People with diabetes have difficulty properly metabolizing carbohydrate. Monitoring how much carbohydrate you eat is critical for blood sugar control. Different meal planning tools include carbohydrate counting, the plate method and the glycemic index. If you use insulin, calculating how much carbohydrate you eat helps you administer the right dose. Choosing appropriate portion sizes also helps control blood sugar.Check with your doctor or nutritionist to determine the best diet for your health needs.
Carbohydrate breaks down into glucose, which raises blood sugar. Carbohydrate counting is a common diabetic diet method and monitors portions of foods with carbohydrate including grains, potatoes, peas, corn, rice, bread, crackers, pasta, fruit, milk, beans, soy, candy, cookies and soda. The American Diabetes Association recommends 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate at each meal, or three to four servings. Another approach to a diabetic diet is the plate method. For this diet, divide your plate in half. In one half, fill your plate with nonstarchy vegetables. In the other half, divide it in half again and use one side for protein and the other for carbohydrate. Include a side of fruit and dairy. When filling the plate, select foods with low or medium glycemic indexes. The glycemic index focuses on how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar.
Your liver helps regulate your blood sugar. During fasting, it will produce glucose, which can cause your blood sugar to rise. If you’re diabetic, breakfast is an extremely important meal to help break your overnight fast and prevent the liver from producing glucose. Using carbohydrate counting, one breakfast menu includes a piece of whole-grain toast (15 grams of carbohydrate) with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 small banana (30 grams of carbohydrate). A create-a-plate breakfast could be 1 cup of cereal with 8 ounces of milk, one or two eggs, sautéed mushrooms and peppers and a small orange. A breakfast based on the glycemic index could include 1 cup of rolled or steel-cut oatmeal with a sprinkle of raisins and a slice of cheese.
A carbohydrate-counting meal idea could be a lunch meat and cheese sandwich made with whole grain bread (two slices would be 30 grams), small apple (15 grams) and 1 cup of carrot sticks (5 grams). Another idea is 1 cup of chili (30 grams) with five saltine crackers (15 grams). A 6-inch tortilla wrap (15 grams) with 1/3 cup of hummus (15 grams), 1 cup of sliced peppers (5 grams) and chicken strips and a piece of fruit (15 grams) is also a good lunch. A create-a-plate lunch could be half a plate of salad and a pork tenderloin open-faced sandwich with a piece of fruit and plain yogurt. Lunch that would have low glycemic index foods would contain 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat, beans and nonstarchy vegetables.
Diabetics should space their meals throughout the day rather than eat one or two large meals. Large meals will cause your blood sugar to spike, while smaller meals spaced throughout the day can help keep it stable. Meals based on carbohydrate counting could be 1 cup of lasagna (30 grams) with 1 cup of cooked green beans (10 grams) and a slice of bread (15 grams). A create-a-plate dinner could be baked chicken, a small baked potato, half a plate of asparagus or another vegetable, an 8-ounce glass of milk and a piece of fruit. Foods with low glycemic index include sweet potatoes, pasta and 100 percent stone-ground whole-wheat bread.
Sweet Pepper Hash Brown Baked Eggs
- Makes: 8 servings
- Serving Size: 1 egg with pepper ring and 1/2 cup hash browns
- Carb Grams Per Serving: 18
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 20 – ounce package O’Brien-style refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes (such as Simply Potatoes brand)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large green sweet pepper
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce
- 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
- 8 eggs
- Freshly ground black pepper and/or snipped fresh basil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Add potatoes to prepared baking dish. Drizzle oil over potatoes; toss to combine. Spread potatoes evenly in the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Stir potatoes; spread evenly in the baking dish again. Bake for 10 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, slice the sweet green pepper into eight 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick rings. Remove seeds. Remove potatoes from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Arrange pepper rings in two rows on top of the potatoes. Spread 1 tablespoon of the pizza sauce within each pepper ring, then break an egg into each pepper ring. Top each egg with a rounded teaspoon of the shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more or until egg whites are set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.
