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The Importance of Portion Control
Weight management. Eating a variety of healthy food is great for the
body. But all foods, healthy or not, have those pesky calories. If you
consume more calories than you use up, you'll gain weight. From a "weight"
point of view, it doesn't matter whether those calories are from cakes and cookies and
pies, or whether they're from fresh veggies and whole grains (although diabetics --
and everyone, for that matter! - need to focus on healthy foods and try to avoid refined
and processed foods). Eating a few less calories per meal can help you lose weight safely,
if need be.
or high blood sugar. Blood glucose levels need to be carefully controlled in diabetics. Eating a large
quantity of food in one meal can raise blood sugar quickly, leading to hyperglycemia.
These "spikes" in blood sugar should be avoided. It's easier to prevent
them, then to try to correct it after it's already happened.
Portion control makes it easier to stick with an overall
plan. Without watching portions, it's easy to take too much, particularly
when something looks especially delicious. When you eat more than usual in one
meal and less than usual in another, it's hard to control blood sugar -- especially
if you are on medication
or insulin, since you won't know how much to take. Once you get into the habit of
watching portions it becomes easier to manage meals and snacks.
Figuring Out Portion Sizes
Here are some easy ways to remember portion sizes:
A dietitian can help you develop an individualized eating plan that includes
many of your favorite foods. For people with diabetes, portion control is a part
of this eating plan. Stick to the plan and discuss any changes with a dietitian.
There are many cookbooks
of diabetic recipes
that break down the nutrients in the meal and can help you with planning.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.