Diabetes patients must be wary of their caloric intake, as well as their overall sugar and carbohydrate intake, to ensure that their insulin levels are properly balanced. Maintaining a diet of no more than 1800 calories a day helps to ensure that diabetics can maintain better control of their blood sugar levels and assist in losing weight.
Diabetes is a genetic disorder in which the affected person's body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar levels because of the body's inability to secrete insulin. Typically, blood sugar levels increase after consuming food, and a normal functioning body regulates this increase in blood sugar by producing insulin. This is not the case for diabetics. In turn, a heavily regulated diet as well insulin shots are necessary to reduce the symptoms of diabetes, which may include passing out and insulin shock, which can lead to death.
The 1800 Calorie Diet
Simply, the 1800 calorie diet restricts diabetic patients to no more than 1800 calories of food a day. Within this diet is a further regulation of sugars and carbohydrates, which tend to be high in glucose or blood sugar. The main purpose of an 1800 calorie diet is to maintain the person's ideal body weight. People with diabetes have difficulty regulating blood sugar, so it tends to lead to increases in body weight, which can lead to additional long-term complications related to obesity.
In general, the ideal weight for women begins at 100 pounds for a 5-foot woman, adding 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet, and a 10 percent increase for women with wider frames. For men the ideal weight begins at 106 pounds for a 5-foot man, adding 6 pounds for every inch over 5 feet. The 1800 calorie diet ensures this ideal body weight.
When you follow the 1800 Calorie diet, your carbohydrates should make up no more than 50 percent of your daily calories. Diabetics should avoid products with refined sugar--typically any processed sweets or candy. You can count carbohydrates very simply. One serving of starch, fruit or milk, contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates, and three servings of vegetables is about 15 grams. For example, a cup of 1 percent milk is a serving. Each gram of carbohydrates is about 4 calories, making one serving of carbohydrates about 60 calories. On the 1800 calorie diet, you should consume no more than 15 servings, or 225 grams, of carbohydrates.