If you are making a diet plan for diabetic patient you should be cautious and make the right selection of food items because the food selected by you should provide adequate number of calories, provide the needed energy in a day and also help in loosing excess weight if needed. The diet should enable the person to reduce the risk of heart diseases and other problems which are caused by diabetes.

First the amount of calories needed by the person should be determined depending on the body weight, height and lifestyle. A small woman who exercises each day may require around 1200 to 1600 calories in day, and the amount of calories can be taken from 6 ounces of starches, 2 of vegetables and fruits, meat substitute and fats.

A medium sized person who exercises each day may need more than 2000 calories in day and it may include ten ounces of starches, and four of vegetables and fruits.

The diabetic food pyramid include the following

1. Starches should be included in the highest quantities which is required for getting energy for doing the everyday work. Starch is found in cereals, grains, pasta and certain vegetables such as potatoes and corn. These products provide carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and fibers. Whole grain starch is considered healthier, and it contains more vitamins and minerals as compared to refined powdered grains. Starches are also found in beans, lentils, potatoes, yams, corn, crackers and tortillas.

2. The second level is of vegetables and fruits which should be taken in adequate amount because diabetic require fiber for proper digestion of food. Vegetables include broccoli, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, pepper, lettuce, celery and cabbage. Vegetables should be included raw or cooked with low fat or sauces. Fat free salads should be prepared to reduce intake of fat. Use herbs and spices on vegetables to get desired flavor and taste. Fruits include bananas, apples, oranges, mangoes, watermelon, peaches, strawberries, blue berries etc. Certain fruits which contain high quantity of sugar and potassium such as banana should be avoided. Fruits containing high amount of minerals should also be avoided because diabetic patients find it difficult to digest such products. Fibrous fruit should be taken which will help in digestion and provide vitamin B and C to the body.

3. The third level in the food pyramid is of milk and meat substitutes. Low fat dairy products should be taken. Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant need four to five serving of milk each day to fulfill the requirement. People suffering from diabetes should take skimmed or fat free milk. Take yoghurt instead of sour cream. Meat and meat substitutes include chicken, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, peanut butter, lamb, turkey and pork.

4. A very low quantity of fat and sweets can be included in the diet. Patients suffering from diabetes should be cautious to buy only whole grain cereals and breads. Take limited amount of high fat or fried starch. You should take fat free pop corn, chips and low fat muffins. Low fat yoghurt and cream can be taken. One should use mustard on sandwich instead of cheese or mayonnaise.

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