Diabetic Vegetarian Diet
A diabetic vegetarian diet can create food imbalances, weaken physical strength, and hinder progress towards optimal diabetes control.
Your dietary choices could leave you unprotected against the damaging effects from high blood sugar.
The reason for this is simple...not enough protein. Vegetarian-based diets lack the amount of protein necessary for optimal diabetes control.
In reality, most diabetic diets don't provide enough protein. This includes the American Diabetes Association's recommendation.
You can learn why the ADA is wrong in the table below. Or just click here to jump to the tips for increasing protein in your diet.
|What You Need to Know|
|It's important that a diabetic diet provides the correct ratio of calories from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that optimizes blood sugar control.|
The American Diabetes Association conducted population-based studies and concluded that the most protective ratio of calories was 60% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and 20% fats.
The ADA launched a major campaign in 2004 to educate diabetics on the correct ratio of calories. By 2008, approximately 75% of diabetics were following the ADA's recommendation.
But this begs the question...why are most diabetics still uncontrolled? The answer...the ratio is wrong!
Studies show that a higher percent of dietary protein is needed. Lean protein improves blood sugar control in three ways:
The end result of higher protein intake is less insulin resistance...the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
- Prevents excess glucose production by the liver.
- Increases the resting metabolic rate.
- Improves body composition (less body fat & more lean muscle)
Tips for Increasing Protein Intake
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How can you improve your diabetic vegetarian diet? By increasing the amount of protein in your diet. A better ratio of calories is 50% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 20% fats.
Here's how you can increase protein intake without compromising your vegetarian diet:
- Protein Shakes--rice, soy, and nectar are good vegetarian-based protein shakes. On average, 1 serving provides between 30-40 grams of protein.
- Legumes, Nuts & Grains--This group provides between 5-15 grams of protein/serving. The best legumes are chick peas, garbanzo, and lentils. The top nuts are almonds and brazil nuts. The best grains are amaranth and buckwheat.
- Vegetable Proteins--The two vegetables with the highest amount of protein are spirulina and lima beans. Additional choices include artichokes, avocado, and brussels sprouts
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