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Diabetes - diet
 
SubjectContents
Definition The diabetes diet consists of specific dietary guidelines developed by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association for diabetes management. The overall principles are to reduce the amount of fat , simple sugar, and salt and increase the amount of complex carbohydrates and foods high in fiber .
Alternative Names Nutrition recommendations for people with diabetes; Diet - diabetes
Function There are two primary types of diabetes , and the nutritional goals for each are different. With type 1 diabetes , the main focus of diet planning is balance and consistency. Meals should be eaten at approximately the same time every day. Meals and snacks should be planned in conjunction with the insulin dose and the person's planned level of physical activity . The amount and type of food, and the carbohydrate, protein , and fat content of meals and snacks, should be consistent from day to day. This helps with the delicate balance of carbohydrate intake, insulin, and physical activity that is necessary for optimal blood levels of a sugar called glucose. If these components are not in balance, there can be wide variations, from too high to too low, in blood glucose levels. For children with type 1 diabetes, weight and growth patterns are a useful way of determining if the child's intake has been adequate. Witholding food or giving food when the child is not hungry should be discouraged. With type 2 diabetes , the main focus is on weight management and weight control , because 80% to 90% of people with this disease are overweight . A calorie-controlled meal plan is recommended, along with appropriate physical activity. In many cases, weight control and a planned diet alone control diabetes. Some people with type 2 diabetes must also take oral medications. Children with type 2 diabetes present special challenges. Meal plans should be recalculated often to account for the child's change in caloric requirements as he or she grows. Physical activity may be more difficult to plan for and may be much more erratic than in an adult. Children are more likely to require several snacks in their meal plan because they may not be able to meet their caloric needs in three meals. Concentrated sweets may be difficult to restrict at times, and parents may require additional help in planning for special occasions, such as birthdays and Halloween, when sweet foods abound.
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Recommendations Reduce the amount of dietary fat . Current American Diabetes Association guidelines advise that less than 30% of total daily calories should come from fat sources. Protein choices with less fat are recommended, such as skinless poultry, fish, and lean meats. The recommended daily allowance is approximately two three-ounce servings of protein a day. A three-ounce portion of meat is approximately the size of a deck of playing cards. No more than 10% to 20% of the day's total calories should come from protein. Approximately 50% to 60% of the day's total calories should come from complex carbohydrates such as starches and whole-grain breads, with an emphasis on the high- fiber choices. Foods that are high in carbohydrates provide energy, minerals, and vitamins . Food sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber are fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, dried beans and peas, and lentils and legumes. Use sources of simple (concentrated) carbohydrates, such as table sugar, honey, soda, juice, or syrup, in moderation. Concentrated sources of carbohydrates cause the blood sugar levels to rise quickly. Exercise caution when eating simple carbohydrates. A registered dietitian can help you best decide how to include simple carbohydrates into your diet plan.