- If desired, garnish with freshly ground black pepper and/or snipped fresh basil.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Servings Per Recipe: 8
PER SERVING: 179 cal., 7 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 188 mg chol., 491 mg sodium, 18 g carb. (2 g fiber, 2 g sugars), 9 g pro.
Medium-Fat Meat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 0.5
How Much Sugar and Protein Do People With Diabetes Need Daily?
The American Diabetes Association recommends several methods of planning meals for diabetics. Carbohydrate counting requires your to calculate the total carbohydrates in the food she eats each day. Exchange lists group similar foods — carbohydrates, proteins, starches, fats, dairy products, meats and free foods. A carbohydrate exchange, for example, has 15 g of carbohydrates per serving. A dietitian can work with you to determine the number of exchanges of proteins, carbohydrates and sugars you need each day.
Carbohydrates provide 4 calories of energy per gram of food. Simple carbohydrates, including sugar, processed foods, fruits and some vegetables convert quickly into glucose. Complex carbohydrates in dried beans, whole grains and starchy vegetables digest slowly and help to keep your blood sugar even. The average person with diabetes may consume about 45 to 60 g of carbohydrates per meal and needs at least 130 g per day to to provide adequate energy and fuel to the body, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Our bodies do not require sugar or other simple carbohydrates. In fact, many sugary foods provide only empty calories because so they contain so little nutrition. However, if you have diabetes, you need not give up desserts altogether as long as they plan their meals carefully. If you normally eat 45 to 60 g of carbohydrates at each meal, for example, include your fruit or dessert in that total. If you planned meal contains too many carbohydrates, subtract bread, potatoes or other carbohydrate sources to allow for dessert.
Protein sources include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, soy and dairy products. The amount of protein you need each day depends on your weight and the number of calories you eat. The Recommended Daily Allowance is 0.8 mg of protein per kilogram of weight, according to the American Diabetes Association. The acceptable range for protein intake is 10 to 35 percent of total calories, but if you have diabetes, this should not exceed 20 percent of your total calories.
People with type 1 diabetes produce no insulin, so they must take injections every day. Meal planning involves balancing carbohydrate intake, insulin dosage and activity level, according to the National Institutes of Health. People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance, so their bodies cannot convert glucose into energy efficiently. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight are key components of type 2 diabetes. Despite the emphasis on carbohydrate exchanges and carbohydrate counting, calories and fats matter, too, especially for people with diabetes who need to lose weight.
Hearty Vegetable, Bacon, and Quinoa Quiche
- Makes: 6 servings
- Carb Grams Per Serving: 15
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup loosely packed, coarsely chopped fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup sliced, halved leeks
- 4 1/2-ounce slices applewood smoked bacon, crisp cooked and coarsely crumbled (32 slices per pound)
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
- 1 12 – ounce can evaporated fat-free milk
- 2 ounces Gruyere or Havarti cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a deep 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
- Rinse quinoa. Using a rubber spatula, spread quinoa as evenly as possible over the bottom of the prepared pie plate.
- In a medium bowl stir together mushrooms, spinach, leeks, and bacon. Spread mushroom mixture evenly over the quinoa.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, egg product, evaporated milk, shredded cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour into the pie plate (it will be full).
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until set in the center and browned on top.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Servings Per Recipe: 6
PER SERVING: 288 cal., 12 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 163 mg chol., 571 mg sodium, 15 g carb. (1 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 20 g pro.
Starch (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 2.5
Low-Carb Dinner Ideas for Ground Beef
Low-carb diets program can help you lose weight through hormonal control, increased satiety and a reduction in overall calories. Carbohydrates are the sugar molecules in many of the foods you eat. They are found in grains, sugar, fruits and vegetables. The amount of carbs you eat in each meal directly affects your blood glucose levels. For a diabetic, eating a low-carb diet can help aid in blood glucose control, reducing the risks of chronic disease associated with diabetes. For weight loss, less blood sugar means less of the hormone insulin, which works to promote energy and fat storage. Less insulin means you burn more fat. Whatever your reason for seeking low-carb dinner ideas, use ground beef and a few other ingredients you most likely have in your fridge or cupboard to make healthy low-carb meals.
