Diabetes is a chronic, long-term health condition that affects the way the body converts food into energy. Broadly speaking, when a person with diabetes has high blood sugar, it signals the pancreas to release insulin, which allows sugar to enter the body’s cells and use them for energy.
When there is not enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much sugar in the blood remains in the bloodstream. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, over time, this can lead to more serious health problems, such as heart disease, blindness, and kidney disease. So, how do you get started with an easy, diabetic-friendly weekly meal plan?
What is the relationship between diabetes and nutrition?
If you have been diagnosed as diabetic, you should know that a good meal plan or a special weekly diet for you is essential. At first, you may not be sure where to start, which foods are recommended and which are not, but following a nutritional plan is much simpler than it seems.
To put it simply, your body uses glucose as its main source of energy, which in turn comes from the food you eat. But how can we choose a healthy weekly menu without giving up our favorite foods?
First of all, it is important to understand that while food does not cause diabetes, people with diabetes need to be aware of the huge connection between the food they eat and their blood sugar response.
Almost all diabetic diet meal plans are based on controlling the amount of carbohydrates consumed at each meal, as this is the key to maintaining balanced blood glucose levels.
The main diet for diabetics
The foods recommended in a weekly diabetic diet are not much different from a low-calorie diet. Eating a healthy diet to promote weight loss in these cases greatly promotes diabetes control and even remission.
In fact, according to a study published in the scientific journal Diabetic Medicine in 2019, it was found that biochemical remission of type 2 diabetes can be achieved in the absence of pharmacological or surgical intervention, important findings that suggest that the disease can be remitted without restrictive and sometimes unattainable calorie restrictions. Thus, according to the report, a diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruit, and lean protein is recommended.
While low-nutrient foods may cost less to digest, they do provide a lot of calories and can cause frequent spikes in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), which can increase the risk of diabetes-related complications such as nerve damage or vision loss.
On the other hand, some people with diabetes may also only be able to afford enough food to eat only once a day, which can also make it difficult to manage and control diabetes well. It is also important to note that skipping meals can increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and can be dangerous.
The basic food-based plan for beginners, short of type-2 diabetes, consists of foods based on:
- Protein foods
- reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages
- carbohydrate control etc…
- Importance of a low-calorie diet (fruit, lean chicken, vegetables, drinking plenty of water, exercise, etc…).
The weekly menu for managing diabetes
While this is not necessarily a weight-loss meal plan for diabetes, other research published last year in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity again suggested that weight loss can help improve blood sugar levels.
A weekly diabetic diet can be easily followed using the nine-inch plate method; a simple, visual way to make sure you eat enough non-starchy vegetables and lean protein while eating a limited amount of the higher carbohydrate foods that affect blood sugar levels the most. A method proposed by the CDC consists of:
For breakfast, the daily proposal is based on milk, fruit, or cereals.
Now, the plate method for lunches and dinners consists of putting non-starchy vegetables such as salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots on half of the plate.
Fill another quarter of the plate with lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, or eggs.
Supplement another quarter with carbohydrates such as grains, starchy vegetables, rice, pasta, beans, fruit, and yogurt (a cup of milk also counts as a carbohydrate food).
You can accompany your meal with water or a low-calorie drink, such as unsweetened iced tea. And, in general, you can combine these foods as you like during lunches and dinners.
Generally, a healthy dietary change to lower blood sugar, such as increasing vegetable and protein intake, also leads to weight loss.
The correct intake of nutrient-rich foods in the recommended amounts and based on the individual’s tastes, as well as the support of natural liquid organic silicon food supplements containing magnesium and vitamin A such as Silicium G7 Original or Silicium G5 Original with preservatives.