5 Common Mistakes When Creating a Diabetic Diet Plan

If you’re a diabetic who’s having some trouble maintaining your blood sugar level at an acceptable level, it’s likely that you’ve heard repeatedly from your doctor about the importance of getting your diet under control.

But we all know that, even with the best of intentions, it’s not so easy to stick to a set diet plan, even if you understand the risk of developing a host of serious health complications that can be caused by diabetes.

What you may not realize is that diabetes actually makes it harder for you to stick to a diet than those without the illness. Why? Because high blood sugar produces numerous symptoms, amongst them, increased hunger.

That’s why it’s important that diabetic persons like what they’re eating. One might think that a diet containing zero sugar would be ideal, but if there is too little sugar in the blood, other problems arise. In this disease, it’s all about the sugar-to-insulin balance.

When creating a diabetic diet plan, here are 5 mistakes that you should try to avoid:

Don’t Trust the Marketing

There are many processed foods out there masquerading as “healthy”. Often, people looking to assuage their hunger while maintaining a reasonably healthy lifestyle will gravitate towards these Trojan Horses that overpopulate grocery store aisles.

A lot of “low-fat” and “fat-free” foods are still chock full of calories and because the person eating them believes they can be eaten with relative impunity, this can lead to overindulging. And just because a food is “organic,” doesn’t mean that it can’t contain a lot of organic sugars! Instead opt for foods that are natural, like fruits, nuts and minimally processed whole grain products or simply…

Don’t Overindulge!

Let’s say you like potato chips. Well, it’s not as though a moderate potato chip indulgence is going to send your system into a tizzy, but eating an entire 16-ounce bag in one sitting is liable to have its deleterious effects.

Why not enjoy a few ounces of potato chips, along with a healthy lunch, a few times a week? Same goes for desserts. Having a huge piece of apple pie is not a good idea. Having a bite or two of your spouse’s, however, will serve to slake those sugar cravings. It’s not always about what you eat, it’s also how much of it you’re taking in.

Sometimes Salads Aren’t Your Friend

Salads can be delicious and may become a staple in your diet – after all, most vegetables are great for diabetes – but be careful what you put in them! Many store bought dressings feature sugar or high fructose corn syrup in their first three ingredients. Also, cheese, while high in nutritional value, is all protein and fat and must be used sparingly. And croutons? Well, you’re upping your carbohydrate intake considerably.

Don’t Deny Yourself Nutrition

Some diabetics reach a point where they believe that little to no food may benefit them. This can lead to serious complications as, if no nutrients are being absorbed, the body resorts to relying on the decomposition of its own stored fat to keep up and things running. This can lead to a lot of different problems, including life-threatening diabetic coma.

Don’t Skimp on the Water

With frequent urination already a problem in some diabetics, many are prone to limiting their intake of water and other liquids. Water intake can actually aid in the reduction of blood glucose. Blood sugar levels rise when one is dehydrated so make sure you have plenty of water on hand. And avoid beverages like soda and juice which contain high amounts of sugar.

Don’t Stop Learning

Diabetes is a complicated disease. It’s only that requires education. The best source of information is your doctor, who knows your entire medical history. Sometimes people make the wrong mistakes when creating their diabetic diet plan because they fail to take into account other serious health issues that they have. Seek medical assistance before making any major changes, and go to regular check-ups to make sure you’re staying on the right track.

As with anything, finding balance is key. Too much or too little of anything can lead to dire consequences.

Josh Weiss-Roessler is a freelancer writer who enjoys covering the topic of dieting for websites like this one, where you can learn how to save $30 on Diet to Go. His mother is a diabetic, so he is very interested in the topic of diabetic diet plans. He also enjoys cooking diabetes-friendly meals for his mother, wife, and son to enjoy together. He hopes that his article helped more families cope better with this illness.

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3.

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