likely to suffer these conditions in their lifetimes, it makes sense for diabetics to eat more of them. However, they should always be monitoring their blood sugar levels because too much of anything is bad for you.
Recipe ideas for a ‘Diabetes diet plan’
An important part of managing or limiting the risk of diabetes is eating a healthy balanced diet. And remember, if you cook yourself, using all your own ingredients, you have far better control over what goes in your food compared to ready meals (even if they are branded as healthy).
When you have diabetes you don’t have to starve yourself of sugar. However, it is important to know how much sugar you are eating and controlling the portion size. Luckily, Diabetes UK has an extensive range of recipes that can help you design a diabetes diet plan to suit your needs and also clearly shows the nutritional values.
We have picked a few of our favourites but the full range of recipes can be found on the Diabetes UK website.
Low sugar options for diabetics
For people already suffering from diabetes, we have selected 3 meals for a potential one-day diabetes diet plan that concentrates on healthy low sugar options.
For breakfast, we have picked out the mouth-watering “Breakfast Crostini”. This dish blends some of the ‘fry up’ staples with healthy options to create a healthier version. With lean ham, scrambled eggs, mushrooms and bread added to spinach, onions, peppers and tomatoes, two worlds meet creating a low sugar breakfast that makes healthy taste better.
For lunch, we have picked out “braised pork with mushrooms and butterbeans”. This is as healthy as it is easy to make. There is only 15 minutes prep time, where you stir fry the pork, then stir fry the vegetables. After this, simply add all the ingredients into the pot. Then you just have to wait for an hour with the dish simmering and you will have a gorgeous type of stew, low in sugar and fat.
To finish off the day, we picked out the “Brussels sprout gratin”. This is not only a healthier alternative but is also a great way to get rid of any Brussels lying around after Christmas. It is possibly the easiest to make of the lot, needing you to only boil the sprouts and make the cheesy sauce.
Low Fat and low-calorie options
If you are diabetic (or even if you’re not), knowing how much sugar is in your food is extremely important. However, if you haven’t got diabetes, but are at risk of getting it because of your diet, weight or family history, low fat/calorie meals can be a brilliant way to start to become healthier and lower your risk of getting the condition.
For breakfast, a good choice we thought was the “Apricot porridge with toasted seeds”. This will fill you up, gives you almost one of your five a day and is low in fat. It’s a lovely twist on just your standard porridge and should keep you going until lunch.
For Lunch, a great option is the “Baked cod with parsley and horseradish crust”. With a great crust making the cod a little more interesting, all you have to do is mix breadcrumbs with horseradish, parsley, and black pepper and press it into the cod. Then just pop it in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes – simple as that.
Finally, for dinner, we have topped off the day with “Barbecue pork steaks with apple and garlic”. Simply marinade the pork in lemon, garlic and pepper then barbecue or fry etc. Then accompany it with red onion and apple slices that have been cooked in a griddle pan or barbecue and you have a beautifully healthy dinner.
Get yourself a diabetes diet plan
These recipes are but a few of the diabetic friendly meals on the Diabetes UK website. The recipes can be used by both diabetics and non-diabetics. Everyone can benefit from low sugar and low-fat recipes and they are all quite simple to make. Having a plan of what you can eat can be added to a diabetic routine. This can be extremely helpful in keeping you healthy and keeping your blood sugar level and weight in check.