ADA Diet Plan for Diabetes: Benefits with Example

American Diabetes Association (ADA) was founded in 1940 and is a leading non-profit organization in America, which conduct studies on diabetes and provides a lot of information to the people about diabetes and its control. The main aim of ADA is prevention and cure of this disease and improving the lives of the diabetic patients.

ADA Diet Plan for Diabetes

What is ADA Diet Plan?

ADA diet is introduced specifically for the diabetic patients and aims at lowering the levels of glucose in the blood. This diet plan is easy to follow and does not have any strict rules. All you have to do is to limit the amount of calories that you take in and avoid consuming some of the food items like junk food, fried foods and alcohols.

This diet allows you to take in regulated amounts of carbohydrates, fats and foods high in processed sugars. You can have about 1600 to 2800 calories per day and not more than that. Females can consume lower range to midrange calories while men are suggested to consume mid-range of calories.

The ADA Diet Meal Plan for Diabetic Patients:

ADA diet plan guides the diabetic patients by making them understand the quality and quantity of foods that they should have. This diet plan includes meal planning, which provides you information like carb counting and glycemic index. By following the right meal plan, you will be able to lower the levels of cholesterol and glucose, as well as maintain your blood pressure. It also helps you to maintain a perfect body weight. Diabetic patients must take care to maintain a perfect balance between their food and the insulin medications. Doing exercise regularly helps in keeping your blood sugar under control.

The diet varies from one person to the other, but you must make sure that it is a healthy diet and suitable for diabetic patients. Foods rich in proteins, minerals and fiber are considered good for diabetic patients. A healthy diet may include the following foods:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains
  • non-fat dairy products
  • Fish
  • Lean meat
  • Chicken
  1. Diabetic patients can have almost the same food that other members of the family have. But some planning is required, so that you can maintain the blood pressure levels as well as the levels of cholesterol and glucose in the body. You must add at least 3 to 5 servings of fiber rich vegetables like spinach, kale, tomatoes, and cabbage daily. One vegetable serving for diabetic patients must consist of 30 gm of raw vegetables and 90 gm of cooked vegetables. Try not to include starchy vegetables.
  2. Fruits must be consumed in moderate amounts only even though you know that fruits are rich in fiber content. This is because fruits contain carbohydrates in them, which can affect the levels of glucose in the body. So, it is important that you keep a check on the amount of carbohydrate you consume. You can limit the consumption of fruits to 2 to 4 servings a day. One serving can include an orange, apple, banana or a cup of strawberries or blackberries.
  3. Low-fat milk or dairy products are included in ADA diet. You can have 2 or 3 servings of this daily. One serving means 1 cup of milk or yogurt. You can include cheese in the protein portion of ADZ diet.
  4. You must restrict meat and meat substitutes to 4 to 6 servings a day. By taking one serving of protein, you can have 1 egg, 1 ounce of chicken or fish, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or ½ a cup of tofu.
  5. When you follow ADA diet, you have to try and avoid alcoholic beverages, cookies, candies and fried foods. Restrict such foods to single servings and make sure that you do not take more than 2 or 3 servings per week.
  6. It important that you keep a watch on how much calories you take-in per day when you follow this diet. In fact, a typical ADA diet means 2000 calorie ADA diet or 1800 calories ADA diet. If you are planning to lose weight, then may follow 1500 or 1200 ADA diet, which is a diet with reduced calorie.
  7. You also need to pay attention to the amount of carbohydrates that you take in when you are on ADA diet. So, carbohydrate counting is a must when you are on this diet. Carbohydrate counting is the amount of carbohydrates in grams that you consume in each of your snacks and meals. This is term is used particularly on patients who are on insulin.
  8. Another term used in ADA diet is the Diabetic exchange. This is defined as the specific quantity of carbohydrate content of a food that is equivalent to 15 gm of carbohydrates. Most of the ADA diet consists of 3 to 5 diabetic exchanges per meal.

Benefits of ADA Diet:

One of the most important benefits of ADA diet is that it makes diabetic patients more aware about the particulars of their disease and enables them to understand their dietary requirements. This allows them to cut down or completely avoid foods that are not good for them and consume healthy food that keep them fit and in good condition. They are advised to consume the right food and in specific amounts, which contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and calories in the right proportions.

ADA diet makes them interact with their physicians and dietitians more comfortably and decide what diet pattern to follow for a healthy life. As a result, there is an overall improvement in their health and this further prevents other complications like heart diseases or cancers.

An Example of ADA Diet Meal Plan:

Breakfast: One ounce egg white omelet, 45 gm of meat or meat substitute, 2 slices of wheat toast with fat-free margarine and a cup of skimmed milk or 6 ounces of low fat yogurt.

Lunch: Grilled sandwich made with whole wheat bread and cheese, ½ cup of chicken salad with tomato slices and other vegetables or 1 ¼ cup of watermelon cubes with a glass of skim milk, and a small sized apple.

Snacks: You can have 3 squares of Graham crackers with a teaspoon of peanut butter or ½ cup of cottage cheese with ½ cup of peaches canned in their own juices.

Dinner: You can have 2/3rd cup of wild rice with baked salmon, one cup of green peas that is steamed, a cup of skimmed milk and ½ cup of unsweetened apple sauce.

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