In a sample diabetic diet 2000 calories should suffice according to the American Diabetes Association. The exchange system consist food categories like meat, vegetables, milk, fruits, and starch. All foods in individual categories contain equal amounts of calories. Therefore any food in a particular category can be exchanged with another food from the same category. A 2000 calorie diabetic diet can be broken down into 50% carbohydrate, 30% fat, and 20% protein.
Foods that are high in carbohydrates are the ones which raise the blood sugar levels (milk, sweets, starch, sugars and fruits). If an individual is on insulin counting carbohydrate intake is helpful as it helps one regulate the calorie intake. An individual would need more insulin if he or she consumes high amounts of carbohydrates as sugar levels would be high after the meal. However, doctor’s consent before adjusting the insulin dose is recommended. In the exchange system carbohydrate counting allows the individual to be a little flexible. The carbohydrate present in listed foods like starch, milk and fruits is the same 15 grams in a single serving. If while following a 2000 calorie diet which consists of 50% carbohydrate we intake 14 servings in the entire day, the blood sugar can be can maintained at a steady level by evenly spreading the servings throughout the day. For good results an individual must space out the carbohydrate servings into three different meals everyday. Another important point to remember is that blood sugar levels can be effectively controlled if the carbohydrates also have high fiber content.
Foods that have more of protein and fats should be taken carefully if on a carb counting system. One can easily exceed the limit of 2000 calories if substantial quantities of proteins are a consumed thus causing weight gain. All packaged foods have labels listing carbohydrate content that help us determine the carbohydrate count. Our calorie intake or sugar levels do not get affected if more fiber is consumed as our body does not absorb it.
Here is a sample 2000 calorie diet menu
Breakfast: ¾ cup cereal, Skim milk, 1 whole wheat toast, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, ½ grapefruit, Tea or coffee.
Lunch: ½ cup carrots, ¼ cup tomatoes, ¼ cup cucumber, 1 6-inch pita bread, 1 apple and skim milk.
Dinner : 4 ounces salmon with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/ 2 cup broccoli, I cup brown rice, ½ cup zucchini, 11/4 cup strawberries.
Snack 1: 6 ounces low fat yoghurt, 3 wheat crackers.
Snack 2: 1 cup cantaloupe, ½ a granola bar.
Following this diet not only helps you regulate your sugar level but also helps you maintain your weight. You may consult a dietitian to chalk out an individual diet plan. The dietitian will chalk out a diet plan based on your nutrient needs, choices, and lifestyle.