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Diabetes and The Plate Method

By Marianne Tetlow
 
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try using the plate method if you have diabetes
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One of the treats of managing life with diabetes is the new methodology to controlling blood glucose levels (BG).

Diabetics now have the ability to eat anything they choose, as long as they administer enough insulin or medication to take care of the carbohydrate count.

I have enjoyed this option, but find it doesn’t always benefit my health.

When I was initially diagnosed, I was told to eat in balance. I was ordered to eat a balanced amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, milk and vegetables.

This has worked at times, but I have other eating strategies that have been more beneficial to both my BG control as well as my overall health.

Part of the trick in managing tight BG control is to keep it from fluctuating. The fewer fast-acting carbohydrates or simple carbohydrates I consume, the less my BG peaks.

Therefore, the less insulin I have to administer to correct it and the risk of over compensating and then dropping to a hypoglycemic level BG is less. I am not an advocate of not eating any carbohydrates.

I like to use the “plate method,” dividing up your plate into fourths.

I recommend 2/4 of your plate be filled with non-starchy vegetables. These provide you with many of the vitamins, nutrients and fiber that your body needs.

These do not raise your BG level as fast and require less insulin. I also recommend making 1/4 of your plate a lean protein source. This also limits the impact on BG.

I recommend that the last 1/4 be made up of complex carbohydrates. These will raise BG levels, but provide some balance and usually some fiber.

As a type one diabetic, I also usually consume milk and fruits, but in limited quantities. Eating with the “plate method” has lowered my overall BG and improved other areas of health such as weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.

However, as a Type 1, it is impossible to get my BG to a stable number and permanently keep it there.

I exercise and I occasionally get low BG or hypoglycemic. If I do inject more insulin than needed I might get low BG. I would then eat a piece of fruit or a yogurt.

I manage to incorporate these foods in on an “as needed” basis.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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