What are some foods that a diabetic should eat?

Managing your diet is a huge part of managing diabetes, as important as monitoring blood sugar levels. If you know what to eat, how much to eat and what to avoid you can make great strides in controlling diabetes.

The optimal diet includes a healthy mixture of the right fruits and vegetables - and don't try to cut corners. A seving of broccoli covered in cheese is not the way to get your vegetables. You might think that it tastes better, but it's not going to be good for your health. It's difficult to change your sense of what tastes good, but if you can start to see food as a type of medicine, the fact that you feel better when you eat right can serve as motivation to keep the cheese off of your broccoli.

When it comes to the meat in your diet, lean cuts of meat are recommended. Fat interferes with insulin absorption, thus magnifying the problem of glucose control that plagues all diabetics. Keep both trans fats and saturated fats to a minimum to keep your diabetes in check and your heart in good health.

It's also important to eat a good amount of fiber. Fiber improves digestion, helps regulate blood sugar and does and keeps the digestive tract in good condition. Brown rice, wild rice, and most fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber. Processed food should be avoided as the processing breaks down or eliminates fiber. White rice has the bran -- the main source of fiber in rice -- removed; processed juices have the pulp removed and even fresh squeezed juice leaves a lot of fiber behind in the strainer. Eat whole foods and you will get a healthy amopunt of fiber in your diet.

Avoiding or limiting certain foods can be just as important as consuming others. Staying away from foods high in sugar and/or fat is an obvious step.

The list of foods to limit or avoid includes starchy vegetables, with potatoes at the head of the list. The problem with starchy foods is that they are rapidly converted to sugar, putting stress on your glucose levels. Milk consumption and fruit juices need to be strictly regulated as well. Limiting white flour (which, as with white rice, has had most of its fiber removed) is also a great idea.

Though it's an oft repeated notion, moderation is truly the key. If you must have a piece of cake, make it small. No matter what you eat, space out the carbs and include snacks throughout the day to avoid sugar level drops.

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