Making a low-carb meatloaf dinner is easy. Instead of using store-bought breadcrumbs, toast a couple of pieces of low-carb bread and put them into a food processor. Most low-carb breads contain just a few carbs per slice. Add flavor to your meatloaf by mixing in vegetables, such as mushrooms, carrots or green beans. Serve your main course with a side of non-starchy, low-carb veggies like some sauteed leafy greens. Non-starchy veggies contain just about 5 g of carbs per 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw.
To make a burger low-carb, skip the bun and wrap your burger in a large lettuce leaf. For an extra kick of flavor, add cheese and tomato into your burger mix, along with your favorite spices. Serve the burger alongside some grilled asparagus, another non-starchy vegetable, or prepare a low-carb coleslaw of cabbage, carrots, mayo and mustard.
Add freshness to your low-carb diet with a pepper that is stuffed with ground beef, seasonings and cheese, then baked. Omit breadcrumbs and top the pepper with low-carb spaghetti sauce. Serve with a tossed salad full of low-carb veggies like lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, topped with a low-carb dressing.
Exchange List for an 1800 Calorie Diabetic Diet
The American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association developed the diabetic exchange diet to help manage weight and blood sugar for the diabetic. The diet divides foods into groups based on similarities in calorie and carbohydrate contents. Food items within each group can be exchanged for one another. The 1,800-calorie diabetic diet is appropriate for active women and men with diabetes. You should consult your doctor before starting this or any other diet plan.
Starches are a major source of carbohydrate in the diet. Diabetics need to control the amount of starch in their diets to help control blood sugar. Whole grains offer a better option than refined grains, so you should consider options carefully. If you follow the 1,800-calorie diabetic exchange diet, you can have 10 starch exchanges a day. A starch exchange is equal to a 1 ounce bagel, half an English muffin, one slice of bread, 3/4 cup of cold cereal, 1/2 cup of peas or corn, 1/2 cup of sweet or white potato, five crackers and 1/3 cup of rice or pasta
Fruits are also a source of carbohydrates in the diet. Diabetics following the 1,800-calorie diabetic exchange diet can have three fruit exchanges a day. A fruit exchange is equal to 1 small apple or orange, 4 ounces of banana, 12 cherries, 17 grapes, 1/2 cup unsweetened canned fruit, 2 tablespoons of dried fruit, 1 cup of melon or 1/2 cup of orange juice. Diabetics should choose whole fruit over the juice because the added fiber in the fruit helps to control hunger and prevents blood sugar spikes.
Milk and Yogurt
Low-fat and fat-free milk and yogurts are recommended for the diabetic to limit their intake of saturated fat, and the risk of heart disease. Two milk and yogurt exchanges are recommended a day on the 1,800-calorie diabetic exchange diet. An exchange is equal to one cup of milk and 6 oz. of plain or diet yogurt.
Meat and Meat Substitutes
Meats are also a source of saturated fat in the diet. Lean meat choices are recommended to limit both fat and calorie intake. You are allowed seven meat exchanges are allowed on the 1,800-calorie diabetic diet. A meat exchange is equal to 1 ounce of beef, pork, poultry or fish, 1/4 cup of cottage cheese or egg substitute and two egg whites.
Non-starchy vegetables are low in calorie and high in nutrition and are an important part of a diabetic diet, says the University of Arkansas. People following the 1,800-calorie diabetic diet can have three vegetable exchanges a day. An exchange is equal to 1 cup of raw or a half cup of cooked vegetable. Non-starchy vegetables include artichokes, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, eggplant and spinach.
People following the low-calorie diabetic diet program can have three fat exchanges a day. Unsaturated fats such as those found in oils and nuts are better choices for heart health. A fat exchange is equal to 1 teaspoon of margarine, butter, oil or mayonnaise, 10 peanuts, 6 cashews, 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise 2 tablespoons of low-fat salad dressing or one bacon strip.
