Nutritious Meal Planning
A nutritious and balanced meal plan a day can be achieved with the Diabetes Food Pyramid.
With a slight difference from the Food Guide Pyramid of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) , it is designed with diabetics in mind. The grouping of the foods in the Diabetes Food Pyramid is the same as the USDA’s except that the serving sizes are altered in order to have a serving of any food, no matter the category, contains the same amount of carbohydrates. For instance, the USDA gives a half cup of rice as one serving while the Diabetes Food Pyramid uses only 1/3 cup. Such a change is made to assist diabetics to pick various types of food with the knowledge of the estimated amount of carbohydrates per serving.
It performs as some kind of visual guide assisting diabetics to pick carbohydrates found in the six main food groups with four levels given as below:
- Sweets, oils and fats
- Meat/meat substitutes and milk
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grains, breads as well as other starches
The aim is to eat more of the carbohydrates consumed from foods from the pyramid’s lower half and less carbohydrates from those foods from the upper half.
About the Diabetic Food Pyramid – Video Guide
Starches and Grains
Starches, grains and breads, like beans, corn, peas, potatoes, rice and pasta, are placed at the bottom of the pyramid. These foods are the ones to choose to get your carbohydrates. Have from 6 to 11 of these food servings a day, with the number of servings depending upon the activity level.
Fruits and Vegetables
Above the carbohydrate level of the pyramid are fruits and vegetables. Nutritious vegetables have low sugar and fat content. A cup of raw vegetables is equivalent to a serving. Some vegetables belonging to this category are lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli.
Fruits are just as nutritious although several have more sugar content than others. Serving sizes are very different with a serving of strawberries in 1Â¼ cup when compared with a serving of dried fruit in just 2 tablespoons. For fruits and vegetables you ought to try to have 3 to 5 servings a day.
Meat/meat substitutes and milk
Excellent sources of calcium and protein are dairy products like yogurt and low-fat milk. Each day, 2 to 3 serving of such foods should be eaten.
Meats such fish, turkey, chicken and lean beef are good sources of protein.Other sources are peanut butter, cheese, tofu and eggs. 4 to 6 ounce of any of these foods ought to be consumed each day.Beef or chicken having the size similar to a pack of cards is a three ounce serving while a quarter of a cup cottage cheese, 1 teaspoons of peanut butter, or an egg can be a one-ounce serving.
Sweets, Oils and Fats
These foods are at the pyramid’s top level, with foods which usually does not have significant nutritious value but are tasty, like fried foods, crackers, cakes and potato chips. One serving of these foods could be half a cup of ice-cream, two small cookies or a small muffin. As far as possible, avoid these foods. The maximum amount each day must not exceed one serving.
Diabetes Online Tool
This Diabetes Food Pyramid is just one of a number of tools to be used in planning your meals. There are others, such as the Calorie Count which is available online to help type 1 diabetics as well as those that assist you to know the amount of carbohydrates in food and find out the exact nutritional values given for many different foods. Just give the name of the food you wish to know about and instant information is available from Calorie Count.