Diabetes Diets, Meal And Menu Planning
Menus for Diabetics Based on the Diabetes Food Pyramid
Menus for diabetics (Visit my website for a FREE 3 Day Meal Plan) are based on something called the Diabetes Food Pyramid. The very nature of the disease called diabetes is that the body is unable to process carbohydrates effectively. The American Diabetic Association or ADA has created guidelines to follow when planning effective diabetic menus called the Diabetes Food Pyramid. Using the pyramid guidelines makes choosing good foods for diabetics much simpler.
What does the Diabetes Food Pyramid look like?
As the name pyramid suggests, it is divided up into six generalized groups or categories of good food choices for diabetics with the largest group or category being the base of the pyramid and the small group of food choices at the very top of the pyramid. Creating effective diabetes menu plans takes a detailed knowledge of the nutritional elements of foods and how they will interact with other foods in the body, especially in the body of those who have issues with insulin levels.
Using the ADA Food Pyramid simplifies making good food choices without needing an extensive knowledge of nutrition. With all the food groups taken into consideration, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, the best possible food choices are there at a glance. The foundation of the pyramid and the second tier are comprised of those foods which can be eaten in the largest quantities. The closer to the top the layers go the fewer amounts of these foods should be eaten.
Good Foods for Diabetics from the Diabetes Food Pyramid guidelines:
Foundation of the pyramid:
The objective here is to limit bad choices of foods while insuring that there is sufficient nutrition in the daily eating plan. The bottom of the pyramid is for grains and for starches which is basically just another way of saying carbohydrates. This is the grains and starches food group. These are the staples of the food chain. These consist of pasta, oats, rye, wheat, rice, cereal and basically any foods that contain whole grains. Vegetables with starch are also included like peas, corns and potatoes. These are carbohydrates that will be absorbed into the system as sugar very quickly but contain nutritional value.
Second layer of the pyramid:
The second layer of the pyramid consists of two food groups; the rest of the vegetables on one side and fruits of all sorts on the other. These are a combination of carbohydrates. Some will take a while to be absorbed as sugar in the system and others will be absorbed quickly. These food choices are rich in nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.
Third layer of the pyramid:
This layer is for proteins of all types including dairy and meats (beef, fish and poultry), meat substitutes, dry beans, eggs and nuts. Any milk, yogurt and cheese selections need to be low fat and any meats need to be lean cuts. The skin and fat from meats should be avoided. This layer provides the protein that is necessary for good health. The milk, yogurt and cheese are a food group and the meats, beans, eggs and nuts are another food group making this layer two food groups. The milk group provides calcium plus protein and essential vitamins. This layer provides a good quantity of vitamins, minerals and important proteins.
Forth layer or top of the pyramid:
This is the top of the pyramid containing the food group with fats, oils and sweets. These foods need to be eaten very sparingly with saturated and trans-fats avoided altogether. Obviously foods containing large amounts of sugar should be avoided on a diabetic diet plan because the insulin in the body is not able to handle large amount of sugar at one time.
The most important aspect in using the Diabetes Food Pyramid for creating menus for diabetics is to choose more foods from the first and second layers while paying close attention to portion control.
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2015--Goals vs. Resolutions: Making the Change to Achievable
Goals vs. Resolutions: Making the Change to Achievable
Every year on the New Year, without fail, a craze sweeps the nation. What will be your New Year’s resolution? What big, epic change are you going to make?
Come January, everyone is scrambling to join a gym, start a weight loss program, or begin a strict new diet. According to statisticsbrain.com, losing weight was the number one resolution made for 2012, with “staying fit and healthy” not far behind. Of all the people that made resolutions, health related or otherwise, only 8% of people achieved their resolutions.
If so many people are making these grand resolutions to better themselves or achieve something, why are the vast majority of these people failing to meet those objectives?
Maybe because making a resolution is really just a fad, no one really expects you to follow through. It’s almost expected for you to fail, like its part of the tradition. If there is something you truly want to accomplish, whether it is weight loss or health related or something else entirely, skip the fads and make realistic goals instead.
