Figuring out what to eat is one of the most important considerations for people living with diabetes. Maintaining a diabetes-friendly diet can help you control your blood sugar, keep a healthy weight and avoid diabetes-related health complications.
Read on to learn how someone with diabetes can maintain a healthy – and delicious! – diet with ease. Just remember to consult a doctor beforehand, as your type of diabetes and other factors may require certain nutritional needs.
Maintaining a varied, healthy diet as a diabetic is not always easy. Fortunately, there is a free and simple-to-use system that can help: the American Diabetes Association Exchange List.
You can use the exchange list for meal planning. Here’s how it works:
The diabetes exchange list includes one chart that shows how many carbohydrates, grams of protein, grams of fat and calories you should have from each of the six food groups in one serving (or meal).
Then, it includes a list for each of the six food groups: Starches/Breads, Meats, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk/Dairy, Fats and Sweets/Desserts. These work as “choose your foods” food lists for diabetes patients.
In each food group list, you’ll see different options listed, along with their serving size. For example, the Fruit list includes Grapes (15) and Blackberries (3/4 cup). This just shows you the portion size of any food that the average diabetic should eat in one serving.
The ADA exchange list is considered the best diabetic diet plan, because it is based on expert research, and it gives you plenty of options to create satisfying, healthy meals.
You can use the diabetic diet exchange list to plan your meals before you go to the grocery store. But if you’re pressed for time, check out the next slides to learn about convenient ways to maintain a healthy diabetic diet.