What Are General Diabetic Diet Guidelines?


Quick Answer

A healthy diet for diabetics includes a wide variety of foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products, according to the American Diabetes Association. Fish, poultry and lean meats are healthy sources of protein.

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What Are General Diabetic Diet Guidelines?
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Full Answer

An important aspect of a healthy diet for diabetics is monitoring caloric intake and portion control, states the American Diabetes Association. Incorporating many types of foods helps to ensure patients get essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins through their diet. Whole foods are nutrient-rich and make a better choice than processed foods with lower nutritional content.

Carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65 percent of total daily calories and should come primarily from whole foods such as beans, reports the New York Times. Fiber from carbohydrates is essential for those with type 2 diabetes, and patients should aim for 14 grams of fiber per every 1,000 calories. Carbohydrate counting, glycemic index tracking and meal planning lists are useful tools for patients who need to monitor glucose and insulin levels from foods along with medications.

Fat intake should consist of 25 to 35 percent of daily calories, and should primarily come from monounsaturated fat sources such as olive, canola, peanut and avocado oils, according to the New York Times. Saturated fat from red meat or dairy products should be consumed in moderation, and trans fats from hydrogenated oils should be avoided.

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