Tips for Meal Planning

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  • Keep the glycemic load of your meal plan low by limiting the number of calories you get from carbohydrate to 45% to 60% of your total daily calories. For a person who eats 2,000 calories a day, this is 225–300 grams of carbohydrate per day. If you eat 1800 calories, it’s 200–270 grams of carbohydrate per day.
  • When choosing foods that provide primarily carbohydrate, such as grains, choose those with a low glycemic index over those with a high glycemic index. Consult the online database to find the glycemic index of foods you eat.
  • Eat only small portions of foods with a high glycemic index, such as potatoes or white bread.
  • Include some protein and fat in your meals to slightly lower the glycemic index of the meal.
  • Check your blood glucose level before and after meals to see how different foods and food combinations affect it.
  • Exercise regularly. People who are physically fit tend to see their blood glucose level rise less in response to foods than people who are sedentary.

Originally Published May 5, 2009

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