Protein and planning your diabetic meals

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Protein and planning your meals: The vast majority of people in the US eat more protein than the daily recommended amount. The primary sources are meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products like milk and cheese, although a lot of protein comes from the legume vegetables.
Meat products are not equal as sources of protein, with some meats also having a very high fat content. Keeping fat consumption to a minimum should be a primary consideration in any diabetic's diet. Low fat, meat source of protein include skinless chicken and turkey, fish, and fat-free cheeses. Vegetables can be great sources of protein, since they generally do not contain fat. They do however, contain carbohydrates. Limiting protein consumption to within 30% of your diet should be a for anyone suffering from diabetes.

Generally, eating protein does not immediately cause an increase in the blood glucose levels. That said, these levels can rise after several hours, once the liver has processed the protein, converting some of it into glucose. While it makes protein a bad choice for treating low blood sugar levels, protein snacks at night can help prevent low blood sugar until breakfast.

Tying it all together

As established in the preceding two articles, people with diabetes should aim for a dietary breakdown of 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 30% protein. How does this translate to a day to eating plan though?

The US government as come up with a fairly simple way to ensure a balanced diet for anyone, including those suffering from diabetes. The Food Guide Pyramid [], offers personalized eating plan, as well as interactive tools to help anyone plan and properly assess various food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. There is a wealth of nutritional information available, showing how to adapt the pyramid to your individual lifestyle and circumstance.

Recommendations from the pyramid include:

* Eating 3 ounces of grain bread, cereal, crackers, rice or pasta every day

* Eating more dark green vegetables, along with dry beans and peas

* Varying the type of fruit you eat, and having raw fruit instead of fruit juices

* Using low-fat or fat-free milk, and where necessary substituting them with other lactose-free sources of calcium

* Baking or grilling meat instead of deep frying it. Varying consumption, and choosing low fat meats and poultry

The list above is neither exhaustive or detailed, and the website will allow any diabetes sufferer to work out a meal plan that ensures that a healthy diet plays a full part of their fight against the disease. It must be noted that the website does make sometimes make very specific recommendations, to ensure that all micro-nutrients, minerals and vitamins are consumed in sufficient quantities to form a complete diet.