Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Flexible Meal Plan as Diabetic

First off, I understand why my daily diet must be restricted. My special dietary needs require a meal plan that suggests a healthy and well-managed diet regimen and that I have to adhere to it. This should be flexible, constantly adapting to my blood glucose and cholesterol levels. It is believed that a diabetic's diet is one of the best diets, aside from its proven help in managing blood glucose.

Diabetes is a disease linked to the lifestyle of people. Modernization has led to a change in eating habits. The traditional diets with dishes that promoted good health and that which traditionally nourished our great-grandparents have changed. A dramatic rise in mortality rate from diabetes and other diseases like heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, is blamed in the people's increase in consumption of animal fats and a decrease in consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Cultural influences have their effects in the peoples' eating habits. In highly industrialized countries that eat large portions of fatty meat, foods rich in dairy products, highly refined and processed foods , believed to have increased rates of  diabetes cases and other fatal diseases like cancer.

Whereas, the  population that adheres to the traditional diet of Omega 3-fatty acids rich fish like trout, mackerel, sardines, healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, fresh green leaves with strong protective effects are better protected against these diseases.

A diabetic doesn't only restrict the intake of the particular food- sugar, but also pays attention to the timing and composition of his meals. To do this, he must follow a regimen.
  • Have a meal plan
  • Know his BMI (Body Mass Index)- BMI measures the degree of fatness or leanness. The normal BMI for adults is from 18.5 to 22.9 
To calculate BMI :
  • Know his Height:______ft. ____ in.
  • Know his Weight______kilograms
  • BMI = ________ Weight  divided by Height
Compute his  daily Total Energy requirement (TER)
  • TER = Ideal Body weight(IBW) or Desired Body weight (DBW) multiplied by Activity level or Physical Activity
  • Prepare menu based on your TER
  • A male 5'5" height, with a light activity as a laboratory technician has a TER=60 X 30= 1800 kcl/day

Abbot gives us a the following figures for determining activity level(kcal/kg):

Bed rest but mobile (hospital patients) 30(kcal/kg) for male and 27.5(kcal/kg) for female; Sedentary (mostly sitting ex. secretary, clerk, typist, administrator,cashier, teller) 35 and 30; Light (teacher, nurse, laboratory technician, housewives with maids, tailor, physician) 40 and 35; Moderate (housewife without maid, vendor, mechanic, jeepney driver, carpenter, painter) 45 and40; and Heavy (lumberman, farmer, laborer, coal miner, fisherman, swimmer) 50, respectively.

Food Exchanges is  a tool for quantifying energy requirement in simpler terms. It assumes that foods on the same food group have the same nutritional contents that can be exchanged with another food in the same list, thus allowing you to enjoy flexibility in meal planning.

Here is an example of an Exchange - Sample Menu for Morning Snack, rice as a food group= 1 cup of rice can be exchanged with 3 pieces pandesal, (bread) or 1 cup noodles, or 1 cup cornflakes.

Apportioning the menu based on the TER is important. There are a number of meal samples that suggest the right food and correct portion in terms of their calorie content. Here is one of the common samples from Outsmarting Diabetes, My Daily Health Guide in Managing My Diabetes, Abbot Nutrition.

Sample Menu for a Day for TER=1,800 Calories

BREAKFAST (362 calories)
Food group -
Fruit-Unsweetened apple juice or 1 exchange, 1/3 cup household size
High fat meat - Braised pork chop or 1 exchange,  1 pc, small
Vegetable - Tomatoes, cucumber or 1/2 exchange, 1/2 cup
Rice- Boiled rice or 2 exchange, 1 cup
Decaffeinated coffee, artificial sweetener, non-dairy creamer or 1 exchange

MORNING SNACK (210 calories)
Food group
Rice - Suman sa ibos or 1 excchange
Milk- Glucerna SR 3 scoops in 100ml water

Food group
Low fat meat- Steamed lapu-lapu or 2 exchanges, 2 slices
Vegetable- Chopsuey, 1 exchange, 1/2 cup
Rice- Boiled rice, 3 exchanges, 1 1/2
Fruit- Pineapple, 1 exchange, 1 slice
Fat- Mayonnaise for steamed lapu-lapu, 2 exchanges, 2 tsps

Food group-
Rice- Tuna sandwich, Pan amerikano/Sliced tasty bread, 1 exchange, 2 slices
Low fat meat- Tuna flakes in brine, 1 excahnge, 1/2 cup flakes
Fat- Mayonnaise, 1 exchange, 1 tsp
Milk- 3 scoops in 100ml water

Food group- Chicken afritada(chicken breast), 1 exchange, 1/4 breast
Vegetable- Carrots, (1 exchange), baguio beans, citsaro (2 exchanges) 1 cup
Rice- Boiled rice, 1 exchange, 1 cup
Fruit- Ripe mango, 1 exchange, 1 slice

Food group- Rice (toasted)/White bread, 1 exchange, 1 piece
Fat- Butter, 1 exchange, 1 tsp

Total calories= 1,800

The meal plan, in order to be effective, must consider calorie content and correct portion of food. Exchange, when understood, makes the meal a flexible diet plan and enjoyable to eat. For more meal plan examples, visit  the Glucerna SR Home.


  1. I'm going to share this blog with my's so informative!

    thanks for visiting Marlie and Me!

  2. Teresha,

    Thanks for visiting my newly-opened niche on diabetes. Hope my posts would be of help to your mother-in-law. More next time. Promise.

  3. Good informative article.I shared this with my aunt who is also a victim.Thanks.



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