Diabetes is a condition in which the body has difficulty maintaining levels of glucose, and can be impacted by the regular administration of insulin and what foods the diabetic individual includes in his or her diet. Staying away from foods high in sugar and carbohydrates can help prevent fluctuations in blood sugar. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are important and help keep the body on a regular schedule. One of the most important diabetic diet guidelines is to make sure meals are regularly spaced and not skipped.
Eating meals on a regular schedule can help the body maintain its own internal schedule and will also help keep a more consistent level of blood sugar in the body. Spikes in blood glucose levels tend to occur after eating large meals, so keeping meals smaller and more regular can help prevent this. Similarly, blood glucose levels drop when an individual goes too long without eating.
Carbohydrates are changed into blood glucose and then into energy by the body. Diabetic diet guidelines include eating the right types of carbohydrates in order to make the body's job easier. Whole grains, whole-wheat pastas, cereal, and vegetables high in carbohydrates, such as beans, will provide the most efficient sources of blood glucose.
Including plenty of protein is also an important part of diabetic diet guidelines. Chicken without the skin, beef, nuts, eggs, and some dairy products such as yogurt and cottage cheese can be good sources of protein, but the fat content of each must be taken into consideration. Those with diabetes are generally advised to stay away from high-fat foods, especially saturated fats like those found in ground beef. When consuming animal products, it is recommended to only eat lean meats.
Good fats, however, are an important component in diabetic diet guidelines and help to keep a healthy balance of cholesterol in the body. Foods like nuts can help raise good cholesterol and lower the bad, which can lead to a healthier system that can function on a more efficient level. Foods high in sodium, bad cholesterol, and trans fats should be avoided in favor of low-calorie, low-fat snacks.
Many medical professionals include information about different types of sugars in the diabetic diet guidelines. Individuals are advised to keep close track of how much sugar is consumed, and to cut back on carbohydrates accordingly. This will help balance the amount of blood glucose in the system, as it can be difficult to avoid sugar altogether. The body's reaction to sugar varies among individuals, so a medical professional will typically advise on the amount of insulin that should be used to compensate for the sugar intake if any change is needed.