Creating a healthy, delicious meal can seem impossible at first when living with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Having proper nutrition is one of the most important pieces of the diabetes battle. However, it IS possible! Eating healthy foods, using portion control and scheduling to manage your blood glucose levels are three useful approaches. Take control of your daily recommended caloric intake by understanding what YOU need to properly fuel your body!
Meal Planning 101
A meal plan is a guide that helps you plan the timing of your meals, how much you eat and what foods you should choose. Having a meal plan should not be miserable, as it should take into account your likes, dislikes and lifestyle. It should be a plan that helps you meet your glucose goals and personal weight goals. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to creating your meal plan- we are all different and that is okay! It is important that you create a long-term plan that fits your diabetes goals and your personal needs. The American Diabetes Association suggests working with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator on creating a meal plan that is right for you.
What Should Your Plate Look Like?
Knowing what to eat and how much to eat can be a bit confusing. All healthy meal plans have these elements in common: fruits and vegetables lean proteins, less added sugar and no trans-fat. The American Diabetes Association recommends that your plate should contain 25% protein, 25% grains and starchy foods, 50% non-starchy vegetables, and a serving of fruit or a serving of dairy (or both). Healthy fats are encouraged in small amounts.
Check out the link below for some healthy, delicious recipes that can be easily made right from your own home!
Liquids & Alcohol
- H2O– Drink between .05- 1.0 ounces of water per pound of your body weight. For example, if I weigh 150 pounds, I should drink at least 75 ounces of water per day. Consuming too much water can be life-threatening, so be sure you do not consume more than one liter of water per hour.
Unsweetened Teas- Hot or cold – black, green, and herbal teas provide lots of variety.
- Coffee and Tea– Plain coffee and tea contain few calories and carbohydrates. Things added to coffee such as cream, sugar, sweetener, and non-dairy creamer can all add calories and carbohydrates, so use amount or no additives to least impact on blood sugar
- Milk and Juice– Drinking skim or 1% milk is highly recommended. If you are lactose intolerant or don’t like milk, other options are fortified soy milk, rice milk, or almond milk. Juice provides a lot of carbohydrates in a small portion. If you drink juice, be sure the label says it is 100% juice with no sugar added.
Research has shown that drinking alcohol can cause a drop in one’s blood glucose, because alcohol can block the production of glucose in the liver- YIKES! This is something that a person with diabetes does not want. However, there are several safe ways to help prevent this from occurring (ADA).
Alcohol Safety Tips:
- Not skipping meals throughout the day if you plan on drinking.
- If you have diabetes, do not drink on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose is low, because your risk of low blood glucose rises after drinking.
- Have something on you at all times that knows that you are someone that is diabetic. If you are in a setting where people are drinking alcohol, hypoglycemia may be mistaken for being drunk.
- Watch out for craft beers, they can have twice the alcohol and calories as a light beer.
- With mixed drinks, choose calorie-free drink mixers (diet soda, club soda, diet tonic water or water).
- Never drive or plan to drive for several hours after you drink.