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The number of people suffering from diabetes is increasing the world over. Therefore, it has become important to keep the sugar level and increasing weight under check. There is a three way program, which will have to be implemented for the same. Exercise, diet and medication makes up for the three way program. In this write up, we will concentrate on the diet part.

A minimum of a 1200 calories diet for the day is recommended for keeping sugar levels under check and for a safe and healthy weight loss. This diet plan provides the necessary nutritional intake required for most individuals, at the same time it aids in weight loss. There is a misconception amongst people, that the lesser you eat the more weight you lose. This can be true for the first couple of days, eventually your body does not lose weight, instead you start piling up kilos. This diabetic diet restricts the intake of calories, but ensures that there is no compromise on the nutritional value of food.

Diet Plan

When one talks about a diet plan for diabetics, there are certain pointers which must be adhered to, so that the said diet plan is works effectively. The carbohydrates in the diet play the crucial role as far as fluctuation of the blood sugar level in the body goes. Therefore, it is important that the carbohydrates are well distributed throughout the day, so that it does not cause a huge amount of fluctuation with the blood sugar levels. About half the diet should consist of carbohydrates, while fats and proteins should make up for 30% and 20% of the diet respectively. In other words, you will have to be careful and have a balanced meal consisting of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in each of your main meals.

I will not chalk out a diabetic diet menu for you here. Instead, I will give you the options you can choose for your various meals. This will leave you with many more options and at the same time, you will not get bored of your chalked out diet.

Breakfast
Often, it is seen that people skip breakfast in an attempt to either lose weight or to get to work in a hurry. This practice should be avoided at all costs. It is the first meal of the day, after fasting all through the night and therefore, should not be skipped. Carbohydrates have to be consumed for breakfast, so that you have enough energy to carry you through the day and prevent you from binging. Your breakfast should consist of:
  • 1 cup skimmed milk with 1% fat, which is equivalent to low fat milk.
  • You can choose to have either bran flakes, wheat bread, multi-grain bread, oatmeal, waffle, whole grain cereals of your choice or rice.
  • Also include a fruit for fiber.
  • You can also consume tea or coffee without sugar, as per your liking, although you may choose to forgo it.
Mid Morning Snack
For mid morning snack, choose a fruit. You will get fiber from the fruit, thus keeping you relatively full till lunch time. Do not forget to have your mid morning snack. It is often observed that people who skip their mid morning snack and then binge during lunch end up adding those extra pounds.Your choice of fruit can be an apple (with the skin), a pear, an orange, a sweet lime or a bowl of watermelon.

Lunch
Although you may be busy during lunch hours, it is not a ticket to skip lunch. Remember every meal has its importance in the diet plan. Your lunch can consist of:
  • Baked chicken or a piece of ham or fish rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids like salmon or tuna.
  • A salad consisting of cucumber, lettuce leaves, tomato or celery and a slice of bread.
  • You can choose to make a sandwich using multi-grain bread or wheat bread.
  • The alternative to bread can be half a cup of rice with vegetables.
  • The other healthy alternative can be tortillas with black beans, which will help you to have an appropriate balance of carbohydrates and proteins.
  • You can also add 2 teaspoons of low fat mayonnaise or two ounces of low fat cheese to your salad or your sandwich.
  • If you are not up for the regular lunch items, then you can substitute the regular carbohydrate options with a baked potato as well.
Late Afternoon Snack
This is often the time, when most people lose track of their diet and end up binging on calorie rich fast food items. Therefore, do not forget to carry something with you for this particular meal.
  • As before there's nothing like substituting a snack for a fruit.
  • If you are not really up for a fruit, you can choose to munch on about 5 almonds or ground nuts or walnuts.
  • The other variation is to have low fat yogurt.
  • A simple alternative could be sparkling water with lemon.
Dinner
Dinner is often very similar to lunch, but it is important that it is consumed at the right time as well and not late into the night.
  • To get your share of proteins, you can have boiled, roasted chicken breast (skinless) or turkey, baked cod or fish such as tuna.
  • Half cup broccoli or french beans steamed or sautéed in little olive oil.
  • Now toss up a nice salad consisting of cucumber, lettuce, onions and tomatoes with vinaigrette or any low fat dressing of your choice.
  • Oh! have we forgotten the carbohydrates? Yes indeed we have. You can have a slice of bread or one third to half cup cooked rice or pasta or a baked jacket potato is also a great option.
Bedtime
Have a cup of skimmed milk just before you go to bed. If you feel hungry, you can select a fruit such as an apple or may be a pear.

The 1200 calorie diabetic diet ensures that you do not go hungry at any point of time. This diet stops you from over-stuffing in any one meal. The diet has a healthy combination of proteins, carbohydrates, fat and fiber. Once you start on the diet for the first few days you will feel very hungry. At such times, you can choose to have a cup of green tea without sugar or low fat yogurt without sugar, or even a fruit whenever you please. Enjoy healthy eating!