Table of contents:
- Foods that should be prioritized
- Recommended amount of fruit
- Foods to avoid
- Example menu for diabetics
The diabetes diet aims to reduce the consumption of foods with simple carbohydrates, such as refined sugar and honey; rich in refined flour, such as white bread and pasta; of fats, such as fried foods and butter; and proteins such as meats, eggs and cheeses, as excessive intake of these foods can stimulate blood sugar to rise, causing diabetes imbalance.
In the diet for diabetes, priority should be given to the consumption of foods rich in fiber, such as fruits with skin, fresh vegetables and whole grains, which should be eaten in moderation, because even though they are he althy, they have carbohydrates that, in excess, raise blood sugar. As well as eating he althy fats such as olive oil, and lean meats such as white fish and chicken should be preferred.
Also, it is important to keep 4 to 6 meals a day, 2 to 4 hours apart to avoid hypoglycemia, which is when blood sugar levels get too low, which can cause dizziness, fainting and even convulsions. In addition to the intervals between meals, it is recommended that people with diabetes start physical exercises no later than 2 hours after meals, to avoid hypoglycemia during activities.
Foods that should be prioritized
Foods that should be prioritized in the diabetes diet are those rich in fiber, lean proteins and good fats, such as:
- Whole grains: mainly whole-wheat flour, whole-grain rice and pasta, oat flakes and quinoa;
- Legumes: such as beans, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils and peas;
- Vegetables in general: preferring fresh ones, such as lettuce, tomato, arugula, chard, pumpkin, green beans, onion;
- Lean meats: white fish, chicken, lean beef such as muscle and duckling;
- Fruits in general: prioritizing fresh and whole or in pieces, such as orange, papaya, pear, pineapple, peach and tangerine;
- Good fats: from fruits such as avocado and coconut, and vegetable oils such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and butter;
- Oilseeds: chestnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds;
- Milk and dairy products: preferably skimmed versions with no added sugar, such as skimmed milk, skimmed natural yogurt, white cheeses such as ricotta, Minas cheese and cottage cheese.
Recommended amount of fruit
Although they should be included in the diet, fruits should be consumed in small amounts by those with diabetes, as they contain natural sugar. The recommendation is 1 serving of fruit per meal, which works in the following amounts:
- 1 medium unit of whole fruits such as apple, banana, orange, tangerine and pear;
- 2 thin slices of large fruits such as watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya and pineapple;
- 1 handful of small fruits, giving about 8 units of grapes or cherries, for example;
- 1 tablespoon of dried fruit, such as raisins, plums, or apricots.
Furthermore, it is important to avoid the consumption of fruits along with other foods rich in carbohydrates, such as tapioca, white rice, breads and sweets. See more recommended fruit tips for diabetes.
See more about fruits for diabetes and how to eat to avoid the glycemic spike in the following video:
Foods to avoid
Foods that should be avoided in the diabetes diet are those rich in sugar or simple carbohydrates, such as:
- Sugar and sweets in general;
- Honey, fruit jelly, jam, marmalade, confectionery and pastry;
- Sweets in general, chocolates and sweets;
- Sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, industrialized juices, chocolate drinks;
- Tubercles in general,such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and yams, as they have a high concentration of carbohydrates and should be consumed in small portions;
- Processed meats,such as ham, turkey breast, sausage, sausage, bacon, bologna and salami;
- Alcoholic beverages,such as beer, wine and spirits.
The yacon potato, despite being a tuber, is very low in calories and rich in prebiotic fibers, helping to reduce and control blood sugar, and can be consumed by diabetics. Learn more about yacon and how to consume it.
It is also important to read the ingredients on product labels before consuming, because sugar can appear hidden with names such as glucose, glucose or corn syrup, fructose, m altose, m altodextrin or invert sugar, for example. See other foods that increase the risk of diabetes.
Example menu for diabetics
The following table provides an example of a 3-day diabetes menu:
|1 cup unsweetened coffee + 1 slice of whole grain bread + 1 egg omelet||1 cup of unsweetened coffee with skim milk + ½ papaya + 1 scrambled egg||1 low-fat plain yogurt + 1 slice of wholegrain bread + 1 slice of ricotta cheese|
|1 apple + 10 cashews||1 glass of green juice + 2 Brazil nuts||1 mashed banana + 1 tablespoon oat flakes|
|2 tablespoons of brown rice + 3 tablespoons of beans + 1 grilled chicken breast + Swiss chard and grated carrots, sautéed in olive oil + 1 whole orange||Oven baked fish with olive oil + 2 tablespoons of potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower + 1 pear with skin||1 wholemeal pasta tongs with ground beef and homemade tomato sauce + salad with lettuce, tomato and raw grated yacon potato + 2 thin slices of melon|
|1 low-fat plain yogurt + 1 tangerine||1 cup avocado smoothie with skim milk, sweetened with sweetener||1 cup unsweetened coffee + 1 slice of homemade wholegrain cake + 2 walnuts|
This menu is just an example to be included in the diet. For a better treatment of diabetes, it is essential to receive the guidance of a nutritionist for a complete evaluation and the elaboration of a more personalized diet.