Spinach and Gruyere Quiche
- Makes: 10 servings
- Carb Grams Per Serving: 15
- Baked Oil Pastry
- 3 ounces Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- 2 1/2 cups refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 10 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half or fat-free milk
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Prepare Baked Oil Pastry. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Shred Gruyere cheese; you should have 3/4 cup. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the cheese.
- In a large bowl, beat together remaining cheese, the egg, spinach, half-and-half, thyme, and pepper. Pour egg mixture into Baked Oil Pastry.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved 2 tablespoons cheese. If necessary to prevent overbrowing, cover edge of quiche with foil. Bake about 10 minutes more or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 10 servings.
Baked Oil Pastry
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt. Add oil and milk all at once. Stir lightly with a fork. Form into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, slightly flatten dough. Roll from center to edge into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin; unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch it. Trim pastry 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate; fold under and flute as desired. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 5 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack while preparing filling.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Servings Per Recipe: 10
PER SERVING: 199 cal., 10 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 9 mg chol., 218 mg sodium, 15 g carb. (1 g fiber), 11 g pro.
Starch (d.e): 0.5; Other Carb (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 1.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 1.5
A List of Carbohydrates That You Can Eat When You Are a Type 2 Diabetic
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all known cases of diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation. Type 2 diabetes occurs most often in overweight people over the age of 40. However, it is becoming more prevalent among younger populations with the rise in obesity. Treatment involves diet, exercise and oral medication. Carbohydrates in food have a great impact on blood sugar; knowing what foods contain carbohydrates can help you manage your diabetes.
Starches contain carbohydrates, fiber and B vitamins. A serving of starch contains 80 calories and 15 g of carbohydrate. Examples of starch foods and serving sizes you can eat include 1 slice of bread, 1 oz. of a bagel, 1/2 of an English muffin, a hamburger or hot dog roll, 3/4 cup of cold cereal, 1/2 cup of hot cereal, 5 crackers, 1/2 cup of peas or corn, 1/3 cup of pasta, rice or couscous, 3 oz. baked potato and 3 cups of air-popped popcorn. For better blood sugar control, choose more whole-grain starches. Fiber in whole-grains decreases the rate of digestion allowing for a slower release of sugar into the bloodstream.
Fruits provide carbohydrate, fiber, vitamin C, potassium and folate. A typical serving of contains 60 calories and 15 g of carbohydrate. Fruit choices and serving sizes type 2 diabetics can eat include a small apple or orange, 1 cup of cantaloupe, 2 small plums, 1/2 cup of applesauce, 1 kiwi, 1 medium peach, 1/2 a large pear, 17 grapes, 4 oz. banana, 1/2 cup of unsweetened canned fruit, 2 tbsp. of raisins, 3 prunes, 1/2 cup apple or orange juice and 1/3 cup prune or cranberry juice. Whole fruit makes a better choice than the juice because of its fiber content. In addition to helping control blood sugar, fiber in fruit also helps manage hunger better than the juice.
Milk and Yogurt
In addition to being a good source of calcium and protein, milk and yogurt also contains carbohydrates. Calories in milk and yogurt vary based on the amount of fat, but the amount of carbohydrate stays the same. Low-fat and nonfat milk and yogurt foods make healthier choices than full-fat products and provide 100 calories and 12 g of carbohydrate per serving. Servings include 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of evaporated milk and 2/3 cup of yogurt.
Sweets and Desserts
Monitoring carbohydrate intake allows for greater flexibility in meal planning. Sweets and desserts also contain carbohydrates. As a type 2 diabetic, you can eat these foods in moderate amounts, but a serving should replace a serving of milk, starch or fruit. For better blood sugar control, eat a sweet or dessert with a meal. Calories and carbohydrate content vary. Examples include 2 oz. of angel food cake with 30 g of carbohydrate, a 1 oz. portion of an unfrosted brownie with 15 g of carbohydrate, 3 gingersnap cookies with 15 g of carbohydrate, 1/2 cup of pudding with 30 g of carbohydrate and a 1 oz. muffin with 15 g of carbohydrate.