As a diabetic or as someone who is showing the signs of diabetes, it becomes essential to focus on reading the food labels when shopping for diabetic foods. All packaged food for sale should have a food label that contains important nutritional information to a diabetic. Knowing how to read these labels properly and know what the various numbers and percentages mean isn’t always easy to follow, especially when you’re following a diabetes diet plan. The following is an outlines of the basic information you need to understand about food labeling.
Regardless of what type of diabetes diet plan you are following, it is essential to the success of your plan to be able to read the food labels from the diabetic foods you purchase and understand what they mean.
Firstly, always look at the list of ingredients before you look at the nutritional composition on the food label.
Food manufacturers are obligated to list food ingredients in order of quantity, meaning the ingredient which has the greatest amount will be listed first, and so on. Whereabouts does sugar feature on the ingredient list? If there are things listed on the label in the food that don’t work well for your blood sugar control (glucose syrup, modified starches to name but two), then they should be avoided or eaten sparingly.
The serving size is important, and you should compare that to the carbohydrates in a serving. Most carbohydrate servings for a diabetic are 15 grams. If a single serving is much higher than 15 grams, you’ll need to eat less of it than what the suggested serving size states, so as to stay on track with your diabetes diet plan, and to reduce the signs of diabetes
Foods that state they are sugar free may be attention grabbers as something safe and tasty to eat, but again look to the carbohydrate count before you throw it in your supermarket trolley. Most foods that are sugar free will use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes and often have much higher carbohydrate counts.
The fat content too is very important. Try to keep the fat percentage to no more than 10% of the serving size, and also ensure that the fat content is very low saturated fats, and is mostly monounsaturated fats (the good fats). Avoid foods with any trans fats, as any amount of these in a food has been linked to cancer.