Diabetic cooking: basic guidelines for low-carbohydrate cooking
Here you'll find valuable information on diabetes and low-carbohydrate foods for the diabetic. Also included is information on the glycemic index and response.

Cooking for a diabetic can be challenging since it is necessary to watch the amount of carbohydrates consumed in the course of a day. Before contemplating ways to cut carbohydrates in the diet, it is first necessary to understand the types of diabetes and why a diet low in carbohydrates is essential.

There are two specific types of diabetes. “Type 1” diabetes, or insulin dependent diabetes, more often affects kids and younger adults. Only 10% of all cases of diabetes fall into this category. People afflicted with this form of diabetes must take daily injections of insulin because their pancreas produces very little insulin, if any at all.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are extreme unsatisfied thirst, increased hunger, frequent urination, abnormal fatigue, physical weakness, unexplained weight loss, irritability, vomiting, and nausea.

“Type 2” diabetes does not require the use of insulin. In this case, the pancreas produces insulin, but the cells of the body cannot properly use the insulin. The cells are considered insulin resistant.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are numbness or tingling in the feet, blurred vision, skin infections, slow healing sores, and unusual itching.

Eating a proper diet and exercising can usually keep type 2 diabetes under control. Some people are prescribed medications to help their bodies make use of the insulin they are producing.

Type 1 diabetes can be kept in check by eating regular meals, controlling weight, and with plenty of exercise. Those with type 1 diabetes should consume carbohydrates in accordance to the amount of insulin they are prescribed. Naturally occurring carbohydrates are an important part of the diabetic diet. Carbohydrates are necessary for energy, and they provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and water.

A diabetic who is not overweight should get half of their daily calories from natural carbohydrates. Those who need to lose weight should limit their intake of carbohydrates to 40 percent of their daily diet.

Some foods containing carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, milk, breads, pasta, and cereal. Candy and other sweets also contain carbohydrates and should be eaten in moderation. Those items should also be limited because they contain a high number of empty calories.

The glycemic index can be very helpful for diabetes watching their carbohydrate intake. It provides valuable information on the speed at which carbohydrates are digested, and it also indicates how much blood glucose levels are likely to rise. This is known as the “glycemic response”.

Diabetics watching their carbohydrate intake should eat foods that have a lower glycemic response. Doing so will help keep blood glucose levels even and properly maintained. They are typically digested slower and therefore absorbed slower by the body. Examples of slower acting carbohydrates are whole-grain cereals, seeds, nuts, pasta, Basmati rice, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, yogurt, milk, soy products, dried beans, lentils, and peas. Foods to avoid are white rice, white potatoes, candy, and beverages containing sugar, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, ripe bananas, and low-fiber cereal.

Diabetics should consume smaller more frequent meals. Doing so will also help keep glucose levels evenly maintained.

Those with type 1 diabetes should eat 3 balanced meals and 3 nutritious snacks over the course of a day. Those with non-insulin dependent, or type 2 diabetes should eat 3 healthy meals a day and avoid snacking.

Talk to your doctor or dietician to obtain a specific diet plans, basic guidelines, and low-carbohydrate
recipes that are tailored to fit your individual needs.