With the ADA diet, you won’t find any specific meal plans. This is because the diet is based on the recommendations of the American Diabetic Association. These eating suggestions are rooted in years of research conducted to help people with type 1 and 2 diabetes eat better to manage or cure the condition. The diet advice is aimed at controlling blood sugar levels. In other words, which foods to consume and which to avoid, keeping sugar levels as balanced as much as possible. Unfortunately, the general rules don’t apply to everyone so a thorough consultation with your doctor to determine which foods are best for you and the amount of calories you should consume is imperative.
The ADA diet starts patients off with a simple tactic for eating healthier to manage diabetes. You are advised to divide your plate in such a way that half of it contains low-starch vegetables, a quarter of lean meats and fish for protein and a quarter of starchy foods. This plate template represents each meal. For snacks, servings of fruit and low-fat dairy are preferred. This is a great guideline to incorporate into your eating habits because it allows you to increase or decrease calories without losing the basis of healthy eating.
Living a healthy lifestyle with the ADA Diet
For diabetics, those looking to lose weight or interested in living a healthier lifestyle, the foods recommended by the ADA in each section of the plate will help keep blood sugar level. Low-starch vegetables that should fill half of your plate include broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, squash, mushrooms and other green vegetables. These are not only low in carbohydrates that raise your sugar levels but they are also fibre-rich to help with digestion.
The protein quarter should contain mostly fish which can be alternated with lean beef, pork, turkey salmon, mackerel, soy products, lean chicken and tofu. Because studies show that some diabetics are at risk of heart disease, it’s recommended to choose fish over meat because of it contains fatty acids that help the heart. The other quarter supplies your body with carbohydrates from foods such as potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grains, corn and peas. Don’t forget to count the amount of carbohydrates you consume each day, which should generally not be above 60 grams. Feel free to use the glycaemic index to choose your carbs. Since every healthy meal plan needs unsaturated fats, make sure you either snack on or include nuts, olive oil, avocadoes or canola oil in your cooking.
The ADA diet also suggests that participants, especially diabetics, get their sugar from healthier sources like fruits and honey. Include a couple to a few servings of fruits every day, depending on your calorie intake. Ditch sugar-loaded beverages like sodas and sweetened tea and coffee. Rather stick to unsweetened juices, water and take coffee and tea without sugar.
Different people have different caloric needs. Whether you are on the 1200 or 2000 calorie diet, knowing what to eat and roughly how much of it can treat manage diabetes and help you lose weight.