The Diabetic Food Pyramid is divided into six groups. The pyramid may have varying sections or groups. These groups vary in size. The largest of the groups include grains, beans and starchy vegetables. This group is at the bottom of the pyramid. This only suggests that you should eat more servings of grains, beans, and starchy vegetables than of any other food. The smallest group in Diabetic Food Pyramid contains fats, sweets and alcohol. This comes at the top of the Diabetic Food Pyramid. Again it is only suggestive that you should have very few servings from these food groups.
How can manage a proper diet
Diabetes requires you to maintain a proper diet. A diabetic patient should eat fewer fats and sweets. There are saturated fats in animal products like hamburgers, cheese, bacon and butter. These types of food should be avoided by diabetic patients. For those who want to have sweets sometimes then make them a part of the Diabetic Food Pyramid and not as something extra. The range of servings in the Diabetic Food Pyramid has a minimum of 1600 calories and a maximum of 2800 calories. If you are very active then you can have in the middle of the high end of the range. The exact number of helpings that you require depends on your diabetes goals, and calorie and nutrition need. Your lifestyle and the kind of food that you like to eat also largely make up for the diet habits of a diabetic patient.
An important tip from the Diabetic Food Pyramid would be that the number of servings that one should eat must be divided among the meals and snacks a patient eats each day. The Diabetic Food Pyramid groups food based on its carbohydrate and protein content instead of its classification as a food item. At the base of the Diabetic Food Pyramid are bread, cereal, rice and pasta. This group of food contains mostly grains such as wheat, rye and oats. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas and corn also belong here in this group. These have about as much carbohydrate in one serving as a slice of bread.
Vegetables are usually low in fat content and are often a good choice to include in your meals. You can even have them as low-calorie snacks. These are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. This group in the Diabetic Food Pyramid includes spinach, chicory, sorrel, Swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peas, and lima beans are counted in the starch and grain group for diabetes meal planning.
The third layer of the Diabetic Food Pyramid contains fruits which may also contain carbohydrates. Fruits have a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fruits may include blackberries, cantaloupe, strawberries, oranges, apples, bananas, peaches, pears, apricots, and grapes. Milk contains a lot of protein and calcium as well as many other vitamins. You can choose a low-fat or low-fat dairy product. The pyramid recommends that this group should be taken in 2 to 3 servings a day.
The fourth stage in Diabetic Food Pyramid includes meat products or meat alternatives. These are required for the essential proteins that they provide to the body. Lean red meat, chicken, or fish are the preferred choice of the pyramid. 6 ounces of protein a day is adequate. The last stage of the Diabetic Food Pyramid includes fats, sweets and alcoholic drinks. Candy, cakes and ice cream are also included here. These should be taken in only as a treat and occasionally.
Read also: Vegetarian Food Pyramid: Types and Benefits