What are the Benefits of a Diabetic Diet? (with pictures)

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus
Headaches can result if someone on a diabetic diet doesn't snack.
Headaches can result if someone on a diabetic diet doesn't snack.

Diabetic diets have many health benefits even for non-diabetics. A diabetic diet is first and foremost a balanced one and this is important for everyone because getting the recommended daily allowances of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals is necessary for good health. When diabetic people eat every few hours, large fluctuations in blood sugar levels are usually prevented. Balanced blood sugar levels are important since out of control blood sugar can lead to medical complications, coma and death.

A diabetic diet may include fish several times a week.
A diabetic diet may include fish several times a week.

Limiting foods that contain sugar is essential in a diabetic diet. This is also desirable for non-diabetics, as foods with refined sugar often lack nutrients and may lead to weight gain or other health problems. Even healthy foods such as fruits, milk and starches with naturally occurring sugars are limited in diabetic diets since too large of servings of these foods may raise blood sugar. The carbohydrates found in starches, fruits, milk and sugars break down into sugar in the body and tend to raise blood sugar.

People with diabetes may need to take insulin injections to control their high blood glucose.
People with diabetes may need to take insulin injections to control their high blood glucose.

Going too long without eating causes blood sugar to become too low. For this reason, a diabetic diet always includes regular healthy snacks. It can't be emphasized enough that diabetic diets are balanced to help create balanced blood sugar in the body. Healthy snacking is also important for non-diabetics since they can also experience dips in blood sugar that may cause them to feel tired or have headaches. Mid afternoon is a time when many people need a nutritious snack to help balance their blood sugar levels.

Healthy snacking at regular intervals is important for diabetics.
Healthy snacking at regular intervals is important for diabetics.

By following a diabetic diet, many people may actually be able to prevent or control diabetes. Many studies indicate that by eating a variety of healthy food in reasonable portion sizes spaced throughout the day, diabetes prevention may be possible. Also, consuming a diabetic diet may reduce or prevent complications of diabetes such as eye, nerve, heart and kidney disease. Diabetic diets put a focus on selecting low fat foods, eating fish several times a week and choosing whole grains over white refined grains. Achieving and maintaining a proper body weight is also important in preventing and controlling diabetes.

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Discussion Comments

Wisedly33

There is no doubt that following a good diabetic diet can reduce, or even prevent, a lot of the nasty complications that can follow uncontrolled diabetes.

A conscientious diabetic "eats to the meter." That is, he knows what blood sugar level he needs to have two hours after eating, and if he eats something that raises his blood sugar beyond that level, it's probably something he should avoid, or eat only infrequently.

A diabetic diet is usually a good, sound, balanced diet that emphasizes protein over carbohydrates, but also considers that a varied diet is the easiest kind to follow long term.

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    • Headaches can result if someone on a diabetic diet doesn't snack.
      Headaches can result if someone on a diabetic diet doesn't snack.
    • A diabetic diet may include fish several times a week.
      A diabetic diet may include fish several times a week.
    • People with diabetes may need to take insulin injections to control their high blood glucose.
      People with diabetes may need to take insulin injections to control their high blood glucose.
    • Healthy snacking at regular intervals is important for diabetics.
      Healthy snacking at regular intervals is important for diabetics.
    • All sugars -- even those in fruits -- must be consumed carefully by diabetics.
      All sugars -- even those in fruits -- must be consumed carefully by diabetics.