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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How To Use The Diabetic Food Pyramid

By Hazel Mccoy

You've most probably heard the statement "we are what we eat." This is especially true for diabetic patients whose dietary needs are quite different from the normal necessities of people. Diabetic patients have a difficult time metabolizing sugar. Diabetes, after all, is chronic disease that impairs the body's ability to break down glucose, which in turn compromises the body's ability to produce insulin. Insulin is an important nutrient for the sustenance of the body.

Hence, people who are suffering from diabetes require a special dietary plan. For this purpose, medical professionals have formulated the diabetic food pyramid, a guideline of what kinds of food a diabetic patient should take in. The diabetic food pyramid, many say, is more than just a mere diet plan. It's lifestyle that demands the full commitment and fidelity of the diabetic patient.

How do you use the diabetic food pyramid? Think about the shape of the pyramid, with the top starting at a point, and gradually expanding to the base. The food types at the top of the diabetic food pyramid are the ones that the diabetic patient should take in strict moderation. These are NOT prohibited food. Rather, these are food that are allowed, but should be ingested sparingly. As more food types are introduced once the pyramid goes down to the base, each bigger category will represent food groups that can be taken in larger amounts.

What is the composition of this food pyramid for diabetic patients? Here they are as they appear on the said pyramid, from top to bottom.

Fats and sweets. Fats and sweets can be integrated in a diabetic patient's diet, but in small amounts only. Please bear in mind that fats and sweets should be integrated with, and not added to, an existing diet.

Milk. It is highly recommended that diabetic patients should take in 2 to 3 glasses of milk per day. Choose nonfat varieties as much as possible.

Meat. It is highly recommended that diabetic patients should enjoy only 2 to 3 servings of meat per day. Fish and chicken are advised instead of red meat.

Fruits. It is highly recommended that diabetic patients should take in 3 to 4 servings of fruits per day. Fruits that have high fiber content are preferred over other varieties. Fiber helps the body break down glucose.

Vegetables. 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day will help complement the body's fight against diabetes.

Grains. No less than 6 servings of grains and related products are advised for diabetics. Grains contain a large amount of fiber, which is the most helpful nutrient for diabetic patients.

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