The 1200 Diabetic Diet Plan: Counting The Calories  

by Flor Serquina


On average, you will probably be eating between 40 to 55 percent of your total daily calories in the form of carbohydrates. A 1200-calorie diabetic diet plan gets 50% of its calories from carbohydrates, 30% from fat and 20% from protein; so it would contain 600 calories from carbohydrates. That translates to 150 grams of carbohydrates, where 1 gram equals 4 calories, or just about 10 carbohydrate exchanges or choices for the day.

Keep in mind that this is an average. Some people with diabetes may find that a lower percentage of carbohydrates offers them better control.

With regards to the 1200-calorie diabetic diet plan, many people find this program constructive and effective. However, it is still recommended that you talk to your registered dietitian first before you start on any type of diet plan. A registered dietitian will work with you and help you understand the meaning and concept behind carbohydrate counting or carb counting and the diabetic exchange system. These two methods are commonly used to obtain the 1200-calorie objective.

Carb Counting

Even if you follow your meal plan to the letter, you are still going to find that certain foods will give you a bigger spike in glucose levels than expected. You may also find that other foods you expected to pump up your readings barely bump the meter. That is the individual nature of diabetes.

For this reason, carb counting is an invaluable tool in figuring out the amount of carbohydrates given in every meal and eventually helps you understand the possible effects of such amount in your blood glucose levels.

Carb counting involves calculating the grams of carbohydrate eaten in a given meal. In theory, regulating carb intake means controlling your blood glucose levels.

How many carbohydrates you eat in a given day depends on your unique caloric, medical, and lifestyle needs. An active teenager will have a greater carbohydrate requirement than an inactive adult.

So for instance, if you want to use 1200-calorie diabetic diet plan, be sure that you fit into one of the following categories: (a) your body build is medium and you do not exercise much, (b) you are a small or medium person who wants to lose weight, or (c) you are a small person who exercises a lot.

Again, the first step in establishing a carb-counting plan to achieve your 1200-calorie diabetic diet plan is sitting down with a registered dietitian who will discuss your medical history, eating habits, lifestyle, and medication routines, and come up with a plan for how much carbohydrates you should be eating and when they should be consumed.

Choices versus Grams

There are a couple of different variations on the carb-counting theme to achieve 1200-calorie diabetic diet plan. Basic carb gram counting is simply calculating the actual grams of carbohydrates consumed and ensuring they do not exceed a pre-established limit. Another popular method is carb choice.

Since a dietary exchange of starch or fruit carbohydrates is equivalent to 15 grams of carbohydrates, many dietitians use the "15 grams per serving" value as a "rule of thumb" in teaching carb counting, especially to those patients who are already familiar with exchange lists. Each 15-gram serving is called a "carb choice," and instead of establishing a total number of carbohydrate grams for the day, you will work with your dietitian to determine a total number of carb choices.

This method works well with 1200-calorie diabetic diet plan. For example, for those who want to achieve 1200-calorie diet, it is recommended that you take 10 servings of carbohydrates in a day. These servings will be subdivided into different meals of the day.

For example, you may take 2 servings of carbohydrates at breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner provided that you do not take any carbohydrates for the evening snack. When applying carb counting, keep in mind that 1 carb choice or 1 serving is equivalent to approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates.

The choice method may not be as exact as calculating carbs strictly by the label, since it involves a certain degree of estimation, but it is close enough for most people. Talk to your dietitian about the method that works best for you.

Dietary Exchanges

Dietary exchange system has three food group types represented in the exchange lists: the carbohydrate group, the meat and meat substitutes group, and the fat group. Each list within each group contains food with a similar carbohydrate, protein, fat, and calorie content.

When you sit down with your dietitian, she will work with you to specify a certain number of each type of exchanges for your meals based on your 1200-calorie goal. Hence, you can think of dietary exchanges like trading cards. Any food on a particular list can be swapped with another on the same list.

Indeed, this 1200-calorie diabetic diet plan has soared in popularity thanks to medical media icons who have painstakingly demonstrated and explained the good effects of such diet programs. However, the jury is still out on their long-term safety. If you would want to try this type of diabetic diet plan, talk with your registered dietitian and your doctor about a safe approach that is right for you.

About the Author

Visit Learn-About-Diabetes.com for useful information and resources about 1200 diabetic diet plan, diabetes Type II diet and diets for Type 2 diabetes.

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