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Diabetics Now Have Their Own Food Pyramid!

By Brigitte Goldberg

Diabetics can now follow their own food pyramid thanks to the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association.

The American Diabetes Association helps to educate the public, conducts research and provides information to those suffering from Diabetes. The American Diabetes Association can be found on the web at http://diabetes.org. The American Dietetic Association, or ADA, consists of mostly registered dietitians (people who are experts in nutrition), which helps people to live a healthier life by providing people with information on; supplements (vitamins or minerals taken in addition to a healthy diet), nutrigenetics (research that looks at what you eat, your genes and your lifestyle and then puts all the information together to see how they all interact), nutrigenomics (how certain foods react in certain groups of people), nutritious foods and their safety, aging the healthy way and obesity, especially in children. To learn more about the ADA, the American Dietetic Association, you can visit them on the web at www.eatright.org.

Diabetics require certain foods to be limited or eliminated from their diets. Carbohydrates such as potatoes are listed in the Breads, Grains and other Starches group because when they are broken down in our body they turn into sugar. Diabetics therefore need to limit their intake of potatoes and other starchy vegetables.

There are two other important changes to the Diabetic Food Pyramid. The first one is the change from ½ cup of rice or pasta to 1/3 and ½ cup of fruit juice instead of ¾. These items turn into sugar when you consume it so the amount allowed has been lowered.

The bottom of the pyramid consists of Carbohydrates, Grains and Starches. The bulk of what you want to eat should come from grains such as oats, rye and wheat. It is recommended to have between 6-11 servings of the Grains and Starches group per day. Try to limit your consumption of peas, corn and potatoes as they affect your sugar level once broken down by your body.

On top of the Grains and Starches group you'll find the Vegetables group. Fresh vegetables are preferred as they provide lots of fiber, minerals and vitamins. Three to five servings per day of fresh as opposed to canned vegetables is recommended.

Next we have the Fruits group. Fruits also contain carbohydrates but they also provide minerals, fiber and vitamins as well. Try to stick to fresh fruits as fruit juices and canned fruits can contain added sugars and that's exactly what diabetics don't want in their diet. Two to four servings per day is recommended for the Fruit group.

On top of the Vegetables and Fruit groups you'll find the Milk group. Two to three servings per day of non-fat or low-fat milk products such as yogurt will provide you with the vitamins, calcium and protein that you need.

Next to the Milk group we find a group call Meat and Meat Substitutes. Cheeses have been added to this group due to the amount of protein found in cheeses. Two to three servings per day of either chicken, beef, turkey, eggs, fish, dried beans, tofu, cheese, peanut butter and cottage cheese will provide you with protein, vitamins and minerals.

The last group we encounter located at the top, is the group you should eat the least amount of; the Sweets, Fats and Alcohol group. This group includes all sugary goods, which should not be eaten and if eaten only in a small amount as these foods turn straight into sugar once digested.

Now it is possible for diabetics to lead a normal and productive life. By following the Diabetic Food Pyramid, exercising and following good medical advice, the diabetic has no more need to live in fear. To learn more about the Diabetic Food Pyramid Guide, you can visit www.diabetes-diabetic-diet.com/food_pyramid.htm. To learn more about the American Diabetes Association and what they can do for you, visit them on the web at http://diabetes.org and to learn what the American Dietetic Association can offer you, visit them on the web at www.eatright.org.