Your Diabetes Diet and Calories

Calories. How are they defined? A calorie is actually an energy unit. Just one calorie that you get from food is the amount of energy that is required to raise temperatures of 1 liter of water. Calories in food provide us with needed energy to breathe, walk, sleep, and go about our daily activities.

Your daily calorie intake that you need as an individual depends on your basal metabolic rate. Sedentary people generally need less since they are more inactive, whereas a physically active person needs more. So in other words, the more active you are, the more calories you can eat, and not gain weight.

How are energy values of food determined? The energy values of food are usually determined by using a chemical test and analysis of recipes which estimates the digestible components. So when you read food labels and wonder how they get this information, this is how it is done.

Nutrients in your food, besides calories themselves determine also whether you will gain or lose weight. You have to have nutrients to keep your body working well. When you reduce your calorie intake for weight loss, it is all the more important to choose the proper food groups for ultimate nutrition.

Your carbohydrates are all found in food that is made from grains. These are typically legumes, dried beans of all types, sugar and syrups, vegetables like corn, fruits, and milk products as well. Your carbohydrate foods is what really gives you the most energy. They also provide you with vitamins and minerals, as well as your fiber source. Because carbohydrates have the larger effect on blood sugar, it ia best to choose carbohydrate selections that are whole grains and have few refined sugars. Grains that are whole minimally processed grains tend to contain more of your fiber.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are better for you. They contain less sugars, fats, and salt than if you buy them canned or processed.

Fiber is another important component for maximum nutrition requirements. It is not only important for daily roughage, but also for the effects on your blood sugar, which is much more positive. High fiber foods also tend to give you a fuller feeling, leaving you more satisfied and without the edge of hunger.

High fiber is good for you in many ways, but do be aware of the calories these foods still contain. It is important to read labels on foods that have been packaged. Though these foods are fat-free or natural, they still may contain a high calorie content.

Your protein is important which is your meats, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, soy products, and dried beans. There has always been a lot of controversy over the amount of protein needed in people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, if a person has normal kidney function with diabetes, there is no reason they cannot consume like everyone else does. The general rule is 2-3 servings per day.

High protein foods do include fat. So therefore, it is important to choose lean cuts of meats over regular cuts.

Your fats are mostly found in nuts, meat and poultry, and dairy products. Many of your snacking foods have a great content of fat too. You want to lower fat, but not cut it out altogether. Your daily allowance of fat aids in digestion, helps your skin, and helps in vitamins D, E, K, and A absorption. And like carbs, intake of fat gives you a more satisfied feeling after you eat a meal.

Fat does contain about twice as many calories per gram than either protein or carbohydrate sources. Raising the level of fat you eat, or lowering it, will probably have an effect on the total calories eaten per day. Fat that is saturated raises LDL,(the bad), cholesterol levels, whereas transfats will both raise LDL cholesterol, and lowers HDL.

People like myself are not aware most of the time, of how many calories they are taking in every day. Even eating something extra or nibbling like I do, is adding more calories than you think. Tracking what you eat, accounting for every bite, helps this habit. Looking at you total intake is beneficial after you have written and down, and even added it up!

Last of all, portion controlling your food at mealtimes and snacking is important! This can make or break you weight loss or gain over the week's time. Loading your plate up with low calorie vegetables helps most of all, and in the end keeps you satisfied for longer in between meals.

Refer back to my article on nutrition.