Sample 2000 Calorie Diabetic Menu
- The following menu will maintain not only low caloric intake, but low glucose levels to help manage diabetic neuropathy.
BREAKFAST: 2 slices whole wheat toast, 4 tsp. natural peanut butter, 1 banana and 8 oz. of 1 percent milk.
LUNCH: a small salad consisting of lettuce, radish, cucumber, 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2 cup green pepper (diced) with 3/4 cup tuna fish packed in water and 1 tbsp. low-fat ranch salad dressing. Top it off with 10 small green olives. 12 soda crackers (unsalted tops), 1 peach and water or sugar-free beverage.
DINNER: 6 oz. sirloin steak (with the fat trimmed), 1/2 cup cooked onions and 1/2 cup cooked mushrooms, 1 tsp. canola oil to saute the onions and mushrooms for topping steak, 1/2 cup cooked spinach, 1 large baked sweet potato (approximately 9 oz.), 2 tbsp. sour cream (optional) and water or sugar-free beverage.
SNACK: 1/2 cup strawberries.
Why Add Carbs?
- Why would a diabetic diet include carbs when carbs turn into sugar in the bloodstream? Actually the diabetic diet requires the intake of complex carbs. Complex carbohydrates do not cause a spike in blood sugar because they are digested slower than regular carbs and they make you feel full faster. About 50 percent of the diabetic diet should consist of complex carbohydrates like those found in whole grains, including whole grain breads, brown rice and beans, potatoes (particularly sweet potatoes) and fruits and vegetables.
Keeping a Good Balance
- Meat, dairy, poultry, fish and healthy fats along with carbohydrates (nuts, breads, pasta, rice and potatoes), green leafy vegetables and fruits should all be included in the diabetic diet. The American Diabetes Association has established guidelines for the diabetic diet to include the following:
Choose a variety of foods that are nutrient-dense from the basic food groups.
Eat fruits and vegetables that are fiber-rich.
Diabetics should have 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit daily.
At least half the grains in a diabetic diet should be whole grains.
Minimize the amount of saturated fats and trans fatty acids consumed by choosing lean meats and poultry, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
Eat fewer than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
Diabetic nephropathy is the term used to describe kidney damage caused by the progressive effect of diabetes Roughly 25 to 40 percent of individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes also suffer from nephropathy's effects. Approximately five to 15 percent of non-insulin-dependent diabetes patients also suffer this form of kidney damage. As with other diabetes complications, dietary control is an important factor in limiting the damage caused by diabetic nephropathy.
o According to the Cleveland Clinic, if you suffer from diabetic nephropathy, the definitive marker of your condition is the presence of abnormally high amounts of the blood protein albumin in your urine. This condition is known as macroalbuminruria. Your doctor may also detect other signs of kidney degradation, including abnormal results of tests that measure your ability to excrete certain waste products in your urine. As your kidney damage worsens, you may experience symptoms including high blood pressure (hypertension), swelling in your ankles or legs, itching, weakness, decrease in your red blood cells (anemia), nausea, vomiting and an increase in urination, especially at night.
o Diet affects the progress of your diabetic nephropathy in two main ways. First, your condition can make you extremely sensitive to sodium, and your daily sodium intake can have serious effects on your level of hypertension. Minimizing your daily sodium can help you meet hypertension goals set by your doctor, and can also significantly lower your risk for stroke. Additional benefits include decreases in any abnormal enlargement of your heart muscle caused by hypertension (a condition called left ventricular hypertrophy), as well as a decrease in the protein in your urine. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic recommend a daily sodium intake of 2.3 grams or lower.
o Excess protein consumption can also worsen the effects of your diabetic nephropathy. This is true because the breakdown of proteins in your body creates a relatively large amount of waste that must be excreted through your urine. When added to the excessive protein content in your urine triggered by nephropathy, large amounts of dietary protein can potentially increase your rate of kidney degradation. To keep your nephropathy under control, you may need to lower your protein intake to a daily range between 0.8 grams for every kilogram of your body weight and 0.6 grams per kilogram. You may also need to avoid the use of any protein supplement products. Consult your doctor for specific guidelines on protein restriction.
o Beyond the particular dietary requirements of diabetic nephropathy, you will also need to follow a general dietary plan to manage your diabetes. In particular, you will need to eat a combination of carbohydrates, fat and protein that allows you to properly control the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. If you take insulin to treat your diabetes, you may need to adjust your daily insulin dosages based on your food intake. Consult your doctor for the details of food's value to diabetes and insulin use. You may also consult a nutritionist for help in proper meal planning and sodium and protein control.