A resolution is something you decide to do for a limited amount of time that can be easily forgotten or given up. A goal is something you strive for. Goals are fixed end-points that you work toward. If you slip up and fall off the wagon, your goal is still there waiting for you.
How to make your resolutions into realistic goals:
Think first about your desired end result.
Often, a resolution can be large and outlandish. Modify what you really want into something that is actually achievable. Instead of “losing 100 pounds”, think “eat healthier, exercise and accomplish a healthier weight”. If you get too far ahead of yourself, you can quickly get overwhelmed and ultimately give up.
Break your ultimate outcome into a series of realistic goals.
Give yourself a schedule of small goals to reach. For example, “lose one pound a week” or “attend an exercise class twice a week”. Small goals will help you keep track of your accomplishments rather than highlighting how far you might have left to go. Small, achievable goals will help you stay motivated.
Make yourself a schedule.
Write down what you plan to do to meet your goals and stick to the plan. For example, write down which days you plan to take that exercise class so you have no excuses for not making time in your schedule. Write other things down too, like what you plan to get at the grocery store, and stick to it. Making lists and sticking to them will help you stick to healthier foods, especially if you are focusing on specific diet goals like high fiber or low sodium.
Share your plan with others.
When you are working hard to achieve your goals, let your friends and family be your cheerleaders. Explain to them what goals you have made for yourself, and share with them when you have met each goal. This will not only help you stay motivated, but will let others know how serious you are about meeting your goals so they do not accidentally tempt you to veer from the path.
Goals and resolutions might seem very similar, but they are actually truly different concepts. Resolutions are easily given up on and have no real structure. But if you transform your resolution into a goal, and make that goal something achievable, you can set yourself up for success.
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Blood Pressure Measurements
Keeping track of your blood pressure is an important and necessary part of a healthy lifestyle. Blood pressure refers to the pressure at which your circulatory system is pumping blood through your body. Especially if you have a history of irregular blood pressure, your doctor might recommend that you check and record your blood pressure measurements on a regular basis.
A blood pressure reading that is too high or too low can be detrimental to your health. A measurement that is too high, called hypertension, can put you at risk for major health traumas such as a heart attack or stroke. Blood pressure that is too low, called hypotension, can be an indicator that blood is not pumping sufficiently to your organs and can cause dizziness, fainting, and even death.
With advancements in medical technology, checking your blood pressure is as easy as pushing a button. Electronic cuffs that can be used around any part of your arm, even your wrist, make taking your blood pressure by yourself super simple. The numbers come up digitally in a matter of seconds, assuring little to no guess work.
It can be overly easy to just take your blood pressure and write the numbers down, but it is important to understand the numbers you are keeping track of.
Blood pressure measurements come in two parts- a top number and a bottom number. The top number is called the systolic, and the bottom number is called the diastolic.
The top number, or systolic number, is the measurement of the pressure of your blood through the arteries when the heart beats.
You generally want your systolic reading to be 120mmHg or lower. A systolic reading of 140mmHg-170mmHg is an indicator of high blood pressure and should be reported. A reading of over 170mmHm is an indicator of a potentially life threatening cardiovascular event, and medical attention should be sought immediately.
While there is no specific “danger zone” for low blood pressure, you typically do not want to have a systolic blood pressure reading of less than 60mmHg. If you get a reading that is much lower than 60mmHg, especially if accompanied by dizziness or fainting, you should contact your doctor.
The bottom number, or diastolic number, is the measurement of the pressure of your blood through your arteries in between heartbeats. It is during this time that the heart is filling up with blood to be pumped through your body during the next heart beat.
An optimal diastolic blood pressure reading is 80mmHg or lower. Readings between 90mmHg and 100mmHg are indicative of hypertension, especially when combined with a high systolic reading. If your diastolic reading is 110mmHg or above, you should contact a doctor immediately as this is an indicator of a potentially life threatening condition.
A diastolic blood pressure reading of less than 60mmHg can be an indicator of low blood pressure, but again there is no set number for a reading that is too low. If your diastolic blood pressure measurement is lower than 50mmHg, contact your physician.
Keeping up with your blood pressure measurements is important, but so is understanding what the measurements mean. You could potentially save your own life by knowing when a blood pressure measurement is too high or too low.
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