The diabetic meal plan is one of the cornerstones of managing blood sugar levels that is so important for those who suffer with this disease.
For this reason there are several systems that can be used for meal planning which include a consistent carbohydrate diabetes meal plan, exchange lists, point systems, food groups, and calorie counting.
Each individual will have different dietary needs based on their eating habits, diet history, and special needs which must be built around the plan chosen.
Personal preferences need to be considered carefully when creating a diabetic diet plan. This is an important part of gaining compliance with the plan because one of the most difficult parts of managing diabetes is altering the foods that can be eaten along with a change in personal meal patterns.
Anyone who is diabetic needs to take an active part in their meal planning with the help of a registered dietician as recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
The traditional and well known exchange list diet plan is being replaced with the consistent-carbohydrate meal plan. The idea with this plan is focusing on the carbohydrate content of the foods that are eaten with a meal. Because carbohydrates are the primary cause of raised blood sugars immediately after a meal it is important to keep the amount eaten under control.
By eating a similar amount of carbs at each meal or snack that are part of the individual diet plan it is easier to manage glucose levels.
This method also helps to determine how much insulin is needed before meals; much more so then the amount of protein and fats being eaten. Counting carbohydrates allows the diabetic to calculate the proper amount of insulin needed as prescribed by their doctor.
Exchange lists work differently in that the meal plan is based on the diabetic’s ideal weight, activity level, age, and occupation. Knowing these helps the diabetic calculate the amount of kilocalories they need to consume each day to maintain energy levels while controlling blood glucose levels.
Once the amount of calories is calculated the amount of calories derived from proteins, fats, and carbs can then be determined. This is done using guidelines as set forth by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association.
The exchange lists helps the diabetic plan their meals by showing them how their food choices should be distributed throughout the day. These lists give the type of food and quantity of each food type that makes up one exchange or serving in regular household cooking measurements.
These portions can be substituted or exchanged for one another with little impact as to the amount of calories consumed. This makes it easy for the diabetic to control their caloric intake to match their needs.
A successful diabetic meal plan keeps blood sugar levels under control and is an important part of managing this life threatening disease and its complications.
About the Author: If you are diabetic or know someone who is and you want to learn more about a diabetic meal plan please visit the website Diabetic Diet Plans by clicking here. (ArticlesBase SC #680200) Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/ – Creating a Diabetic Meal Plan