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Is low carb the best choice for dieting with diabetes?

Is the diabetes low carb dieting approach the best diet for people with diabetes, and what are the benefits? Are you seeking a proper diabetes diet? There are lots of good ones out there. Your diabetes diet program should always be as customized as possible to your individual needs. No doubt your doctor has already handed you a piece of paper with a diabetes diet on it, a Xeroxed copy of the same pages he passes to all his diabetic patients and quite a few who are not. Unfortunately, that paper is not etched in stone. There are other sources to investigate a diabetes diet that works for you. Why not go on an information-gathering campaign? You might want to contact a nutritionist or dietitian, read books, or surf the internet. Something you run across may ring true for you.

The most important points

  • Try to include about 30% fat, 20% proteins, and 50% carbohydrates in your diabetes diet plan.
  • Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of eating more significant portions a couple of times a day. This will help your glucose levels normalize.
  • Watch your cholesterol and “bad” fats consumption, avoid dairy, egg yolks, and red meat when possible, and substitute olive oil for other oils.
  • Go heavier on the fiber than you might think. That means the old standbys, veggies, fruits, beans, legumes, and whole grains.
  • Avoid sugar and limit fats and cholesterol.
  • Try to eat and do your exercise at around the same time each day. Take your pills around the same hours too.
  • Try to keep to a consistent volume of food intake from day to day, choosing a good variety.
  • Make an effort to eat fresh foods, not out of a can or a box, and indeed no junk foods.
  • Contact the American Diabetes Association for more information and ideas.

Though there are dozens, probably hundreds and maybe thousands, of diabetes diet plans available, in reality, no genuine, across-the-board “diabetic diet” exists. Indeed, a sugar-free diet is not necessarily a diabetic diet. Managing blood sugar is more complicated than that. In general, one of the first orders of importance is controlling your weight. If you have type 1 diabetes, weight control may not be as big an issue as type 2, which usually affects middle-aged to older people.

A good nutritional plan for the diabetic diet will concentrate on a variety of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats; this sensible variety controls the glucose levels throughout the day. To develop your diabetes diet program, bear in mind that it makes no difference whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes when it comes to glucose. High blood sugar caused by an insulin imbalance is what it’s all about. Work back and forth with your doctor, nutritionist, diet specialist, exercise instructor, and anyone else who will listen and might have the information you can trust. Some people respond well to online forums, where they can keep up on new ideas, exchange old ones, and make friends.

The case for low carbs

Since 1970 and the advent of Atkins, carbohydrates have been under as much careful dieters’ scrutiny as sugar. People are gradually becoming aware that there are good and bad carbs, just as there are good fats and bad fats. And we’re slowly figuring out which is which. This is excellent progress over the fix-me-now, magic bullet society we were in the latter part of the twentieth century. The new awareness, and the new willingness to be as responsible as possible for our health and welfare, is reflected in the new, well-considered weight loss programs coming out all the time.

From Atkins to the Zone to South Beach (all low-carb diets), the concept of eating the suitable carbohydrate has proven its weight in gold, at least when employed for relatively short periods. Far from causing kidney and diabetes problems, as the medical profession claims, it turns out that restricting the diet to low carbohydrates aids in the control of blood sugar, as well as blood pressure. Several studies have shown that low-carb diets work faster than low-fat and low-calorie diets for weight control. Even doctors are starting to come around to consider the low-carb diet plans being tried by dieters worldwide today as healthful and sensible.

Almost all the low-carb diets available today focus on allowing the dieter to eat enough food to feel full. No more starvation diets! They’ve been debunked as just terrible for your body, especially over a long period. No, no. It’s time to be nice to ourselves and get real, simultaneously. By feeding your body frequently enough with the right kinds of foods, you’re working with it rather than against it. In addition, you are creating good eating habits that will last for a lifetime, as opposed to doing battle with your will and depriving your body of what you hope will be a short fixed period (but never is).

Most popular low carb diabetes dieting choices

Atkins (low carb, high fat, high protein), 4 cycle fat loss solution (low carb, balanced meal plans in phases), 14 day rapid fat loss (heavy on the meat, fruit and veggies, very low on grains and starches), metabolic cooking (high protein, low carbs), snacks for diabetics (no refined grains or simple sugars, lean meats and “good” fats), and Carbohydrate Addicts (focus on conquering the craving for carbs). As you can see, the focus of some diets regarding carbohydrates is to restrict their use in general, while other low carb diets focus on limiting certain types of carbs, which they deem the “bad” carbs.

Not only are we, the overweight American people, turning our backs on the old familiar food pyramid paradigm, but we are doing a 180-degree turnaround, either cutting carbohydrates across the board or opting for low-carb foods. Refined grain, wheat gluten, pasta, white sugar, white flour, white bread, and high sugar foods such as watermelon are considered part of the “bad” carbs group. The low carb diet? We’re doing it because we see that it’s working. And because we are a nation of busy people surrounded by delicious-tasting junk food.

Personalizing your diet to best suit you

So it’s time to choose yet another diet plan. You’ve probably tried some already. Its proponents probably all told you they were the best diet plan, the right one the only one. Right? Every diet plan you’ve ever tried makes claims along those lines. If the claims were valid, 50% of Americans would not be overweight, obese, or morbidly obese (a particular category coined just for us Americans). Instead, we’ve all been bouncing around from fad to fad, decade to decade, without any real success stories. High carbohydrate diets, low carbohydrate diets, high protein and low protein diets, high fat and low fat and no fat What’s a body to do? We know most of its hype, but they’re the only game in town. Or are they? It is possible to get a long way down the path towards creating a personalized diet plan that works for you. All by yourself. Here are some steps that show you how:

Choose your low-carb diabetes diet and make a list.

Sit down with paper and pen. (Yes. You’re going to write, not type.) Now cast your mind back to when you found a certain diet plan worked for you. Remember the foods you ate and the ones you stayed away from? Make two lists of those, under the headings OK and NO (or choose your titles, like EAT ME and RUN FOR YOUR LIFE). Now make a separate list of activities that entail moving around. Spend some time on this list and come up with at least ten items. Try to include only activities you think you might find enjoyable. At this point, walk away for a break. When you come back, cross off all but five actions, your best choices.

Get yourself a six-week weight loss goal for your Personalized Diet Plan. On paper. Make it practical and sensible; don’t try for twenty pounds in six weeks. Try for ten instead. Or whatever you think you can reasonably do, bearing in mind that achieving your short-range goal will be enough reward to launch you into the next phase. Now determine your diet plan “Next Phase” weight loss goal based on pounds you believe you can lose per week. Hint: One pound a week is six more pounds in six weeks. It adds up! Write the number you choose down, labeling it “Next Phase,” “Phase Two,” or whatever you want (like “Don’t Stop Now!”).

One way to make new habits stick is to perform them consciously. To that end, when you implement your Personalized Diet Plan, start a journal. A short, undemanding journal, which you can call anything you like, from My Food Diary to My Journey Through Hell and Back. Write down how you feel. Write down how you cheated that day and with which foods. Write a rant about the telephone company. Write anything you think may help you succeed. The important thing is to write in it daily. This simple act will ensure you stay conscious.

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