If you recently learned that you have diabetes, you might feel frightened. You may also worry that you won’t be able to enjoy food anymore. While moms with diabetes must watch their food intake, a number of tasty options are available on diabetic diets. Experts with organizations such as the Mayo Clinic recommend that those with diabetes consider switching to a diet known as the diabetic exchange. This food plan incorporates obvious healthy choices, like grilled chicken, but it also allows treats, such as fried fish. So, your days of food fun at family picnics are far from over; just use caution to protect your health.
You should talk to your doctor before trying the diabetic exchange. She can determine how many calories a day are healthy for your body; this enables you to select the right number of foods in accordance with your health needs. This step is especially essential for pregnant or nursing mothers as well as those with weight problems or other potentially serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.
An exchange simply is a serving of food, according to the Mayo Clinic. For example, your diet might state that you can have eight exchanges of meat or meat substitute in a day. A single exchange, or serving, could be anything from two egg whites to a single hot dog. Likewise, one nonstarchy vegetable serving could be 1 cup raw tomatoes, about 4 oz. vegetable juice or 1/2 cup cooked asparagus.
The diabetic exchange is grouped into different categories of foods, according to the Mayo Clinic. Once you talk to your doctor about the diabetic exchange diet, you will have a better idea of how many exchanges of meat and meat substitute, nonstarchy vegetables, starches, fruits, milk and yogurt and fats you can have in one day. Depending upon your type of diabetes, you may be able to use the existing exchange list for sweets, desserts and other carbohydrates occasionally. Don’t eat sweets or desserts without consulting with your doctor.
All About Those Carbohydrates
You might think that as a diabetic mom, you’ll never again eat toast with your child at breakfast time again. However, this depends upon your doctor’s advice. The diabetic exchange lists include plenty of carbohydrates; one serving in this category could be two slices of low-calorie bread or about a quarter of a bagel. The Mayo Clinic suggests those following the diabetic exchange eat as many whole-grain starches as possible. Your doctor may approve you eating white bread or a bagel, depending upon the nature of your condition.
Foods You Might Not Have To Worry About
The diabetic exchange diet includes a number of “free” foods, according to the Mayo Clinic. Unless your doctor nixes the idea, you can eat as many of such foods as you would like in a day. Free foods include sugar-free gelatin, broth, tea, coffee, club soda, diet soda, salad greens and most seasonings. Typically, free foods consist of about 20 calories and fewer than 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving.
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