How many times in your life have you been told to eat a healthy diet? Just about every doctor and certainly every mother says this at one time or another, but what is a healthy diet? Do either your doctor or mother really know? And, is a healthy diet for someone with diabetes the same as a healthy diet for someone without?
Well sort of.
A healthy diet is one that provides adequate nutrition without giving you too many calories, too much fat, protein or, in the case of diabetes, too much carbohydrate.
A healthy diet also provides nutrients, vitamins and minerals that help protect against various illnesses. It even provides enough water for your body to remain in good working order.
What about carbohydrates? Aren't they good for you? Aren't fruits and vegetables made of carbohydrates? What's the deal with carbohydrates and diabetes anyway?
For a person with diabetes, carbohydrates can be a double-edged sword. While fruits and vegetables are certainly good for you, it's possible for a person with diabetes to get too much of a good thing. Your body can turn those devilish little carbs directly into glucose (also called blood sugar), the most common sugar floating through your blood stream. And too much glucose in your blood stream can be deadly to someone with diabetes.
Therefore, a healthy diet for a person with diabetes will provide enough, but not too much carbohydrate. And, the same as with anyone else, it will also provide all of the other nutrients your body needs.
Does this mean you have to give up your weekly trip to the Ice Cream Parlor? Absolutely not! Everything is a trade-off. If you want to eat more of one thing, you may need to eat less of another. It's all a matter of balance. But the fact of the matter is:
A healthy diet doesn't require you to give up a single food that you want to eat!