The perfect diet for diabetics is one that uses the American Diabetes Association's plate method. This method allows you to eat smaller portions of a variety of foods that are healthy for you. Using the plate method, you can still fit in sugary foods as long as they are balanced with healthier choices such as non-starchy vegetables, fruit and protein. Reduce your carbohydrate intake, as carbohydrates raise your blood glucose level. If you require further assistance, a dietitian can help plan out a weekly meal guide and suggest exercises to control your diabetes.
Using the American Diabetes Association's plate method, draw an imaginary line down the middle of your plate. Non-starchy foods are designated to the left half of the plate. These foods are healthy for you because they contain little to no carbohydrates, which means you can consume them in mass amounts without worrying about high blood glucose levels. Non-starchy foods such as vegetables are also very low in calories and provide vitamins and nutrients. These vegetables include dark leafy greens, artichokes, beets, celery, eggplant, beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. Your diet should be mainly vegetables, as they will help the most in reducing blood glucose levels.
For the right half of your plate, imagine another line that splits that side in half. In other words, your plate is now divided into three sections: one large and two small. One of these two small sections on the right side will be used for starchy foods such as complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are considered "good carbohydrates" due to their slow digestion rate and dietary fiber. Dietary fiber reduces cholesterol and prevents constipation. Complex carbohydrates provide energy that is necessary for staying alert throughout the day and is burned off as you engage in physical activity. Complex carbohydrates can be found in whole grain bread, beans, pasta, high-fiber cereal, corn, potatoes, oatmeal and pretzels.
The remaining portion of your plate should be used for meat. Eat lean meats rather than those high in saturated fat, such as red meat. Protein is used for energy and maintains your body by providing nutrition to your hair, nails and muscles. According to the American Diabetes Association, shrimp, clams, crabs and other shellfish are high sources of protein. Eggs, skinless chicken and turkey are also suitable proteins. You should limit yourself to 6 ounces of meat per day.
Fruit contains simple carbohydrates, which means they provide some nutrition but don't fill you up. According to "Diabetes for Dummies," you should eat three to four servings of fruit daily. Blueberries, strawberries, apples, bananas, oranges and peaches are just a few fruits that provide vitamins A, C, D and E.