Diet For Diabetes: What To Eat To Maintain A Good Glycemic Control?
“Rita was training to be a Diabetes Educator and was learning from the best Endocrinologists in
town. Her quest for knowledge included thorough research and learning new terminologies from
latest medical journals. Glycemic Control was a novice subject that she was excited to explore.
Recent updates from American Diabetes Association, informed Rita that Glycemic Control is the
continuous management of blood glucose levels through diet, exercise as well as medications
so as to avoid a state of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia by the individual with diabetes.”
The well controlled target for good glycemic control:
- Between 70 and 130 mg/dl before meals
- Less than 180 two hours after starting a meal
- With glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) level less than 7 percent
Diet and Good Glycemic Control Go Hand-In- Hand
If you have diabetes, 80% of the management has to be through diet. Watching your food and
raising the nutrition quotient is the primary objective of self management.
Meal planning is the first objective of diabetes diet therapy. This includes:
1. Understanding your portion sizes
2. Maintaining timings of eating
3. Reaching out for good choice of foods
Portion control is best explained as – one serving will be the amount that would fit in to a
fist/open palm. It is advised to eat small portions at a time to allow the stomach to digest and
utilize the nutrition efficiently.
The Diabetes Plate Method is convenient approach to eye ball one’s portion sizes. It is advised
to use a 9 inch dinner plate. The ideal way to begin is to fill half the plate with non-starchy
vegetables like lady finger, cauliflower, spinach; ¼ of the plate with protein foods like curd or
cottage cheese or egg and the last ¼ of the plate with carbohydrate foods like chapatti or brown
rice or pasta.
Taking the assistance of a dietitian for understanding the food groups and best diet ingredients
for diabetes creates an impactful meal plan.
As informed by most diabetes educators, it is best to eat every two hours to maintain a good glycemic control. Coordinating the meals and snacks with the medications and insulin (type1 diabetes) is very important to avoid hypoglycemia.
Choice of foods available for diabetes control are plenty and delicious. It is not advised to limit your palette to a particular food or starve. Explore new healthy choices and try our new cuisines, as long as one follows the basic concept of moderate carbohydrate, high fiber, moderate protein and low fat diet.
Meal patterns can be wide and select from wonderful range of Asian Indian, Mediterranean, Vegan, DASH diet. It is best to avoid fad diets and Keto diets, zero carb, cabbage soup or GM diets are not suggestive plans in case of diabetes as these have maximum implications of causing hypoglycemia. Good Glycemic Control is achievable with guidance, monitoring and support. Team at BEATO is dedicated in helping all individuals with diabetes achieve this with encouragement, engagement and knowledge enrichment.
Content support by Tina Khanna
Certified Diabetes Educator