Everyone is aware that fats and sugars should be consumed in limited quantities. Carbohydrates are the same; while they are an important part of healthy eating, they need to be consumed in moderation because they're converted by our bodies into sugar. When you have diabetes, the goal is to try to create meals that will help to maintain stable blood glucose throughout the day. Since most foods contain some amount of carbs, you will need to count carbs or control them in some manner in order to manage your blood sugar levels.
This can be done by managing the total intake of carbs in a day, but also by using the GI, or glycemic index and the diabetes food pyramid as planning tools. With careful diet planning, you can mix the right amounts of foods for proper nutrition.
The glycemic index (GI) is a comprehensive list of all foods that contain carbs. The GI "rates" foods with a number that tells you how that food affects blood glucose levels after consumption. Diabetics need to keep their blood sugar levels under control and avoid "spikes".
Some good low carb foods include lentils and other beans, non-starchy vegetables, many fresh fruits and whole grains. High GI foods can include sugary and refined flour products, but also watermelon, parsnips and many plain, crunchy cereals.
While many foods in the GI index are affected by fats and fiber, this does not always hold true. Generally, the more processed a food is, the less healthy it will be for you from a nutritional standpoint.
Although type 2 diabetics also need to limit the foods and portions at each meal, they can still enjoy tasty, nutritious choices through a healthy diet. The diabetic food pyramid, which groups foods based on carbohydrate and protein content, allows for these daily amounts:
Of course, you don't have to eat the maximum number of servings allowed per day. Calories still count - and too many calories still lead to weight gain.
Here's just one video showing some easy & healthy lunch ideas:
There are numerous resources available to help you create low-fat, quick and easy diabetic recipes that are also healthy, balanced, and delicious. Dessert recipes can even be created -- although sweets need to be eaten infrequently, of course -- so have fun creating tasty meals and snacks.