Weight Loss Tips for the Diabetic Diet

Diabetes can be prevented or reduced in many instances by dietary management. For people taking oral medications or insulin, the diet needs to be designed by a clinically-trained nutritionist who can balance the physician-prescribed dosage of medication with dietary intake. Since maintaining blood glucose within normal range is key, meals need to be carefully planned.

Did You Know? - Many diabetics eat six small meals each day, rather than the typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner that is recommended for most people. 

Balancing Carbohydrates and Calories

Obtaining enough calories to match energy output is more difficult for children than for adults. Growing bodies need calories.

Look Out For - Sugar intake in breakfast cereals, carbonated drinks, and deserts; all of these (and more) are often higher than necessary in typical American diets. Not only are carbohydrates converted to sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream, but they contribute to calories.  This is especially true in schools, and because "fast food" marketing has often targeted youth. Parents, carefully monitor your child's daily carbohydrate intake. 

For overweight youth, weight loss is a strategy to prevent pre-diabetes from developing into full-blown diabetes; it is also a strategy for reducing the risk of complications. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (of the National Institutes of Health) has created a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator to ascertain the amount of calories needed based on age, weight, and height.

Use of Fiber in Diabetic Diets

The American Diabetic Association recommends increasing fiber content in meals to aid in weight loss, emphasizing whole grains and fresh vegetables.  Although far healthier than ingesting "empty calorie" sugary products, fruits are high in fructose, which is still converted to glucose in the bloodstream. Therefore, fruit intake has to be carefully considered in meal-planning for a diabetic individual.