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Planning Healthy Meals

Planning Healthy Meals

You should talk to your health care provider before beginning any new meal plan, and ask your health care provider to refer you to a Certified Diabetes Educator or a Registered Dietitian to create a meal plan just for you. They can help show you how many calories and carbohydrates you should eat at each meal based upon your age, weight, activity level, glucose level and other individual factors such as medications. When you have diabetes, a good balance of the right foods combined with regular exercise and taking your medications as prescribed can help you feel better and stay healthier. Eating well takes practice, discipline and planning ahead. Even if you have diabetes, you can still eat many of the foods you love, but less often, and in smaller serving sizes. By eating smaller servings, you can help gain control over your blood sugar levels (blood glucose levels). When planning your meals, create a meal plan that helps keep your weight on track, fits into your schedule, and improves your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Eating healthy is important for everyone, even if you don’t have diabetes.  A healthy meal plan includes:

  • Eating a wide variety of foods to get the vitamins and minerals you need as well as the energy
  • Checking the food label for carbohydrate, sodium and other nutritional information
  • Eating whole grains (most adults and teenagers should eat 6 to 11 servings per day)
  • Eating a variety of vegetables (most adults and teenagers should eat 3 to 5 servings per day)
  • Eating fruits  (most adults and teenagers should eat 2 to 4 servings per day)
  • Eating low-fat or fat-free dairy products (most adults and teenagers should eat 2 to 3 servings per day)
  • Limiting foods that are high in Cholesterol, Saturated fat, Trans fat and Sodium ( most adults and teenagers need about 4 to 6 ounces of meat or meat substitutes per day).

Remember,  consult with  your health care provider or a Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetic Educator to help create a meal plan that is just for you. You can find a Certified Diabetic Educator through the American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org.

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